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Week 2 Predictions: Packers at Vikings

Shawn (1-0, 0-1 ATS): After taking care of business as expected last week, the Green Bay Packers get the big game that the NFL and undoubtably Minnesota Vikings fans have been waiting for since the schedule came out. The Packers get to travel to Minnesota to help the Vikings open their new stadium, since obviously, like the Jaguars, the Vikings need the Packers’ help to pique interest.

I may attempt to downplay the significance of this game. After all, it is only week 2 and there is going to be a hell of a lot of football to play regardless of what happens this Sunday. However, it is perhaps understated that the Packers v. Vikings is one of the best rivalries in the NFL right now. There should be no question that I believe the Vikings — franchise, ownership, coaches, players and fans — to be the most hated among Packers fans.

In fact, I don’t even think the Chicago Bears are close, unless you are over 50. I believe that if you polled Packers fans right now, the most hated would be the Vikings and the Bears probably wouldn’t even take second because they would finish behind the Seahawks.

And it’s fitting that the Seahawks should enter the conversation. As I’ve asserted on the podcast, the Vikings really are trying to BE the Seahawks. They are not trying to beat the Packers by being the Packers, as the Bears and Lions have done. They have taken a wiser turn by emulating the teams that have actually beaten the Packers.

The way to beat the Packers isn’t to put lipstick on Matt Stafford or Jay Cutler by giving them all these expensive weapons to play with and then pretend they are Aaron Rodgers. The way to beat the Packers is to build a defense that can stop Aaron Rodgers (and Mike McCarthy by extension), while having an offense that is not going to make the mistakes that Rodgers (and McCarthy) can take advantage of.

So that’s how I see this game — Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense against the Vikings defense. And that does give me reason for concern. Though they got the job done and put up 27 points, the Packers offense didn’t look far different than 2015 last week. In 2015, this wasn’t a good match-up for the Packers, though they did find a way to beat the Vikings at Minnesota. Regardless, of what happened last week, this week against this defense will give us a better idea on how far this offense has progressed.

I expect to see a healthy dose of Eddie Lacy because he’s had good success against the Vikings in the past. I also expect to see more two tight end sets and more action for Jared Cook. As long as Rodgers plays his game, Lacy his and Cook gets involved, I see the Packers having at least 24 points of success against the Vikings defense, and wouldn’t be surprised to see more.

Sam Bradford will get the start at QB, and I expect to see the Packers defense get after him. Of course, that will be much easier if they stop Adrian Peterson first. AP has had a history of success against the Packers, but guess what, the Packers have still won over two-thirds of those games. The red zone will be the key area for the Packers defense. Even if they let AP run wild between the 20s, they can keep the score down by stopping him in the red zone. If that happens, then the Vikings will have to rely on Bradford to get them in the end zone and that could turn into a disaster.

The REAL story out of this game might be how the Packers defense was overlooked in all the hype about the Vikings defense. Sure, Sam Shields is out, but if there was a game where the Packers might have wanted to consider starting Quentin Rollins on the outside anyway, this was it. Rollins is a better tackler than Shields (as am I), and that might be more valuable in this game than coverage skills.

On the other hand, the Vikings’ top corner, Xavier Rhodes, is also out and so is defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who the Vikings may have wanted to challenge Lane Taylor with. The Vikings will look to overcome the loss of those guys on defense, but this surely isn’t the right week to be without them. With the Packers having the full arsenal of receivers for this game, including Trevor Davis, the injury to Rhodes could especially be a factor.

I picked the Packers to lose in Minneapolis last year. That didn’t work out for me. The Vikings will be starting a quarterback who has never started for them before. The Packers are the favorite and they should win.

Packers 24, Vikings 16

Adrian Peterson is Jesus

Monty (1-0, 0-1 ATS): Well, I clearly expected too much from the Green Bay Packers last week. Although I knew Jacksonville wouldn’t be a pushover, I expected the Packers to win by 10. In hindsight, that was both laughable and idiotic, as I have been harping on the fact that the offense was going to be rusty as hell coming out of the gate.

