Pregame Predictions: Vikings Packers 2017 Week 16

I don’t really know how to approach this week’s pregame column. I can’t remember what it’s like to not be playing for something. It’s hard to be able to tell what to expect.

Hmmm… Brett Hundley playing against the Vikings. Well, I know how that went last time, and I think there will be a similarly disappointing ending this time, but it’s what goes on in-between that seems tricky.

Last time Hundley managed to throw 3 interceptions, despite not even playing the whole game. That actually matched his grand total of 3 rushing yards. He also had 157 yards passing to round out his performance. He’s come a long way since then and will have a game plan more suited to his talents, but it’s hard to see him doing much against what is probably the best defense in the league and a team that is fighting for the number one seed en route to a home field Super Bowl.

On defense, the Packers have played pretty bad most of the season. The “bend but don’t break” philosophy seems to have been replaced with a “bend and then break” philosophy. Some times it feels like their approach is “Fine, you’re gonna score a touchdown anyways, but we’re gonna play real deep and you’re gonna have to run a bunch of plays and get tired – we’ll show you what a minor inconvenience we can be.”

Please don’t let Dom Capers be the Defensive Coordinator on January 1st.

Case Keenum deserves more respect than he gets. He didn’t have a blue chip pedigree, but he has started a lot of games in this league and has developed into an above-average starter. I expect him to tear apart a secondary that is missing its top 2 corners and plays its safeties 30 yards off the ball.

Oh, and with pretty much all the linebackers on the team hurt (except Blake Martinez, who is quietly leading the NFL in tackles), it may be tough to defend the run.

I’ll be dipping into my holiday libations early.

 

Predictions

  • Hundley will have a slightly better game than the last time against the Vikings, throwing for 1 TD and 2 picks to go with 165 yards, but he’ll probably run for 30
  • Harrison Smith will come up with one of those picks
  • Keenum, on the other side, will play very well, but the cold will get to him a little and he’ll throw a pick too
  • David Bakhtiari and Kenny Clark will dominate whoever is across from them and underscore how ridiculous the Pro Bowl voting is
  • Lance Kendricks will lead the Packers in receptions
  • Adam Thielen will get some, but overall, DamaRand will do a solid job against him (especially since Keenum will have plenty of other options against a depleted secondary)
  • Dom Capers will be the Defensive Coordinator all game
  • Aaron Jones will look better as a runner, but Jamaal Williams will get more carries (because for some reason, McCarthy thinks running backs are more valuable as blockers than runners)
  • I would much rather beat the Vikings with a backup QB in a meaningless game to wreck their seed than lose and get a better draft pick… I don’t think I’m going to get what I want
  • Packers 13, Vikings 31

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