Soak it in. Only two weeks left of regular season football and we get a showdown for the division and potential bye in the playoffs. Green Bay comes off a last-minute nail-biter win over the Chicago Bears at home. Minnesota, on the other hand, comes off a staggering 39-10 win over the LA Chargers, forcing 7 turnovers. The Vikings victory came at a cost with star running back Dalvin Cook exiting hurt and will miss Monday Night’s game. Dalvin ran for 154 yards and a score in the Week 2 meeting. With the Vikings being a game back in the standings, they may be taking precautions to keep their feature back healthy for a playoff run. Minnesota is undefeated at home this season and I don’t anticipate them rolling over just because Kurt Cousins is 0-8 on Monday Night Football.

Matt LaFleur has surpassed all expectations this season getting the Packers to an 11-3 record on the cusp of a division title. Despite the wins, the offense has struggled to look sharp for long stretches in games, allowing teams back in late. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones both found the endzone in the first matchup and will need to be at their best to beat the Vikings’ front led by defensive end Danielle Hunter.

Green Bay made a point to try and get the entire cast involved with the result being only Davante and Kumerow racking up more than 20 yards. Not a good look. Green Bay is essentially executing a similar mindset to the Saints. Feed the RB and keep giving it to your #1 receiver until folks can stop it.

High Expectations

Aaron Rodgers & Davante Adams

QB1 is 13-8-1 in his 22 career starts vs Minnesota but hasn’t won on the road since the 2015 season. He averages 240 yards and 2 TD’s in his career against the Vikings. The Vikings defense has been friendly to wide receivers allowing 25.3 points per game placing them 26th in the NFL. Rodgers’ talent will provide him opportunities that most quarterbacks aren’t afforded against the Vikings pass rush.

Davante has historically struggled against Minnesota averaging just under 50 yards a game in his 10 games against Minnesota. His best performance came in week 2 when he accumulated 106 yards on 7 catches. Lazard and Kumerow the only other realistic weapons in the passing game.

  • Rodgers throws for 220 yards and 2 TD’s
  • Davante Adams snags 8 passes for 105 yards and a score
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Aaron Jones

Aaron has cemented himself as the motor for Matt LaFleur’s offense. Coach will have to keep him involved in all facets of the offense in order to take advantage of the stout Vikings run defense. Minnesota has only allowed 5 rushing TDS this season (4th in NFL), a true challenge for the Packers touchdown magnet Aaron Jones. Jones, who comes into Monday with 17 total touchdowns good enough for 2nd in the league behind Christian McCaffrey at 18. I’d expect Aaron to get 65 yards rushing 50 yards receiving and score through the air.

Outlook

Minnesota opened as 5.5 point favorites with the division on the line. Green Bay’s intentions will be on display in primetime and they have the chance to chase the #1 seed in the NFC with a little help from Seattle next week. Green Bay will be desperate for Lazard or Kumerow to make an impact play to change this game. Minnesota’s run game will suffer without Dalvin Cook and I’d expect the Packers pass rush to attack Kirk Cousins all night unless Mike Boone is effective.

I am nervous that Cheeseheads are too arrogant with this 0-8 Kirk Cousins talk and Grape Crush this or that. Green Bay has the primetime audience watching to see if they’re a force to be reckoned with or even worthy of the bye at all.

My heart is telling me the Vikings are tough to beat at home with Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph and Smith Jr able to cut the Packers defense at any given moment. My brain is telling me that Green Bay is finding ways to win ugly and as long as we have a healthy 12,17 and 33 I will always believe this team can win.

Green Bay escapes the Twin Cities with a Christmas miracle:

Packers win 23-21