The Packers open the 2022 season with a bang on the road against division rival Minnesota Vikings. Last season, the Packers cruised to a 13-4 regular season record. After winning the division, the Packers’ season came to an abrupt finish after falling to the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Vikings look to improve upon an 8-9 season in 2021. Despite a sub-.500 record, they were 5-3 at home and have dangerous playmakers in Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen.
Last season, the Packers ranked 10th in scoring, but will have a big hole to fill with Davante Adams now with the Raiders. It’s impossible for one man to make up for the 123 receptions, over 1500 yards, and 11 touchdowns that Adams produced last season. Aaron Rodgers remains at the helm and is coming off a season in which he threw for over 4100 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Packers added receiver Sammy Watkins to help give Rodgers added targets to work with. Watkins had star potential coming out of college, but has fizzled and only caught 64 passes over the past two seasons in Kansas City and Baltimore. Allen Lazard appears to be ready to jump to the number one receiver, but he’s listed as questionable for the opener. Lazard caught 40 passes last season and scored eight touchdowns. Randall Cobb, tight end Robert Tonyan, and rookie wideout Christian Watson give Rodgers plenty to throw to against a Minnesota defense that ranked 28th in points allowed last season. Add in running back Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, who combined for over 1600 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground and the Packers should put plenty of points on the board.
The Vikings ranked 14th in scoring last season and face a Packers’ defense that ranked 14th in points allowed last season. Green Bay’s defense is relatively healthy heading into the opener with only free safety Darnell Savage listed on the injury report as questionable. Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw for 4221 yards and 33 touchdowns last season, leads Minnesota. His favorite targets will be Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, who torched opponents for 175 catches, over 2300 yards, and 20 touchdowns last season. The return of tight end Irv Smith Jr, who missed all of last season because of a torn meniscus, will further strengthen the Vikings’ passing game. Running back Dalvin Cook missed three games last season but still rushed for 1159 yards and six touchdowns. The Vikings enter the contest healthy with only right defensive end Jonathan Bullard among the starters listed as questionable.
Both teams have solid kicking games. For the Vikings, Greg Joseph hit nearly 87 percent of his field goal attempts, while Ryan Wright out of Tulane won the punting job in training camp over Jordan Berry, who averaged 46.5 yards per punt last season. Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby is coming off a poor 2021 campaign in which he hit only 73.5 percent of his field goal attempts. However, he’s been a model of consistency for most of his 15-year career.
Last season the teams split the two meeting, both teams winning at home. The Packers enter as a 1.5-point road favorite.
3 days until Packers football. Enjoy this 3 yard touchdown from John Kuhn in the 2012 Wild Card game, when the Packers got to knock the Vikings out of the playoffs 🥳 pic.twitter.com/3ai6dCZtNA