It’s finally here!
It took longer than we thought, but Week 1 Packers football is finally here!
It’s been a wild offseason with no insight on who is playing where and no preseason games to see how the younger players are developing, so this will probably be one of the craziest week 1’s ever.
Here’s the 3 things we’ll be paying the most attention to:
Packers New offense
We don’t know exactly what the Packers new offense will look like (but we broke down what we think it will look like), but we have to be excited after the reports of Aaron Rodgers studying his stellar 2010 film and lighting up practice. Combine that with the expected jump in comfort and productivity that comes with the second season of installing a new offense, an unexpected draft that showed this is not going to be a Mike McCarthy offense anymore, and the fact that reporters weren’t allowed to say which players were running with which groups, and you have all the necessary ingredients to confuse the Vikings defense and entertain Packers fans.
Vikings New Defense
Speaking of that Vikings defense, there’s a fair amount of change there, too. The Vikings are excited about acquiring pass rush demon Yannick Ngakoue (who forces fumbles like nobody’s business), but lost Everson Griffin in the offseason, which is a wash in some ways. Danielle Hunter was placed on IR this week, which will diminish the pass rush. They also released Linval Joseph in the offseason, weakening a run defense that had no answer for Aaron Jones last year.
In the secondary, cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander (who were the top 3 cornerbacks for the team last year in terms of snaps played last year) are all gone. They’re replaced by a couple third-year guys (Mike Hughes, Holton Hill) and some rookies (Cameron Dantzler, Jeff Gladney, Harrison Hand) who have a lot of talent, but are very raw.
This was an offseason like no other. Teams clamped down on training camp reports and there were no preseason games to scout. Given all the changes to the Packers offense and the Vikings defense, plus an unfamiliar and potentially eerie feeling of playing in an empty stadium, and this game has about as many unknowns as any game in this rivalry.
Division games are always unpredictable, but this one will take it to new heights.
This should be fun.