Don’t Overlook the Vikings

The Packers pulled away from the Bears in what looked early to be a big time shootout. With the imagesdefense capitalizing on opportunities and keeping the score low, the Packers ended up with a convincing win. But not all Packers fans were convinced.

There were still major holes in Dom Capers’ defense that the Bears capitalized on and with BJ Raji gone for the season and a smaller defensive line than is typical for a 3-4 D, the Packers look to be vulnerable to the run for the duration of the season. While nobody wants our defense to give up 250 yards to any running back, I said today that if there was one area where the Packers defense would be weak (and we all new there would be at least one area) I would prefer it to be against the run. Giving up yards between the 20’s is no fun to watch but inside the red zone, the Packers are going to put in their red zone defense and be more concerned about the run anyway. The NFL is a passing league and like I said earlier…the Packers defense has to be good, not great. They are bad against the run but the defensive rankings are terribly misleading when you look at the fact that the Packers have been quite good at keeping opponents off the board since before the second half of the Jets game. Thursday night against the Vikings seems to be the perfect opportunity against a Vikings team that for the first time in what seems like forever, will NOT be starting Adrian Peterson.

ajBut the Packers can’t rest in their laurels. While it took some time to happen, the Vikings pulled out a convincing win against the Falcons in Minnesota on Sunday. They have considerable weapons on offense (par for the course in the NFC North) and if Teddy Bridgewater’s ankle is a minor setback as the Vikings seem to think, he will take the field Thursday. Bridgewater was not brilliant but he did provide a spark for what was a lackluster Minnesota offense that had only score 7 and 9 points against the Patriots and Saints.

Bridgewater distributed the ball well and the Vikings run game was surprisingly opportunistic. Minnesota’s offensive line meant business. And both Jennings and Patterson have big-play potential. So the Packers can’t assume this one’s in the bag especially since they are coming off a short week and may suffer a doldrum after the big time win over the Bears.

But the Packers should be taking it all in stride anyway because they are only 2-2 and a win at home against the Vikings puts them above 500 while helping them stay within a game of the Lions. Does anybody else see the final game of the season against the Lions at home as eerily similar to the Bears game at the end of last season…in terms of importance???

So the Packers need to tighten up against the run and continue to be opportunistic against a rookie quarterback who will be making only his second NFL start. Bridgewater will make mistakes and the Packers D will be much different than what he saw against the Falcons. Spin him ’round boys!


Don’t Overlook the Vikings
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4 thoughts on “Don’t Overlook the Vikings

  • September 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Well said Brady! The Packers run defense is for lack of a better word “Horrible” I’m not sure why Guion/Jones and Daniels always plows up field when they should be filling the gap and staying there! That way the runner whomever it may be has to bounce it outside into Pepper/Matthews lanes and hopefully by then the ILB and safety’s can see it’s a run and close on the play to help out.

    McKinnon had a pretty good game last week so their run game is not that bad without Peterson and their O line is playing fairly well also. So if the Packers go to sleep on this team it could spell trouble IMO.

    The Packers win this if they play the game plan they had against the Bears which is Pass Pass Pass and then Pass it again and sooner or later it is going to open lanes for Lacy/Starks to get the run game working. Speaking of Starks I hope we see him at least on 5 to 10 carry’s this game but I said it before if they do commit to running then Lacy needs the rock at least 25+ times to get his groove on. If he starts running low like he did last year it will come back to him and boost his confidence.

    My prediction is Packers win but not by a blow out like most think. 31-28

  • September 30, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Defensive rankings are not misleading, they are what they are. I think the last I heard statistics are a part of mathematics and two plus two is still 4. Last is still last. Peterson won’t play but Minnesota still has two very good runners as per the Patriots game. We’ll probably beat Minnesota but, most likely, they’ll run all over the Packers. And of course, MM will give the usual speech about stopping the run “next game”. That’s called “keep them happy with promises to be received”, pure and simple.

    • October 1, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Peter they can stop the run if Guion/Boyd, Jones and Daniels just fill the gaps and stay there on run plays, For some reason they have been pushing into the backfield and the runners hit the hole they actually are making for them. Its all about executing the run properly if they can stick to their assignments for filling the gap and not trying to penetrate into the backfield things will get better.

  • October 1, 2014 at 3:43 am

    The Vikings ran for 240 yards against the Falcons. Talk about setting up the passing game with the running game, that’s how you do it. Look for the same formula from them on Thursday night.

    There’s 2 ways to take a team out of the run game. One is to obviously stop their run plays. The other is to get a lead so that they have to get bigger plays to keep up. I expect the former to be a problem for the Packers, but the latter is doable. It will take another highly efficient offensive attack by the Packers this week, but McCarthy has temporarily convinced me that he’s still capable of calling games which do so.

    And yes, I could see the last game with Detroit deciding the division and eliminating one team from the playoffs. Go Pack go! :)


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