Monty (4-1, 3-2 ATS): Shawn doesn’t seem to want to touch this one because when he picks the Green Bay Packers to lose, as he has done for the past two weeks, they win to spite him.
But I don’t give a shit. I have picked the Packers the past two weeks and they have done me right. I’m not stopping now.
The Packers are favored by three over the scummiest scum of the earth, the Minnesota Vikings. The Queens come in at 3-2 in what will be one of a handful of games that will decide the NFC North.
Unfortunately for them, they’re coming in without their top quarterback and receiver. Don’t get me wrong. The Vikings’ defense is something to reckoned with. Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes — all top-tier players. Griffen in particular could give the Packers fits. Not only is he a top-notch pass rusher, but who the hell knows who is going to line up for the Packers at tackle on any given week?
But let’s put that aside.
Case Keenum? Have you ever seen this turd play?
Living in Los Angeles, I have. He was on the Rams last year and boy, what the hell is this dude even doing in the league? I have no idea. If you like to watch offensive football where all the quarterback does is check down to the running back, well, you’re in for a treat today!
If the Packers’ defense can’t stop Case Keenum and a Vikings’ offense without their No. 1 receiver and running back (Dalvin Cook out for the year with a torn ACL), then they’re not stopping anyone.
So then it comes down to strength on strength. Aaron Rodgers vs. the Vikings’ D.
You know who I’m taking in that one right now.
Packers 24, Vikings 13
Shawn (2-3) (2-3)
I have a good run going, so to speak, or the Packers have a good run going at least. For the last two weeks, I picked against the Packers, and the Packers exceeded my expectations and won.
In fact, in beating the Dallas Cowboys last week, in a game the Cowboys really needed to win, the Packers staked their claim as one of the two or three best teams in the NFC, which is exactly what we and Vegas expected at the beginning of the season. Even with the defense predictably struggling, the offense and Aaron Rodgers were able to overcome against a good team.
In our podcast I explained my concern with picking the Packers now and breaking this streak. I am also aware, as are all of you, that the Minnesota Vikings are fully capable of taking the Packers down. Regardless of how the Packers are playing or what streak they are ever on, it seems like the rules change when they step foot in Minnesota.
We all know what happened last season. Sam Bradford had arguably the greatest game of his career and Stefon Diggs had his coming out party. That was also the beginning of the downslide for Damarious Randall, who in his rookie season and Week 1 of season two had played well.
However, neither Bradford nor Diggs are going to be playing in this game, and when you add the season-ending injury of Dalvin Cook into a running back situation forever in flux since Adrian Peterson left town, you have an offense that looked gag-worthy last week against Chicago.
The Minnesota Vikings still have one of the best defenses in football, and that’s the reason why they are still a threat. Yet, ironically, if you think about it, when the Vikings have beaten the Packers in the last 10 years, it has usually been because of their offense more than their defense. The Packers have been able to score on the Vikings pretty consistently regardless of how good their defense had been playing at the time.
The NFL is nearly impossible to read right now, but last week certainly suggested that the Packers are a much better team than the Vikings, even if that is mostly because of the stark difference at the quarterback position. Like just about everyone else in the world, that is why I am taking the Packers this week.
THE key in this game is David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga being back and containing the pass rush of Everson Griffin and Daniell Hunter. The Vikings have probably the second best secondary in the NFL, behind only the Broncos, with Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Terrance Newman all being capable cover guys. However, if they Vikings can’t get a rush on Rodgers, then it won’t matter. The Packers have other weapons they can use, and this could be the big game we’ve been waiting for from the tight end position.
I also feel like Aaron Jones should be able to find some running room against this defense, and if he does, that will add to the pressure on the secondary and make things even easier for Rodgers.
If the Vikings are going to win this game, they need to do three things: sack Rodgers, complete the ball to their tight ends and running backs, and win the turnover battle. Case Keenum looked much like Sam Bradford in the Vikings’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the other three games he has played, he has not looked so good. Like Bradford, Keenum looks often to his running back and tight end. The Packers will need to control those guys.
I believe this will be a close game with the Viking defense keeping them in it through most the game, but ultimately, unless they make big mistakes, the Packer offense will put up a little more than the Vikings offense.
Packers 24, Vikings 20