Week One in the NFL is now in the books and I’d say most games turned out as expected. The Packers were one of the few teams who provided a surprise, taking out the favored Bears at Soldier Field. That game was a gift to Packer’s fans and mostly to first year Head Coach Matt LaFleur. The NFC has it’s usual cast of favorites, Bears, Packers, Vikings, Cowboys, Saints, Eagles, and Seahawks. The AFC, well the AFC is who we thought they’d be, Patriots, Patriots, Patriots, Chiefs, maybe Chargers, that’s about it. I feel most sorry for the Jacksonville Jaguars, losing QB Nick Foles in the first game to a collarbone injury. Packer fans have been there, done that, don’t ever want to do it again.
Week Two, here come the Minnesota Vikings, with their new found running game. The Vikings rushed for 175 yards against the Falcons, led by their star RB Dalvin Cook. In the past, when he played for Detroit, Ameer Abdullah has caused the Packers problems, I’m wondering if we’ll see a dose of him. It’s hard to believe an offense who threw the ball 40+ times per game last year came out against the Falcons and ran 75% of the time. What’s also hard to believe is that with WR’s Stefan Diggs, Adam Thielen, Treadwell, and TE Kyle Rudolph, that Mike Pettine and his Packer’s defense will see a similar game plan. I’m predicting more of a balanced attack versus the Packers because QB Kirk Cousins has had success throwing versus the Packers. Mike Pettine will become creative in this game and have some surprises in store for the Vikings.
Green Bay’s front seven on defense has a much different look than in the past as well. The D-Line of Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, and Montaveous Adams will be up to the task versus the running game. This season, different from previous seasons the Packers have OLBs Preston Smith, Za’ Darius Smith, and rookie first round draft pick Rashon Gary who can all put their hand in the ground. The MLB position will be interesting, we know Blake Martinez will be there, but will we see Ty Summers, B.J. Goodson or both join him. On the back end this 2019 Packer defense appears to be solid. At the CB position we know Jaire Alexander and Tramon Williams can hold their own, it’s the Kevin King/Tony Brown position that concerns me. The Packer’s Safety combination of Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage are more than up to the task of defending the pass. I believe Mike Pettine and his defense will be able to slow the Vikings offense much better than the Falcons.
On the offensive side of the ball, Matt LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett will have to establish the run in order to sell the play action, much better than they did against the Bears. We know all about the Vikings defense, and they did not disappoint versus the Falcons. They harassed Matt Ryan the whole game and stifled the Falcon’s offense. Aaron Rodgers will see rushers in his face all game, much like he did last Thursday night. By Rodgers own admission he and the offense will need to be more efficient in the huddle, so they can get to the line of scrimmage sooner. This would allow him to survey the defense longer and get to more of LaFleur’s offense. Once again, I saw a couple plays where WR’s were running the wrong route, or not finishing a route. One play in particular, two of the Packers young WR’s were both running a “go route” along the left sideline. Another play, saw Rodgers having to tell the WR’s where to line up. All of those mental errors must stop this season and soon.
All in all we will see another competitive game this week. I don’t see 10-3 again, but I also don’t see 34-30. If the Packers can stay with the Vikings on both sides of the ball I’ll be happy. A home victory for Matt LaFleur would be very nice here, especially over a division opponent. But, he will get a home victory soon regardless, because five out of the next six are at home! Beat the Vikings!
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter