This coming Monday night, instead of the Vikings from the North being the invaders, it is they who will be invaded by the Green Bay Packers. A Trelleborg is a round Viking fortress, hence US Bank Stadium. With the Packers standing at 11-3 and the Vikings 10-4, this is another classic NFL North division game shaping up. This game is extremely important to both teams, as their seeding for the playoffs could take a turn after the outcome of this game. The Packers sit at the #2 Seed right now, and the Vikings are the #6 Seed. The Vegas line at this point is Vikings by 5.5 points. Coach Matt LaFleur has stated the goal the Packers are chasing at this point is the championship of the North Division. Winning on Monday Night Football against the Vikings would certainly achieve that.
Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer is playing his hand very close due to some key injuries to his squad. RB Dalvin Cook, CB Xavier Rhodes and S Jayron Kearse are among a few of the players listed as questionable. The Packers on the other hand, remain one of the healthiest teams in the league. We’ve already heard Coach LaFleur announce WR Jake Kumerow has earned and will see an increase in playing time. Coach is only a few weeks behind me in figuring this one out, as Kumerow is averaging nineteen yards per catch. Let’s hope Jake doesn’t disappoint. Mike Pettine may also have a few tricks up his sleeve this time around to stop the Vikings potent offense. It appears DBs Chandon Sullivan and Josh Jackson may have earned more playing time with their recent performances. The Packers can ill afford whichever Viking RB suits up, to get into any kind of rhythm. I believe the Packers defense will rise to the occasion.
For those of you concerned with the Packer’s identity, I’ll give you a choice of two, versatility and winners. You may find it interesting, two of the 11-3 squads have a low win differential, Green Bay at +47 and Seattle at +26. You also may find it interesting, the Packers “average” QB Aaron Rodgers 3463/24/2 is right there with Patrick Mahomes’ 3606/23/4, Brady 3566/21/7 and Cousins 3481/25/5. The top five QBs Winston, Prescott, Rivers, Goff and Ryan probably won’t even make the playoffs. Under LaFleur’s offense Rodgers no longer has to throw for 400+ yards, he has a running game and a defense. As Ryan Wood (Packer’s beat reporter) recently said, “Rodgers can concentrate on winning now.”
Expect a big games this week from both running backs Jones and Williams, WR’s Adams, Kumerow and Lazard, and watch for TE Jace Sternberger to “come out!” The Packers offense should like the fast track indoors at US Bank Stadium. The defense will limit the Vikings run game and remain opportunistic, picking off a Cousins pass or two. I see a high scoring game, take the “over” (46), Packers 34, Vikings 27.
As Always, Go Pack Go!!!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter