Vikings at Packers
Kickoff: 8.20pm ET, 5:20pm PT, 1:20am GMT (Monday)
It’s cold in Green Bay for this game, that’s Green Bay cold, not LA cold, or London cold, or New York cold, this is real cold.
The news that COVID had taken the Vikings QB out of the game wasn’t actually as bad as some might have thought. While Cousins is a very good statistical QB, the last time this game was played, the Vikings won by mostly running the ball at the Packers leaking defence. Cousins was not likely going to be the difference maker for the Vikings, that will come down to how productive Dalvin Cook is, against this Packers defence. The Packers know that they have a QB and two running backs that can cope with the cold. Only the best QBs can overcome the weather; Tom Brady could do it, Payton Manning could, as can Russell Wilson (on a good day), Big Ben, Lamar Jackson and Matthew Stafford.
Of course Aaron Rodgers can, but he can also tell when it’s best to let your running game take over and run to win.
The Packers want to win this to keep their hold on the 1st seed in the NFC playoffs, keeping teams coming to Green Bay during the playoffs is a high priority, with the likes of Arizona, LA Rams, Dallas, Tampa all looking likely visitors at some stage, the weather might only play a small part in the outcome of the game, but most QBs who spend the year in warm weather take time to adjust to holding the ball with cold hands.
The Vikings need to win both their last two games and hope things fall their way. So this game is a must for them. To win this game, they can’t rely on stopping the Packers scoring, so they will have to keep up as best they can. This will again depend on the running game, not only are they going in with Sean Mannion at QB, but they are likely missing Adam Thielen at WR.
Prediction (53-35 through week 16)
This game never goes to script, Mike Zimmer is the best at giving Aaron Rodgers hidden looks, and over the years, while not winning every game, he’s kept the Packers close. Add to that, the fact that the Vikings cannot play a game without it coming down to the last play of the game, it’s likely we either see the Vikings get bombed out of the NFL or it’s a coin flip to end the game.
With the Packers getting healthy and on a 4 game win streak since that lose to the Vikings, they have the edge in this game over a team that struggles to maintain a consistent approach for 60 minutes. The Vikings need everything to go right for them, I don’t think they get that luck in this game. They have been consistent in one thing this season, over the last 11 games, they have gone: W W L L W W L L W W L… they are due another L!
Final Score: Vikings 24 - 31 Packers
Packers WR Adams to have an anytime TD.