Packers XLV

Rodgers vs.Vikings D Is Worth the Price of Admission

Posted October 13th, 2017 @ 01:10pm

OK, here we go. The Packers are in town for the first of two visits to US Bank Stadium this season, facing a Vikings team that's talented, but not quite ready for prime time (as we witnessed on Monday night, despite the narrow victory).

Injuries are always the great equalizer in the NFL and for the Vikes, the loss of Cook and Bradford knocks them out of the category "borderline playoff team." So far, Case Keenum has handled the quarterback job fairly well, doing nothing spectacular but avoiding killer mistakes. The combo of Murray and McKinnon is average and for the Pack's defense, a welcome respite from the recent task of stopping Zeke.

The offensive line has been better than expected, so it will be interesting to see how the Packers do in getting heat on Keenum. With the injuries to the secondary, a strong pass rush will be vital on Sunday. I would expect Dom Capers to show Keenum plenty of exotic blitz looks, to mask the problems on the back end. As I write this, neither Morgan Burnett nor Kevin King have practiced this week, so their availability is definitely in question. I give King a better chance; he's in the concussion protocol, but was on the sidelines watching on Thursday. Let's see if he's in uniform on Friday. If Burnett can't go, we'll get our first good look at Josh Jones, who has shown glimpses of greatness in his limited snaps.

Of course the real question marks are at cornerback and dealing with Diggs and Thielen. Diggs has a sore groin and hasn't practiced this week, but it sounds like he'll be in uniform on Sunday. If King's out, House and Randall will likely be called on to handle that emerging duo. The coaches seem to be regaining some trust in Rollins, so we'll see if he gets the nickel snaps, or whether Hawkins is out there. The pass defense was subpar against the Cowboys, but part of that was due to Dak's ability to extend plays. Keenum won't hold on to the ball nearly as long, which should benefit the Pack's corners.

The strength vs. strength matchup clashes when the Packers have the ball. For me, the key this weekend is David Bakhtiari's availability. If he returns (after missing the last four games) and the five OL starters are on the field together for the first time this season, Rodgers and company should be able to win this matchup. This is the third tough road test this season, so the offense is already battle-tested. The emergence of Aaron Jones last week will force the Vikes' defense to respect the running game and that should allow Rodgers to operate as efficiently and effectively as he has all season.

Unlike the offense, the Vikings' defense comes in healthy and those pass rushers are itching for their opportunity to slow the national Rodgers love-fest. Even if Bakhtiari and Bulaga are both out there, they'll have their hands full with Griffin, Hunter and Robison. Lookfor Rodgers and Cobb to be the go-to matchup--the Vikings are vulnerable in the middle of the field. The tight ends figure to be productive as well.

I went in to last week's game looking at the two tough road tests and hoping for no worse than a split. Now, of course, I want the sweep. The Pack catch the Vikes on a short week and with a backup QB--that's why they're three point favorites on the road. The place will be rocking and the Vikings come in as the more desperate team: a second division loss at home would derail their chances at competing in the North.

The Packers are hot, confident and ready to make it 6-2 over the last eight visits to Minneapolis. See ya again in February.

Packers 24  Vikings 17

 

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Comments (17):

I'm a Patriots fan through and through to start with and just have to say this first. Brady over Rogers come playoff time every time. Now I like me the Vikes having married a Minnesota woman. To be honest outside of Rodgers I would take the Vikes in almost every other position. If this Defense plays at its peak level and Case is steady I find it hard to see the packers win on Sunday.

on October 13th, 2017 at 08:48pm

"The emergence of Aaron Jones last week will force the Vikes' defense to respect the running game " THC--the Vikings currently are the 4th best team vs the run in the league (giving up just 3.3 YPC). Stop with this fallacy.....

on October 13th, 2017 at 08:56am

Cane - Davey's not saying Aaron Jones will run for 125 like he did against Dallas. His point is the Vikings cannot simply pin their ears back and go after Rodgers without fear of a decen run game, which the Packers have not consistently had for the better part of 10 years. Could potentially open things up for Rodgers & passing game.

