At least going by their week 1 performance against the Falcons this past weekend, the Minnesota Vikings are going to be another early season challenge for new coach Matt LaFleur. Also, the Packers victory over the Bears looked a bit sloppier than what Minnesota was putting up. They dominated Atlanta in almost every way in their 28-12 victory. In fact, the game started out with Falcons QB Matt Ryan getting sacked the first play in a drive that ended with Minnesota blocking their punt. The Vikings then scored a TD their first possession. Once Atlanta took possession again, Ryan threw an interception. It was ugly.
The Vikings defense forced 3 turnovers including two interceptions by Vikings safety Anthony Harris. While they did give up some passing yardage to the Falcons late in the game, this was well past the point that Minnesota had a safe lead.
Offensively, Minnesota was very productive with their running game as Dalvin Cook had 21 carries for 111 yards and 2 TDs; this was Cook’s third 100-yard rushing game of his career. I recall a time when former Vikings RB Adrian Peterson incited feelings of terror in a Packers defense when I watch Cook at work. He is starting to hit his stride and that showed yesterday as he had 2 TDs — just as many rushing TDs as he had all last season in the 11 games he played. As far as comparing Cook to Peterson, he still needs to show that he can stay healthy and remain productive a full season before the rest of the division gets too worried.
Dalvin Cook joins Adrian Peterson as the only Vikings players to rush for 100 YDs and 2 TDs in the team's season opener. pic.twitter.com/2onq87dbKZ
Cousins only made 10 pass attempts which is a lot less than we will likely see when they go against the Packers. Let’s hope The Smiths will pass rush Cousins until, much like Trubisky, his will is broken. With guys like S Darnell Savage and CB Tony Brown, the Packers will need to leverage the speed of their defense like they recently did against the Bears. Obviously, the game being at Lambeau is going to help the Pack with some much needed additional leverage. Following the Bears victory, and playing another division rival at home the following week, I expect the crowd at Lambeau to be heard from many miles away.
I know some will say the Falcons were a terrible opponent anyway, but the Vikings really did exhibit an ability to capitalize on each of the Falcons’ mistakes and that’s something to be concerned with as mistakes are likely with so many recent changes at Green Bay. The Packers offensive line is the most worrying weak spot headed into the game. Can’t expect too much out of Rodgers when he is constantly getting dinged.