It is rivalry week at the Green Bay Packers head north to take on the Minnesota Vikings in an important NFC North Matchup. The Packers will look to take a commanding lead in the NFC North standings. A win and the Packers will lead the division by 5 games with only 7 weeks remaining. They would nearly have the division wrapped up and can then focus on the playoffs. A trip to Minnesota always comes with uncertainty as anything can happen in the dome and the Vikings always have a new wrinkle or surprise for Rodgers. Our game preview will get you ready with everything you need to know.
Game Preview: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
- When: Sunday, November 21 at 12 pm CST
- Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- TV: FOX
- Broadcasters: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver
- Odds: Packers favored by 2.5 points
- Last Meeting: Week 8 in 2020 at Lambeau Field; Vikings 28 Packers 22
- All-Time Series: Packers lead 63-55-3
3 Things to Watch
Packers Rush Defense
In the Vikings victory last season at Lambeau Field, Dalvin Cook rushed for 163 yards on 30 carries. The Packers rush defense has not been dominant this season and they are going to have to wrap up and stay in their lanes to limit Cook and control the Vikings offense. This is going to be a great test for the Packers linebackers of De’Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes. The Vikings have hurt the Packers in the past with a strong run game. If the D-Train can limit Cook, then the secondary can just focus on the air attack that the Vikings have been successful with this season.
Limit Vikings big plays
The Packers defense has been successful in limiting big plays through the air this season has they have relied on a bend but don’t break philosophy. This is the Vikings though and they are playing in U.S. Bank Stadium, anything has happened to Green Bay in Minnesota. The Vikings offense, lead by Kirk Cousins has relied and been successful with big plays through the air this season. Justin Jefferson is the Vikings big play receiver as he has been on the receiving end of 7 of the Vikings 16 big plays this season of over 20 yards. The way for the Packers to beat this is to make Cousins complete passes underneath and slowly try and move the ball downfield. This will create opportunities where Cousins will make mistakes and the Packers defense can capitalize.
Apply Pressure on Cousins
In the NFL, it does not matter who you are playing the key is to always get pressure on the quarterback, which will lead to defensive success. If Kirk Cousins has time to throw the ball, he can pick any defense apart and find the big explosive plays that the Vikings offense relies on. The key here to to generate pressure with the front four. Any quarterback in the league struggles when they are pressured. Cousins completes less than 50 percent of his passes and has a average of 4.3 yards per attempt when pressured. It will be up to Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith to generate that consistent pressure on Cousins all game. This will lead to sacks and turnovers. By throwing Cousins off his mark, it will disrupt their offense and it will be the path to a Packer victory.
Game Preview: Final Analysis
Playing in Minnesota has never been easy for the Packers and it’s been an unpredictable place as crazy things have happened. I don’t expect this to be an easy game for the Packers. The keys are to limit the Vikings big plays, control Dalvin Cook, win the turnover battle, and control the clock. If they can do this, then the Packers should win this game. I believe the Packers are the better team but this will be a close game. This will probably end up being a 7 point game if I had to take a guess as at.
Go Pack Go!
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag