Bad blood is the main point of topic here for this Week one clash between two heated divisional rivals in the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. Two rivals who are also the presumed top dogs in the NFC North division.
Unless you have been living under a rock over the course of the last week; then you should be highly familiar with not only the nature of this contest but also the words of former Green Bay Packer Za’Darius Smith who is now on the opposing side of the field.
The Packers are heading into this contest as the usual heavy favorites against their divisional foe. They have collected each divisional title since 2019; much to the chagrin of their next-door rivals who have not won a divisional title since 2017.
However, one article of concern for the Packer franchise has not been an issue for numerous years – the franchise rostering an “elite” type of talent at the wide receiver position.
The expectation was that Allen Lazard would take over the number one wide receiver position after the departure of star receiver Davante Adams in the 2022 offseason.
Fast forward to Week one and Lazard may not even suit up for the Packers. Lazard is currently dealing with a foot issue and is considered doubtful to play on Sunday.
Questionable tags have also been placed on starting offensive tackles Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari. The tackles have not seen significant time together on the field since 2020 with both dealing with lingering issues from Knee surgery.
With a very cloudy wide receiver room at this point, the onus will be on veteran receivers Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb to lead a roster full of young and rookie talent behind them at the position.
This very well could be the most unproven receiver core that star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has ever had at his disposal.
The expectation here would be the Packers relying on a heavy dose of the run game with newly minted captain Aaron Jones and his bruising backfield mate in AJ Dillon.
Minnesota is a wildcard every season, and not just in terms of their regular season standing. They have a slew of holes at many positions but do possess a very talented offensive.
Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins is surrounded by one of the most dynamic supporting casts in the league on offense in running back Dalvin Cook and the receiving pair of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
If there is a strength though on this Packers team, it would seem to be the defense.
The defensive unit is a star-studded assortment of talent that should be the driving force for this franchise this season, and it very may well be the best defensive group that Aaron Rodgers has had to back him in the entirety of his reign as a quarterback in Green Bay.
With a vaunted defense and one of the best backfield tandems in the entire league, the Packers should once again add misery to the Minnesota Vikings, even if it is an away game and there are some glaring holes in the armor of the NFC North favorite.
Prediction Score: Packers 35, Vikings 10——————