Too Optimistic? (Week 2): 3 Bold Predictions for Vikings-Packers

Minnesota Vikings' Harrison Smith intercepts a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith intercepts a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

So, its rivalry week! The Vikings head to Lambeau to face the cheese heads and we “aren’t sure” if either Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams will play. Sure, Rodgers is thinking about missing his revenge game? I’ll believe that when I believe that the price of popcorn at the movie theater is a “deal”. We all know they’re both playing and therefore the below predictions are based on this.

First off, I would like to point out that I went 1 for 3 with these predictions last week. Also: Danielle Hunter now knows who I am, which has nothing to do with my week 1 predictions but, I feel just overall better about myself now so I thought I’d share.

Alright…. back to business.

BOLD PREDICTION I: Our offensive line will not allow a sack this week:

Now, I get it, our offensive line isn’t the greatest. However, they actually didn’t perform all that badly last week, especially in pass protection. Cousins was only pressured on 12.8% of his snaps last week, which is good for 6th-best of his career, according to Chad Graff of The Athletic. The big problem with the offensive line in week one was run blocking. Dalvin Cook had 40 yards rushing last week, yet had 45 yards after contact….


Another week together, with what looks to be the same starting line as last week, should help as well. Even with the addition of Bryan Witzmann, the top unit will look the same until Pat Elflein gets healthy, or Witzmann gets up to speed.

I would anticipate more struggles in the running game again, due to the presence of Mike Daniels and a combination of Muhammed Wilkerson and Kenny Clark on the interior for Green Bay, however, the play action and quick throws should allow the offensive line to have a clean game.

BOLD PREDICTION II: Vikings defense holds Aaron Rodgers to less than 250 yards passing:

Aaron Rodgers is, unfortunately, one of the greatest QBs to ever play this game. That said, he is clearly hurt. If any QB could go off without being full strength, it would be him, but not against this defense. The Vikings defense did not statistically have their best game, yet still held Jimmy Garopollo to 261 yards passing and three interceptions.

One of Aaron Rodgers’ best aspects is his ability to get out of the pocket and extend plays, but on “mah knee” he might be hindered from doing so. Therefore, I anticipate a lot of quick passes or extra blockers to assist an offensive line that did not look great in the first half against the Bears. Look for the Vikings to only rush the “Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse” a majority of the game, allowing an extra man to drop back in coverage.


BOLD PREDICTION III: Jimmy Graham will not have a single catch:

Predictions II and III go somewhat hand in hand. It’s a bold take due to how poorly we played the tight end (George Kittle) position last week against the 49ers. Even with the big game, we got lucky when Kittle dropped a few key passes (one right before the Mike Hughes’ interception). Had those been caught, the outcome of the game might have been different.

Lets be honest as well, Jimmy Graham > George Kittle. However, Graham did not perform all that well last week, only having 2 catches for 8 yards. The Packers offensive scheme has never been friendly to tight ends over the last few years though. In years past they have had Jared Cook or Martellus Bennett who haven’t stuck around. Jimmy Graham is better than both those players, but it will take time for him to acclimate himself into the Packers offense.

Mike Zimmer is one of the best coaches in the NFL, but you don’t need me to tell you that. He will also see our poor play against the tight end last week and make that a point of emphasis this week. I anticipate more of George Iloka this week to cover Graham. There will also be more defensive snaps to go around as Mackenzie Alexander and Trae Waynes have been full go’s at practice this week.

Final Score prediction: Vikings 24 – Packers 20 (with Rodgers)

Ian Parrague @SuperSkolFan
Minnesota Sports Fan

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