NFC Game Of The Week
Green Bay Packers (1-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
Packers: The offense wasn’t necessarily jaw dropping on Sunday in Jacksonville, but you saw the immediate impact Jordy Nelson had as he made his return. With him back in the game, it gives Aaron Rodgers his go-to guy down the field and his top red zone target. Most importantly, he opens up the field and his presence allows the other receivers to see man to man coverage’s because he’s always drawing so much attention. He’s made all the difference and probably helps them get over the hump and come out the conference in the NFC. What will keep the Packers from advancing to the big game is Rodgers throwing the football over 45 times a game and the defense which has always been a topic of discussion when you break the Packers down. If they can play just how they did when they won the Super Bowl in 2011, they could be a very scary team to face. They’re one of the few teams to begin the season with two straight games on the road and on Sunday night, they’ll face a very familiar opponent.
Vikings: Yes, they are 1-0 and I understand that it was the Titans they defeated in their home opener but everyone is saying they need to make a change at quarterback and put Sam Bradford in and I would continue to stick with Shaun Hill to see what he can do because number one, Sam is still a newly acquired player and two, he’s probably still studying the playbook. In a situation like this, I go by the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Shaun Hill didn’t look too bad if you look at it. He completed 18 of 33 pass attempts and threw for 236 yards. He didn’t have to really take the game over because the defense did just that to help him out. Adrian Peterson didn’t look all that great either, but a win is a win nonetheless. Sunday night, they welcome the Packers to open up U.S. Bank Stadium and face Green Bay for the first time since going to Lambeau and winning the NFC North division title on their field last January.
Packers Player To Watch– Jared Cook: This was an under the radar signing for the Packers and this gave Aaron Rodgers another offensive threat down the field. In the game on Sunday against Jacksonville, he drew a huge pass interference play. Cook is a 6’5” threat that can stretch the field and draw mismatches all over.
Vikings Player To Watch– Kyle Rudolph: Norv Turner is still the offensive coordinator and one thing he’s always done best when calling the offensive plays is utilizing the tight end. Look at what he did in San Diego with Antonio Gates all those years. The Vikings have weapons on the perimeter in Stefon Diggs who I raved about last season and a rookie in LaQuon Treadwell who could also become big time. AP will get his and Kyle Rudolph needs to be established early on to put pressure on that Packers defense who have been one of the worst teams statistically when it comes to defending the tight end. Get Micah Hyde defending Rudolph and the Vikings will by far have the edge.
Prediction: This is considered to be a bitter rivalry to some but Mike Zimmer couldn’t have been more accurate with his comments during his press conference earlier this week. He stated that for this to be a rivalry, his team would have to beat the Packers more. This will be a different looking Packers team that’s coming to Minnesota on Sunday, especially a much different looking offense than the one they saw twice last year. I like the Packers to get another win on the road. Packers 31 Vikings 20.