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Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings - NFL Week 1
September 13, 2020
1:00 PM ET
U.S. Bank Stadium
About the Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to the NFC Championship last season but came up short as he will be poised and focused to get back to another Super Bowl. Once again, Rodgers will have the luxury of being protected by one of the best offensive lines in the NFL anchored by LT David Bakhtiari. RT Bryan Bulaga left via free agency and the Packers compensated for the loss with the signing of RT Rick Wagner who is a brawler at the line of scrimmage and plays with a mean streak. There is some concern among the lack of weapons Rodgers has to throw to as WR Davante Adams is the only dependable player Rodgers can trust until someone else proves otherwise. RB Aaron Jones had a breakout season last year totaling 16 TD’s and producing his first 1,000 yard season. Jones is a dual-threat who can run between the tackles and catch passes out of the backfield. LB Christian Kirksey is the newest addition to the Packers defense as Pro Football Focus ranks their defense at #7 overall. Kirksey brings a physical demeanor while his skill set allows him to both rushes the passer and drop into coverage. LB’s Preston Smith and Zadarius Smith both look to capitalize on the impact they had last season as the duo combined for 25 ½ sacks.
About the Vikings
QB Kirk Cousins returns after finally having success in the postseason and earning his 1st career playoff victory. He will attempt to lead the Vikings to greener pastures this time around hopefully ending in him hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Gary Kubiak replaces Kevin Stefanski as an offensive coordinator, so they shouldn’t expect too many changes to the offensive scheme as Kubiak served as the Vikings assistant head coach and as an offensive advisor last year. While TE Kyle Rudolph is still very effective and still serves as a reliable red-zone target, look for the Vikings to get Irv Smith more involved in the offense. He is capable of creating mismatches in the passing game with his size and speed and can create separation after the catch. The Vikings failed to sign DE Everson Griffen but compensated for the loss by trading for DE Yannick Ngakoue who should form a dangerous tandem with DE Danielle Hunter who can disrupt opponents’ pass game with an aggressive pass rush coming off the edge.
Players to Watch
Jaire Alexander (Packers): Most likely to match up against WR Adam Thielen, Alexander has a good man to man coverage ability with his speed, size, and willingness to jam WRs at the line of scrimmage.
Danielle Hunter (Vikings): Basically unblockable, it will be interesting to see if he will be able to penetrate Aaron Rodgers's wall of protection and wreak havoc.
Josiah Deguara (Packers): Just how big of a role will Deguara assume in his rookie season? With TE’s Mercedes Lewis and Jace Sternberger in the fold, it may be difficult for Deguara to get any real playing time, even though he does provide the Packers with good depth at the position.
Cameron Dantzler (Vikings): It is yet to be seen how much Dantzler will see the field, but he is a highly underrated prospect who has gone up against the best WR’s the SEC had to offer during his tenure at Mississippi State and should be great in coverage once he learns the nuances of the position.
This division rivalry ends up becoming a shootout that Rodgers wins with a TD pass on the final possession of the game.
Final Score: Packers 35 / Vikings 34