Packers XLV

Pack Will Feel At Home in the Purple Palace

Posted September 16th, 2016 @ 02:09pm

We've all been waiting for this since the schedule was released in April. When the Packers help christen the Purple Palace on Sunday night, it will be the dawn of a new era for Vikings football.  Everything will feel new and different in the purple palace. One thing will remain the same: the result.

The Pack has won five of the last six in Minneapolis. They won in the Dome. They won at the Bank. Now they'll win at the new bank. I don't have any illusions that it will be easy. This game, on paper, is the toughest on the 2016 schedule. But everything changed when Teddy destroyed his knee on that fateful August day.

Yes, the Packers were favored in this game before the injury. The line has moved a point the Packers' way as Sam Bradford prepares to make his purple debut. His presence can be looked at a number of ways. Obviously, the Pack has no video to study and Norv Turner will likely provide new looks that were kept in the playbook last week. On the other hand, Bradford has had very little time to learn the offense and work with the receivers--you have to believe Dom Capers will create all kinds of pre-snap chaos to confuse Bradford and keep him off balance. Matthews, Perry, Peppers and Jones will be attacking all night in passing situations. And the dude doesn't exactly ooze mobility.

As always though, priority number one is containing Adrian Peterson, who got off to a very slow start in week one. How much of that was rust from an inactive preseason and how much was a still porous offensive line remains to be seen. What we do know is that the Pack's run defense passed its first test in Jacksonville, holding TJ Yeldon to less than two yards per carry. They were fortunate to not have to deal with Chris Ivory, who spent the weekend in the hospital. Obviously, Peterson provides a much stiffer test than Yeldon, but the jury is still out on the Vikes' offense. They couldn't find the end zone in Nashville.

Vikings fans will tell you their team has a top five defense. The stats don't bear that out just yet. Yes, they're probably a top ten defense and as long as Coach Zim is in charge, defense will be this team's identity. Historically, the Packers have had no trouble scoring points on this defense. Rodgers' career numbers are through the roof against the Vikes--he's carved them up for years.

But we all know the Pack's offense hasn't really clicked since the end of the 2014 season. It took a while to get cooking last week, but once Mike McCarthy pushed the tempo and went to no huddle in the second quarter, Rodgers and company looked like their old selves. It still looked like the receivers had a tough time getting open last week. Rodgers faced very little pass rush, yet still had a hard time finding guys.

Jordy Nelson should look a little more like himself after shaking off the rust last week and I expect tight end Jared Cook to be featured a lot more this week. The Vikings' front seven is solid, but the secondary is still a question mark. Yes, Harrison Smith is an all pro, but there are plenty of questions at cornerback, where Xavier Rhodes seems unlikely to play, leaving the Vikes with the young and unproven (Waynes and Alexander) and the old (Newman and Mannerly). The Packers receivers should win most of these matchups.

The Packers will likely be without Sam Shields, who suffered his fifth concussion last week. Last year, a concussion cost him three games so this is something that will be monitored very closely. As I tweeted out earlier in the week, the Packers should be able to get by without him against this run-first team which doesn't have a ton of speed at WR. Next week's matchup against Detroit will be a different story.

The Pack is also without rookie corner Josh Hawkins, who's out with a hammy. That leaves the team with Damarius Randall (the top rated corner in week 1 according to Pro Football Focus), Quentin Rollins and LaDarius Gunter. Not much depth at a position that seemed to have plenty of it a couple of weeks ago. Look for Micah Hyde to assist as needed, and Morgan Burnett played a little corner in the dime last week.

The Vikes will likely be without Rhodes, and left tackle Matt Kalil and DL Sharif Floyd haven't practiced all week--those are all significant losses for the purple if they're on the sidelines. For the Pack, Shields is obviously a big loss, but besides him the team comes in healthy, missing subs and special teams guys like Chris Banjo and Jayrone Elliott.

Speaking of special teams, I see it as a wash. The Vikes have more dangerous returners, but the Packers have a much more solid and consistent kicking game. The Pack needs to contain Patterson and Sherels, especially on a night when their offense is likely to be pedestrian.

Last week the Vikings feasted on turnovers, scoring twice on defense. They won't be able to rely on gifts like that on Sunday night--the Packers are consistently near the top of the league at protecting the football. Rodgers' interception rate is best in league history.

So we have the best QB in the league against the league's most overpaid and underperforming one; a former #1 pick who's on his third team in seven seasons. And one who has had three weeks to digest a new offense and play catch with his receivers. The Vikes hope Adrian Peterson will awaken and be the difference, though he's run very little behind this offensive line. The Packers' defense looks to be much improved, with former #1s Nick Perry and Datone Jones off to a very promising start.

