The Packers head to Minnesota to watch their opponent walk through a restaurant to the field. The Vikings have had a nice (3-2) start to their season, considering they’ve lost their starting quarterback, and probable star, rookie running back Dalvin Cook. Their defense has remained much healthier than last season, allowing them to pin the opposing offense to an attainable score for their offense to match. Mike Zimmer is an excellent coach that will make this conference showdown a difficult game for the Packers. His players, as always, are excited about the chance to take down the green and gold.

Key Matchups:

  • Packers O-line, Vikings D-line
    The Packers tackle position is as usual in question, as Jimmy Reilly breaks down in our weekly Injury Report. It’s possible the Packers have both of their starting tackles, but it’s been possible for weeks. The Vikings defensive line has the talent to make the hits Rodgers took in the Atlanta game a fond memory. Everson Griffin negotiated a huge contract extension before the season, and already has six sacks on the season. I’m sure he’s excited to prove he’s worth it against the best.

 

  • Packers Receivers, Vikings Secondary
    The Packers got the best of the Vikings back end last season, much like the Packers, Minnesota had a lot of injuries to their secondary. This go around, they’re healthy, and raring for the challenge. Xavier Rhodes has been terrific so far this season, with Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo playing like one of the best safety combinations in the league.
    For the Packers, Jordy Nelson was unable to finish the thriller in Dallas, but should play on Sunday, according to ESPN’S Rob Demovsky. If Jordy is not himself, Aaron Rodgers is going to have trouble making plays against this defense. Geronimo Allison and Martellus Bennett could end up being huge for the Packers, who rely on two big targets in the passing game.

Players to Watch:

  • Defense-Damarious Randall: After taking a lot of heat after the Chicago Bears Thursday night win, Randall was a game changing player for Dom Capers in Dallas. That’s great, he used his talents well. But, if he turns around and has a clunker in Minnesota, he’s right back to the dog house. He’s at the point in his Packers career, where it’s time to sink or swim. The Vikings will be without their star receiver Stefon Diggs, which is a good thing for Randall. He gets to avoid one of the best route runners in the game, as he tries to build his reputation. Adam Thielen proved to the Packers that he’s no slouch, and will provide a challenge, but at least Randall has the size advantage, he didn’t against Diggs.

 

  • Offense-Davante Adams: Derek Carr’s favorite Fresno State weapon has always had star receiver talent, now it’s his time to ascend. After the incredible turnaround from a night in the hospital to catching the game winning touchdown with 11 second remaining, he has a chance to never look back. He’s been a star receiver for two seasons, now the rhetoric may give him his due. If he has another monster game against a talented secondary, they’ll be plenty of hypothetical toasts for #17 in the week ahead.

Prediction:

Even though the Vikings are starting their back up, Case Keenum, their offense hasn’t hurt itself. They’re the only team through five weeks, yet to throw an interception. If the Packers struggle up front, which is very possible, the Packers have zero chance at comfortably winning the game. The most likely outcome, the Vikings protect their home restaurant with honor, but ultimately fall to the Packers 21-16.
 

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