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Predictions for the Vikings Week 2 matchup against the Packers

Can Minnesota continue their success against Green Bay?
Stefon Diggs

The Vikings travel to Lambeau field Sunday for a date with Danica Patrick's ex-boyfriend Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

A win on Sunday will put either team on top of the NFC North, unless there's another tie and let's hope that's not the case since the Lions already have a tie on their record following their Week 1 debacle against Arizona.

Here's three things to watch for, as well as staff predictions in the Vikings-Packers game.

1. Can the Vikings get after Rodgers?

Mike Zimmer's defense has given Rodgers fits in the past. He's been sacked 14 times in his last four starts against Minnesota and has no wins to show for it.

Rodgers faced plenty of pressure last week against the Bears as he was sacked five times, but sadly the Bears are led by Mitch Trubisky and Green Bay limped to a 10-3 win.

The Vikings have plenty of pass rushers at their disposal including Green Bay's favorite player Anthony Barr, who had an impressive Week 1 performance against Atlanta.

Even though the Vikings have slowed down Rodgers in recent years, he's also carved them up on a few occasions like he did in Week 16 in 2016 and in Week 11 in 2015. 

So it's imperative the Vikings get after Rodgers, because the last thing they want to do is get in a shootout with the former MVP.

2. Will the Vikings have to pass this time?

Zimmer’s wildest dream came true against the Falcons when his defense forced multiple turnovers and his quarterback only had to pass the ball 10 times.

As much as Zimmer would like to have a repeat performance, it's highly unlikely. In the games between the Packers and Vikings last year, Cousins outplayed Rodgers twice.

Week 2, 29-29 tie 

  • Cousins: 38-45, 425 yard, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception, 118.8 passer rating
  • Rodgers: 30-42, 281 yards, 1 touchdown, zero interceptions, 97.4 passer rating

Week 12, 24-17, Vikings win

  • Cousins: 29-38, 342 yards, 3 touchdowns, 129.5 passer rating
  • Rodgers: 17-28, 198 yards, 1 touchdown, 94.0 passer rating

The key this week will be slowing down Green Bay edge rushers Preston Smith and Z'Darius Smith, who harassed Trubisky consistently last week. 

3. Can Bradbury bounce back?

You probably didn't notice, but rookie center Garrett Bradbury had a forgettable NFL debut. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Bradbury was the lowest-graded offensive player the Vikes had and also received a 0.0 grade in pass blocking. The PFF grading scale is from 0-100 and he managed to be a zero. Now the Vikings barely passed the ball but still that's not ideal.

When also factoring in fellow guard Pat Elfein might not be able to play on Sunday, there will be extra pressure on Bradbury to step up and give his quarterback enough time to throw.

Assistant coach Gary Kubiak has helped install a zone-blocking scheme that's able to cover up deficiencies on the line, but at the end of the day, the Vikings need their first-round pick to anchor the protection.

Staff predictions   

BMTN Sports Writer Declan Goff

Well last week I was dead wrong. I originally thought the Falcons would steal one at U.S. Bank Stadium because of Matt Ryan returning to form and Dan Bailey costing Minnesota a win. So that being said, this time around I think the Vikings continue their winning (or tying?) ways against the Packers. Dalvin Cook goes over 100 yards, Cousins still ends up passing but no more than 20 times, and makes Alex Smith blush as he cements his status as the highest paid game manager in the league. Rodgers runs for his life, and pouts at the podium because his coach doesn't let him control the game.

Final score: 24-10, Vikings

BMTN Editor Adam Uren

Aaron Rodgers trips on his ego as he takes the field, and during the first snap is distracted when he sees a family member he's been ignoring in the crowd. Xavier Rhodes intercepts for the Pick-6. Kirk Cousins passes the ball four times all game, each one a dump off that results in 95-yard touchdowns to make him look statistically awesome. Cousins is removed from the game in the fourth quarter when he faints after getting too close to Garrett Bradbury's backside. Dalvin Cook rushes for 150 yards but doesn't get a touchdown, Vikings win 30-17.

BMTN Sports Director Joe Nelson

Garrett Bradbury unleashes the Kraken (obvious sweaty butt joke) and has the game of his life to lead the Vikings to victory. No? 

Ok, seriously. Adam Thielen is going to shred the Cheese just as he always does. In his last four healthy games against the Packers he's averaged 10 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Green Bay is on top of the world after beating the Bears in Chicago, but shall we remind those forgetful frequenters of what happened last year after they beat the Bears in Week 1? They went on to win five of their final 15 games and Aaron Rodgers got his coach fired. You know what they say about history... 

Vikings win 42-10. 

Superfan Blair Anderson

We forgot to ask him what he thinks is going to happen, but let's just assume he's already 10-12 deep in his Grain Belt Premium case race against his buddies, so getting a quote from him right now is probably unwise. 

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