It will have all the pageantry you'd expect from the first game in a new stadium, in prime time; an early season division game that won't decide anything, but will set an early tone in the North. We all know the Vikes are the defending division champs. Sunday night, the Pack takes the first step in winning it back.

Packers 27  Vikings 17

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Comments (24):

The lavender trolls on this board are way beyond pathetic. I have never seen a fan base that is so arrogant with so little to be arrogant about. The lavender is 2-10-1 against the Packers in this decade and they have won ONE that's right ONE division title in this decade. But they way they act you think the queens were some sort of a football dynasty. I can't wait till the queenies get smoked again on Sunday night by the Packers and then the koolaid drinking face painters will all be whining about bad calls by the refs, injuries to the lavender, lucky breaks for the Pack, etc., etc., etc. It'll be a joy to listen to as usual. Go Packers!!!!!

on September 16th, 2016 at 01:06pm

I can't wait to see this blog on Monday morning. I mean, I know you'll think it was unfair in SOME way that the Vikings won so decisively, but I'm curious to see who you'll blame.

on September 16th, 2016 at 09:29am

Have you been publicly harassing your Viking fan son lately?

on September 16th, 2016 at 09:32am

"Everything changed when Bridgewater destroyed his knee"????? Might I remind you what we got out of Bridgewater the last time we played you guys and BEAT you in Lambeau Field? Answer: 52% completion, 99 passing yards, 0 TD's, 1 Int, and a 45 passer rating. You can honestly say with a straight face that Bradford isn't going to dramatically improve this production? Production that was GOOD ENOUGH to beat you guys at home last year. THC, you and your fanboys absolutely live in your own world.........

on September 16th, 2016 at 09:39am

You are SUCH a homer, my god. GB may very well win but by reading that article I would think the MIN won't come within 40 points. Hilarious.

on September 16th, 2016 at 09:40am

if a "probably a top ten defense" owns an offense, does that mean the offense "isn't a top ten offense?"

on September 16th, 2016 at 09:41am

Nice write up. Wanted to chime in so it wasn't only the opposition commenting. Bradford isn't as mobile as Teddy and has had like two weeks with the playbook. If that makes him an improvement over Teddy, then why ya'll like Teddy so much? Yes, he does have a stronger arm. I'll give you that. As THC has said, Zimmer is legit. We have score td, because it's hard to win games kicking field goals. I hope THC enjoys writing this blog to give Packer haters a safe place to rant.

on September 16th, 2016 at 10:11am

Do want negative posts like these? The trolling is strong in your opinion piece Synner. The Pack has one clear advantage: Aaron. You better hope he gets on track or this will be a crushing GB loss with EVERYONE picking them to win this game and the SB. Good luck!

on September 16th, 2016 at 11:19am

A mediocre defense performs well against a horrible Jacksonville team and suddenly you're crowning all these TT draft busts? It's like a Wisconsin person saying that their cousin is getting hotter because the thirty pounds she gained means she moved up a bra size. In the last three games the Vikings have played the D has scored 3 TDs. Including one against the allegedly low turnover Packers D. Rodgers threw a game losing pick too. Yikes! You can call them gifts all you want, but the reality is that you are just incapable of recognizing great defense when you see it. Kind of life how the average Wisconsin resident can't recognize a vegetable unless it's been deep fried and slathered in ranch dressing.

on September 16th, 2016 at 11:25am

I believe the keys to this game are stopping or at least containing Ad Peterson who has big games against us. That means our front seven has to step us. He will be super motivated and Turner will try and establish a ball control clock running offense to keep the ball out of Rodgers hands. If we can get Peterson to turn it over....which he has a history of....and Bradford to make some mistakes that will be key. Also dont even kick to Patterson as he has some great return averages against us. Lane Taylor will be tested. This is the game for Jared Cook and Cobb to become more involved in the middle to open up the outside for Nelson and Adams. GO PACK GO !!

on September 17th, 2016 at 07:37am

Must be nice living in packer land and having this feeling you guys are going 16-0 every year. It really does make me laugh as I live in Boston and I am a huge Pats fan and let's see since you Wisconsin hicks like to talk last decade. How many more titles do we have than you(might take awhile to do the math their in Fudge packer land after the copious amounts of Miller high life)? I have a few friends in Minnesota and they told me about how delusional and live in w nothing town and state, but until I came to this website I did not believe it. I'm a believer now so thank you Head Cheese (disgusting by the way) you have convinced me of what I thought was just a rivalry to seeing what Minnesotans deal with. Vikes will win this one in my opinion and will see Rodgers on his back quite a bit. Go Pats Go (sounds better but I guess your players are used to packing after the first or second round of the playoffs lol).