They were. Or maybe Fat Mike’s stale, buffoonish approach is just past its shelf life. The Packers offense didn’t really look any different than it did in 2015. Aaron Rodgers was maybe a little sharper. Eddie Lacy is maybe a little more in shape (although he looks exactly the same to me). Regardless, it’s the same stupid offense we’ve been seeing for over a year now. If we’re wise to that fact, the rest of the NFL probably is too.

They probably know how to defend it as well. What’s more, it’s the same personnel.

Oh, I’ve got this new tight end I’ve been publicly demanding. Not gonna use him!

We’ve got seven damn receivers. But look, three are really the most I can manage to work into a game.

We’re going to commit to the run this year. Except, nah… I was just saying that.

Totally honestly, I think when the Packers win a game, they do so despite their fucking Buffoon of a head coach. But that’s a story for another time.

The point, in terms of this game, is I expect the Packers offense to cling tight to the status quo. I don’t expect that side of the ball to be able to control this game. The good news is, the Vikings have two key injuries on defense (which Shawn addressed). They also have a quarterback who 1. wasn’t any good to begin with, and 2. has only been trying to assimilate his offense for two weeks.

Normally, I would suggest that wouldn’t matter. The Vikings could just run that child abusing scumbag Adrian Peterson on first, second and third down. That would be enough to beat the Packers. But things have changed.

The Packers run defense was amazing in week 1, allowing only 48 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Peterson gained just 31. If Dom Capers has half a brain under that toupee, he’ll gear up to stop Peterson and dare Bradford and the Vikings’ shitty receivers to beat the Packers’ secondary.

There’s no way a Vikings’ aerial attack is beating the Packers on this day, even with Sam Shields out. That is, unless Quinten Rollins decides to fall victim to every double move he sees again.

To me, Rollins is the biggest key to this game. If he bounces back from last week’s craptacular effort — and I expect him to — the Vikings shouldn’t be able to do shit on offense.

And that really renders the Packers’ offensive struggles and Fat Mike’s gravy-filled head — seriously, if you cut his skull open, you could use it as a gravy boat and pour the contents over some mashed potatoes — moot.

Mmmmmm… gravy.

The Packers are favored by between two and three points. If you believe the Packers are going to win, and I do, then you bet the Packers. The defense carries the day and that’s something you may as well get used to.

Packers 20, Vikings 16

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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26 Comments

  1. PF4L September 18, 2016

    You don’t have to be anywhere near 50 to appreciate the Packer/Bear history and rivalry. You simply only need be a Packer fan.

    The Vikings rivalry didn’t really start until Moss fake mooned Packer fans, and Favre joined the vikings. Neither of which i give any fucks about. I mean, is our main rival a team that hangs a Divisional banner?

    If the Packers lose, it will be either because of the 0 line, or the secondary, or both. But i still don’t see that happening. With offsetting injury’s of Shields/Rhodes, i’m looking at the game as Rodgers vs Bradford, which QB do you want to lay your money on?

    The fact that the Vikings our opening there new stadium means next to nothing to me, other than a new place to lose.

    I’ll take Rodgers and the Packers by 17.

  2. Ted Hawthorne September 18, 2016

    It’s hard to improve on Shawn’s post, but here goes. McCarthy may be stupid, but
    Zimmer isn’t. He’s starting Bradford to deliver accurate, short passes to tight ends
    and screens to running backs. That sets up the run for AP. Zimmer will work the
    plodding Jake Ryan and our pathetic ILB’s. (A position which TT has had 4 fucking
    years to fix, but refuses.) Zimmer will spring some surprises, maybe on kickoffs,
    reverses, a trick play or two. On defense Barr will cause havoc, and the line will
    stuff slow Fat Ed on the “ridiculous slide to the outside and lose 3 yards” running
    play. Zimmer will overpower Lane Taylor, possibly getting AR hurt, creating a INT
    or fumble. The Queens weakness is their secondary, but MM will fail to exploit it.
    If I’m the coach I run Janis on a post the first play from scrimmage–scare the shit
    out of them. Push those safeties back, then screen to Starks, and delays to Eddie.
    Send Cook across the middle. THAT’S how to beat the asshole Vikings–but MMTTDC
    find a way to lose it. Evil Vikings 20, Stupid Pack 17.

