Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers: Week 2 Preview

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers: Week 2 Preview

by September 13, 2019 0 comments

Their storied rivalry kicked off almost 50 years ago when the Green Bay Packers, the premier team of the 1960s, handily defeated the newly formed Minnesota Vikings and their rookie quarterback, Fran “The Scrambler” Tarkenton, 33-7, on Oct. 22, 1961.

The Vikings quickly became accustomed to it.

It would take the Vikings almost four years and seven games before they would finally beat the Packers in a 24-23 squeaker in Green Bay in their first meeting of the 1964 season.

However, much has changed since then. The Vikings aren’t the pushovers they were those many years ago.

The Vikings have not lost to the Packers since 2016, winning three and tying one last year in their first meeting of the 2018 campaign.

It’s also noteworthy that in Minnesota, with Kirk Cousins behind center, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Game Info

Date:  Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019

Start time: 1 p.m. EDT

Location: Green Bay, WI

Stadium: Lambeau Field

Series History: Vikings lead series (60-54-3)

TV Info: FOX

Prediction

The Packers won the NFL season opener on the road against the Chicago Bears last Thursday night … barely.

Aaron Rodgers and his Packer offense looked rusty — shaky at times — in their 10-3 win.  Rodgers looked particularly awful early on. Pro Football Focus graded Rodgers as the worst in the league in Week 1 in accuracy.

“Obviously I missed a couple throws.”
– Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on his week 1 performance against the Bears

The Packers’ offense ended up with just 250 yards of total offense on the night. Rodgers went 18 of 30, throwing for 203 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.

The Packers’ running game was non-existent with just 47 yards for the night amongst their entire running back arsenal.

However, the team put the points on the board needed to defeat the second-ranked Bears defense.

But, let’s be honest: Thursday night’s Packers victory came on the shoulders of the defense. With 55 tackles, five sacks, and an interception, the Pack held the Bears to a single field goal in a masterful defensive performance.

Defense alone won’t be enough for the Packers against the Vikings, however. The offense will need to show up and do much better than a paltry 10 points.

Statistics for the running game must be in the triple digits vice the double digits, and Rodgers and his receiving corps, with wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Davante Adams, need to get open early and often. More importantly, they need to catch the ball when it is thrown their way.

The Vikings were undoubtedly much more decisive in their victory over the Atlanta Falcons in last Sunday’s game.

All cylinders were firing for the Vikings against the hapless Falcons in their 28-12 victory.  By the end of the first half, there was little doubt that the Vikes would be victorious.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw only eight passes for 98 yards and a single touchdown.

Running back Dalvin Cook ran for 111 yards on 22 carries, picking up two touchdowns. The young running back added two receptions for eight yards.

The Vikings ended their day with 269 total yards on offense.

On the other side of the ball, the Vikings defense did a stellar job also, forcing four punts, nabbing two interceptions, forcing and recovering a fumble, and stopping a pair of two-point conversion attempts.

However, the Atlanta Falcons are neither an offensive juggernaut nor do they have a particularly menacing defense. The Vikings’ outing on Sunday is hardly a bellwether of who the Vikes are in 2019.

These two teams’ history, rivalry, and hopes for the NFC North crown and deep playoff runs this year make this early season game a huge one for both teams. Both the Pack and the Vikes need a win not only to make a statement within the division but also the NFL.

However, defense rules the day this weekend. The 26th-ranked Vikings offense will not withstand the fifth-ranked Packers defense, and Rodgers and Co. will ensure that there are enough points on the board at the end of Sunday’s contest so that the Pack leaves Lambeau Field with the NFC North crown firmly in Green Bay … at least for a week.

Final Score prediction: Vikings 24, Packers 27

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