on September 18th, 2016 at 02:41pm

the only thing I can agree with here is that the Vikings are behind the curve since they don't have an established starting QB going into this game.So yes Teddy's injury changed that! that is why you can't with a straight face not make the pack the legitimate favorite in this game but the ball has a funny shape and crap happens. enjoy. Note to fans going to the game please don't go if your only goal is to ruin the fan experience for the team your not rooting for this childish behavior has to stop. in every stadium period. it is Just Football I can hear it now a go pack go chant during a Tribute to the Wetterling Family. I have high expectations for fans on both sides in this one. but I am sure I will be disapoionted as usual.

on September 18th, 2016 at 05:44am

This game will be the 6th time a Packers team has come to Minnesota to play its first game on a Minnesota club's home venue. They lost one in Duluth in 1924 but have won every time in the Twin Cities: 16-6 over the Minneapolis Red Jackets at Nicollet Park in 1929. 33-7 over the Vikings at Metropolitan Stadium in 1961, 29-21 over the Purple in their first appearance in the Metrodome in 1983 and , of course, they swept the Queens in their temporary home at TCF the past two seasons. So much for the Pack seeing something new in Minisota.

on September 18th, 2016 at 07:51am

I've got the Pack coming from behind winning 24-20. Need to feature Cook, get through all the hype and excitement in the 1st. quarter then just play ball.

on September 18th, 2016 at 09:01am

And about that "great" Vikqueens' defense: How come no one ever mentions that the difference between 5th and 15th ranking last season was only 37 total yards? Yup, that's how much more the Packers defense gave up over 16 games. Both defenses had the same number of qb sacks with 43, the same number of turnovers with 22. The Packers allowed 6.1 yds. per pass completion, the Vikings 6.2. The average rushing yardage per carry against Green Bay was 4.5 and and against Minnesota 4.3. Opponents scored on 31,3% of drives against the Packers and 33.3% on the Vikes. The Queens netted turnovers on 11.9% of opponent's drives and the Packers on 11.5. The Packers allowed only 1.3 ppg more than the Vikings did and held an opponent to under 20 points 7 times last season while the Vikes did 10. Doesn't seem like such a big difference to me.

on September 18th, 2016 at 09:05am

You are a tool and a homer Dave. Your team did not feel at home and won't for a long time. I am sure there will be all sorts of excuses this week for pack nation. 17-14 inbreeders.

on September 18th, 2016 at 11:10pm

All this talk and trash is just nauseating. This should be a good game and you know my favorite thing about trash talkers is that when the result is not what they thought they never admit it including you mr. Head cheese. After week one I was not impressed with ether team to be honest. The Vikings defense looked good as was expected, but the offense was dreadlocked when it got into opposing teritory. The packers faced the lesser of the two foes as let's face it everyone picked the pack in that one and went up against a back up running back and if a bad play call was not made that game came down to the last play. The defense does not look stellar, but the pack offense looked good not great. This game could really go ether way depending on who steps up and baring injuries. For all of you trash talkers at least admit you were wrong if your prediction and trash is not fruitful.

on September 18th, 2016 at 11:53am

NOW there is some facts Packerlifer, watch out THC, he may take your site. I laugh at that also, I look at points given up. I will give the D-line to the vikes, BUT, our O -line is better then there's. Last year 6 sacks at the bank. Lane did a lot better then I expected last week, need to see it again. The only guy I worry about besides 28, , that THC did not mention, is Rudolf. we always have a hard time with TE's, Thomas scored last week again on us. hopefully Hyde or Martinez can stay with him. I said last week we would win by 4. wrong on vikes score, didn't expect 2 d scores. this week it will be Crosby's day, 26-17 Packers. Let it be written let it be done. Go Packers.

on September 18th, 2016 at 11:56am

Hey like apples? HOW DO YOU LIKE DEM APPLES!?

on September 18th, 2016 at 11:59pm

At least you had one score right lol way to over estimate the discount double suck yet again. So let's do your breakdown QB Vikings Receivers Vikings Tight end Vikings Running back packers Defense Vikings Special teams Vikings Eat that crow Davey my boy

on September 19th, 2016 at 06:55am

Gentleman I was at the game and want to let all you guys know that one of your heifers a big one is out of the pasture and made her way into USBank. She is Blond about oh let's say 300lbs wore a packers Bandana and a Mathews Jersey. She is quite angry and a bit dangerous. So beware corralling this one could be an adventure. I think she is rumbling down henepin ave, again a bit to much to drink, very dangerous. Good luck

on September 19th, 2016 at 06:57am

Time to suck it up and admit the GB Era is over..winow is shut. Vikings are the elite team in the division and now have the best coach and talent. Rodgers days of dominating are done. Move on Sinikin.

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:38am

You are watching the decline of your savior Erin Rahgahs with your own eyes. Suck it Dave!

on September 19th, 2016 at 12:08am

Wait - a Packers fan called another fan arrogant? There isn't a more arrogant, obnoxious and football stupid base on the planet.

on September 19th, 2016 at 12:15am

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