    1. Killer September 18, 2016

      I’ll right, I will put forth some predictions:

      * AD 121 yards, 2 TDs
      * Bradford throws 3 passes for over 30 yards
      * Rodgers does very well with a lot of yards
      * Rodgers is sacked 3 times including a very hard hit by Barr that forces a fumble
      *Lacey is held under 50 yards running
      *Bradford throws as many interceptions as TDs — new offense
      *Vikings leading receiver is Rudolph the Red-Nosed TE with over 80 yards

      Vikings win a nail-biter 20-19 with a late Walsh FG.

      I hope and pray neither team has any injuries.

      1. PF4L September 18, 2016

        Should we sing Kumbaya together after the game? Who cut your sack off?

      2. Vikesforprez September 19, 2016

        Pretty close…except Rodgers fumbled more and Bradford didn’t turn over the ball…ohh and Rodgers did not do any of those positive things you said…but honestly you were closer than most?

        1. Vikesforprez September 19, 2016

          Good job killer

  3. rebelgb September 18, 2016

    If I had to write a prediction, it would be Shawns almost word for word (well I couldnt write anything that good so id just copy and paste). I would add one caviat though: How many times have we seen a backup or new QB for some reason or another have a career day against the Packers? If Sam Bradford comes out and suddenly for 3 or 4 quarters looks like the former first pick of the draft he is; the Packers lose the game. Only because Minnesota even short 2 starters has a better defense than 75% of the rest of the league, and because the Queens are at home.

    If Bradford looks like the Ryan Leaf clone he truly is, then the Packers win by 17.

    1. Icebowl September 18, 2016

      Wow, Ryan Leaf ….. thats digging deep.
      I dont see Bradford being that bad…. His strength is that he folows coach’s commands, doesn’t try to improvise. And thst could allow Zimmer to really mess w the D (see Mr. Hawthorns excellent comments).

      However you make a good point about the possible upset….. The risk is coaching and players going into this game with overconfidence. Staple of watching Packers for 49 years (and still hating the Bears more than any other team) Almost burned them last week…..

  4. Icebowl September 18, 2016

    The child beater kills our D, 120 yds, 2 tds…
    But Rodgers saves the day…
    GB 24 – Q 17

    1. PF4L September 18, 2016

      Peterson got his ass beat last week like a bastard child on his yearly visit from his father. It’s time for Martinez to walk the walk to match his talk. He can make a name for himself tonight.

      1. Killer September 18, 2016

        Typical Packer class there PF4L. You are a true reflection of the Bratwurst Herd.

        1. PF4L September 18, 2016

          That was funny, i don’t care who ya are.

  5. Zwoeger September 18, 2016

    I think where Shawn says expect he means what MM should do but helas. I expect Hawthorne to be close to nail it.

  6. Howard September 18, 2016

    QB’s new to a system are usually smart enough to go to their TE’s and RB’s. I would hope Burnett is not assigned to cover Rudolph, and hopefully Gunter if used as a slot corner improves from last week. Still concerned that the Packer D line is not stout enough against a power run team. Hopefully one of the 3 rookie D lineman show up this game. Minnesota does have a better interior O line this year, even though still not sold on their tackles. OLBs from the Pack should beat the Viking tackles.

