The Vikings are legit. They want to run it and want to play defense. It might take a little longer than expected for this Green Bay offense to get going.
Week 1 didn’t provide any optimism that Green Bay’s offense will be better with Matt LaFleur replacing Mike McCarthy. The Vikings will keep this one close, at the very least, behind an elite defense that has consistently been able to limit Aaron Rodgers’ effectiveness under Mike Zimmer.
Best game of the week. The Vikings (1-0) and Packers (1-0) are the NFC North’s two best teams, and one gets a nice leg up in the race early. Green Bay is at home and has the better quarterback, so give me the Packers in a tight one.
The Bears did the Packers a solid in Week 1 by not playing to their offensive strengths (52 pass plays to 13 run plays). The Vikings, meanwhile, have found an offensive formula that works, relying much more on their rushing attack since firing offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and replacing him with Kevin Stefanski toward the end of last season. Expect Minnesota’s excellent defense to shut down Aaron Rodgers and Co. enough to squeak out a road win.
We all overreact to Week 1. We wait seven months for NFL football to return, and we’ll pick apart the one-game sample size. But some overreactions are justified and a look at things to come. Patrick Mahomes’ great game against the Chargers in last season’s opener is a prime example. The Vikings looked amazing last week. They destroyed the Falcons; the 28-12 final didn’t indicate how dominant they were. The Packers defense looked good but the offense didn’t. It’s hard to tell if the Packers are still grasping a new scheme or if we can excuse that performance due to the Bears defense. Either way, I’m buying the Vikings and am happy to grab a field goal.
Minnesota looked dominant in a home win over Atlanta, stopping the Falcons' attack on all levels. Green Bay unveiled its new defense in a road win again Chicago, making this one look like a real throwback game. Another early-season barometer game.
Both teams should expect some tough sledding in the running game, so it comes down to who can produce clutch pass plays against a high degree of difficulty. That’s the big-game advantage that goes to Aaron Rodgers over Kirk Cousins, who will end up making the bigger mistakes.
The problem for the Zimmer is that he's actually going to have to let Cousins throw the ball if the Vikings fall behind in a game, and that's exactly what I expect to happen in Green Bay. The Packers have an improved defense, they'll be coming off of 10 days of rest and they're unbeatable at home in September -- and when I say "unbeatable at home in September," I mean they're 12-0-1 in their past 13 games.
Much tougher test for Minnesota this week after the Falcons gifted them a couple of short drives. Packers punter J.K. Scott will be able to pin the Vikings deep, and Minnesota should find it far more difficult to move the ball against an apparently stout Packers defense. One more (long) week in Matt LaFleur’s system should lead to improvement for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense. Read more at: https://nesn.com/2019/09/nfl-week-2-picks-odds-analysis-and-predictions-for-every-game-2/
The Packers will be more rested after playing on Thursday. Their offense was awful against the Bears, but I think it's better here. This could be a low-scoring game, but I think the home team will take it behind their defense.
The Vikings attempted 10 passes in their 28-12 win over the Falcons as 3.5-point favorites. They built a big early lead so much of the split — they tallied 38 rushes — was game-dependent but they say they remain committed heavily to the run game. That shouldn’t work against a rebuilt and rugged Packers’ defense.
The Falcons turned the ball over three times in Week 1, giving the Vikings great field positioning throughout the game. You know what Aaron Rodgers doesn’t do? Turn the ball over. Also, Dalvin Cook has never had consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Green Bay held Chicago to just 3 yards per carry in Week 1, and if Cook struggles, there’s more pressure on Kirk Cousins to throw the ball more, which might not be the best thing.
Coach Matt LaFleur was supposed to bring the N.F.L.’s offensive revolution to Green Bay, but in a season-opening road win in Chicago, the Packers (1-0) showed a lot more aptitude on defense. Having a healthy Aaron Rodgers starting at home against the Vikings (0-1), a division rival he loves to beat up at Lambeau (7-2-1 for his career), will most likely wake things up on that side of the ball.