It’s a Sunday night divisional showdown on the first Sunday of 2022 as the the Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay has already clinched the division while the Vikings are clinging to their slim playoff hopes. A Packers victory will essentially eliminate the Vikings from the Playoffs. Green Bay is now playing for the number one seed in the NFC playoffs. A win tonight and a Cowboys loss to the Cardinals, and the Packers have the number one seed locked up. The Packers are 7-0 at Lambeau Field this season and 20-3 since Matt LaFleur was hired. The road to the Super Bowl would then come through Lambeau Field. Our game preview will get ready with everything you need to know for this Sunday night matchup.
Game Preview: Packers vs Vikings
- When: Sunday, January 2, 2022
- Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Time: 7:20 pm CST
- TV: NBC
- Broadcasters: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Kathryn Tappen
- Odds: Packers favored by 13
- All-Time Record: Packers lead 63-56-3
- Last Meeting: Week 11 at Minnesota, Vikings 34 Packers 31
3 Things to Watch
Vikings Passing Attack vs Green Bay’s Pass Defense
The Vikings will be without their top 2 offensive weapons in quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Adam Thielen. The Vikings will be starting Sean Mannion at quarterback, who has not started a game since 2019. He’s a career 60.8 percent passer with just 5.2 yards per attempt, which is lower than all 32 qualified passers this season. So, there is no telling what the Vikings passing attack will look like. With Thielen out as well, the Vikings will be counting on other players to step up into roles that they are not used to. Green Bay has the advantage in this matchup. The secondary can control the game and force the Vikings to be one dimensional.
The Packers have been generating at least 1 turnover a game this season. They have paced the NFL with a plus-16 turnover differential. What has helped propel them to being 7-0 at Lambeau is the turnovers that they are creating. When they create more than 1 turnover, they end up winning the game. It is all about giving your offense extra opportunities to score points. With Jaire Alexander expected back this week and the Vikings starting backup quarterback Sean Mannion, their chances for turnovers tonight.
Stopping Dalvin Cook
Yes, I have focused on the defensive side of the ball for all 3 things to watch. I feel strongly that this is the one key to winning this game. In his last two games at Lambeau Field, Cook has rushed over 150 yards each time. With the Vikings starting at backup quarterback, they will be leaning heavily on Cook to carry the offensive load for them. In their three games since their bye week, the Packers have been out-gained 1,109-1,096. The defense has not exactly been playing well. They also rank 31st in the league in yards allowed per rushing attempt. They have been playing a bend but don’t break defense lately. Which, just win baby, any way you can. In their last matchup with the Vikings, the Packers held Cook to under 100 yards rushing. The defense is going to have to hold Cook to under 100 yards again to control the game and get the win.
Game Preview: Final Analysis
The Packers are simply the better team and have more depth than the Vikings. Being at Lambeau gives the Packers the advantage and I expect them to win at home. If the Vikings can control the clock and have success in the run game, they will keep this thing close. Aaron Rodgers at home will be too much for the Vikings to handle and I expect Rodgers and LaFleur to get some revenge from their week 11 matchup in Minnesota. Green Bay takes care of business in this one.
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