    The Viking D to me has always been a very good tackling team. Last week against the Titans I saw more missed tackles from the Vikings than you normally see in a 4 game stretch. Please just run straight at the Vikings or off tackle. The Vikings flow well to the ball if you try to go outside. Think vertical offense this game in the run and pass game.

    The kicker for the Vikings missed 2 field goals and an extra point last week. After the playoff lose last year Walsh is struggling. Under pressure at home you can guarantee the missed kicks are in his head. That could be the difference in the game in the Packs favor as long as the team does not let the Vikings return a big one.

    The Pack just need to overcome the energy that the Vikings team and fans will have at the start of the game. Keep it close and Finish Strong! GO PACK!!!

  7. PF4L September 18, 2016

    Just so there is no confusion when i make a prediction, the fact that i don’t bring up our weak D-line, miscommunications, bonehead clock management, unproven ilb’s, secondary giving QB’s open targets, our receivers not getting separation, Rollins playing a starting role without having starter talent. Is simply because i choose to ignore those issues when i make predictions. When i make predictions, that is the one time i get thirsty enough to drink the kool-aid.

    Packers by 17

    1. PF4L September 19, 2016

      No more kool aid for me.

  8. Cheese September 18, 2016

    Of course the first pass of the game is to davante, and of course he fumbles it. The pass interference on that long ball shouldn’t have mattered either because he should have fucking caught that. Just worthless.

  9. Icebowl September 18, 2016

    My thoughts exactly Cheese….
    Hail Marys coming early – WTF
    Gonna be an interesting 2nd half…

  10. Nic September 18, 2016

    For the life of me I don’t understand why davante is still on the field. MM is pathetic

    1. MMTTDCSUCK September 19, 2016

      MM plays favorites . . . He has always done this.

  11. Nic September 18, 2016

    Let me say it again MM is pathetic his play calling is so vanilla what a waste of talent. bafoon is out doing himself tonight

  12. Icebowl September 18, 2016

    Obviously plan to contain focus on AP and “dare” Bradford to throw failed….
    Capers has backup plan…
    Bradford to Diggs making GB secondary look like Keystone Kops…..
    I’m turning it off……

  13. PF4L September 18, 2016

    I don’t know what Rodgers was thinking on that pick he threw. That throw was lofted and ended up on the inside of Adams, when it should have had more velocity and thrown to Adam’s outside shoulder.

    There was so much else wrong, i just want to bypass it and not get wound up. I miss the Packer offense i remember. Now i’m not even sure or hopeful i’ll see it again, who knows.

  14. Vikesforprez September 18, 2016

    You guys really lose your cool fast… You’ll beat the lions and im sure you’ll be “back in business”…” RELAX” “we’re clicking now” type overreaction and overconfidence that creates what you call packer haters…just so you know the “haters” are born from the snotty pack fans..not the realistic humble fans that actually understand football. And those young haters evolve into packer hating men as most packer fans wrongfully believe that every player on your roster is better than every player on another teams roster. Literally those types of fans can only admit one player on an opposing team is better than your same positional player. Like ap or maybe Calvin johnson. Other than that y’all think every cb..every lineman is superior for some odd reason.. Its the NFL.. Like today I’ve heard the excuse Sam shields was out…well so was Xavier Rhodes..guess what most of you instantly have Sam shields as a better corner as an excuse to why that affected you more..see what I’m saying…so just remember your whole roster isn’t better than any team on the other side..clearly not tonight.. And it may help you understand that losing isn’t always mm TT the prez…sometimes guys…..your team is just not as good

    1. Vikesforprez September 18, 2016

      And guys this is not trolling.. I’m just trying to help you guys through what may be a tough time….and to help rationally explain some of your past excuse filled losses. Just as when you win you “know” your the better team…take this in and see it from the other side….the vikings must be the better team now

  15. MMTTDCSUCK September 19, 2016

    After watching these past two weeks, it is apparent that MM’s play calling and game awareness has NOT improved from last year. In fact, It may have regressed . . .