on October 13th, 2017 at 09:04am

Kyle--my point is, we can pin our ears back and still easily contain Jones. Already did so vs Brees/Ben, who have much better RB's than you guys. Like our offensive line, our run defense is vastly improved from last season.

on October 13th, 2017 at 09:21am

You get one decent running game against one bad defense and you're saying that this scrub has emerged? Are you kidding? I know Packers fans have a history of being delusional (we're all owners!) but this is sad.

on October 13th, 2017 at 11:41am

Hey all, I'm a Packers fan we records a fun podcast celebrating the fanship and rivalry between Vikings and Packers fans, with a nod to the rest of the NFC North. It's not hardcore football talk but it has plenty of shit talking. It's the perfect thing to get yourself ready for the big border battle coming up! https://kingsofthenorth.fireside.fm/week5 Enjoy!

on October 13th, 2017 at 11:45am

See ya in February Dave!!

on October 15th, 2017 at 03:05pm

Hope Barr gets paralyzed is the future

on October 15th, 2017 at 03:30pm

Wow packers fans are delusional to think they would beat the Vikes when they ran over (figuratively and literally) Rodgers and the Pack. Kind of a boring game with how much you guys suck without Rogers. Vikes backup qb and missing Diggs and you guys could not stop. The only time your D looked ok was when the Vikes went into coast mode up by 13. Have fun with an 8-8 season or worse. I'm sure all the hangovers will be fun.

on October 15th, 2017 at 03:50pm

What happens now is the Packers will sign Kaepernick ....... it will be short lived however ....... when Kaepernick kneels for the Anthem, some Redneck cheesehead will pull out his Deer Rife and "Kaep" him : )

on October 15th, 2017 at 04:07pm

Maybe MN should of used that stadium money from the tax payers and gave more Illinois residents welfare checks. I would rather be some WI redneck than some intercity welfare leech like most of the people from Minneapolis and St Paul.

on October 15th, 2017 at 04:24pm

So Aaron Rodgers walks into a barr and.................

on October 15th, 2017 at 05:40pm

This is the Super Bowl for the Queens. Which is as close to one as they ever get. So the possibility of an annoying but ultimately inconsequential upset can't be entirely dismissed. Minisota's best and really only hope here is where it's being played. In that noise trapping, bird killing glass house mockingly called "The People's Stadium." Well, half of its billion dollar cost was picked up by the state and city of Minneapolis for the club's New Jersey billionaire owners. (You know, the ones who are New York Giant fans and convicted racketeers.) With the Vikes suppressing ticket sales to Packers fans to void having the home team drowned out by the visitors' crowd the artificial noise and artificial turf will give a hand to the Vikes' speed rush against the Pack's banged up and reshuffled o-line. But I think Aaron Rodgers gets and makes enough time to make the Queens pay for it with a 3 td passing game. Key here is for the Packers not to give the opponent cheap points off turnovers. With the Packers holding a 3 point lead late in the final quarter ARod daggers them with his third scoring strike of the afternoon and Green Bay heads home with a 27-17 win.

on October 15th, 2017 at 07:48am

mM has shown he is willing to run the ball 7 times in row. I expect the try one of those type drive again today. Then they will get down to business. The question becomes if Rodger can get the free plays and broken play they use to get down field.

on October 15th, 2017 at 08:03am

I got a bad feeling about this game. Vikes could lose big ( Hope I'm wrong .....

on October 15th, 2017 at 12:06pm

"or the Vikes, the loss of Cook and Bradford knocks them out of the category "borderline playoff team." BAHAHAHAHA

on October 16th, 2017 at 03:18pm

You and your drunken cohorts will be watching the SB from the couches in your trailers. ENJOY THE SEASON LOSERS!!!!

on October 16th, 2017 at 12:18pm

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