After last week’s Sunday night thriller between the Patriots and Cardinals, it’s going to be tough for Packers-Vikings to top it this week. However, there is plenty to be excited about. It’s a rivalry game that’s sure to provide some fireworks. Oh, and the Vikings are opening a shiny new stadium for its first regular-season game ever. U.S. Bank Stadium is going to be overflowing with excitement, but unfortunately, the Packers are the better team. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, they’re going to spoil the Vikings’ housewarming party. Here are three reasons Green Bay will come away with a win on Sunday night.
The Vikings can’t match the Packers’ offense
At first glance, you might think the Vikings’ offense was solid against the Titans in Week 1. They scored 25 points, which is a good number for a team starting Shaun Hill at quarterback. However, that number is an illusion for how they really played on offense. Both of the team’s touchdowns were scored by the defense on fumble and interception returns, while the offense only had 301 yards of offense and 15 first downs. The Packers weren’t much better offensively (294 yards and 18 first downs), but they converted in the red zone with two touchdowns and the offense found the end zone a total of three times against a much better Jaguars squad.
There’s no question the Vikings’ offense is noticeably less explosive than the Packers’, and it will be hard for Minnesota to keep up with Green Bay’s pass-happy attack. Rather than trying to, the Vikings should stick to what they do best, and that’s handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough to win them the game.
APPhelan M. Ebenhack
Green Bay’s run defense
No team allowed fewer rushing yards in Week 1 than the Green Bay Packers. They surrendered just 48 yards to the Jaguars on the ground, holding them to a paltry 1.8 yards per carry – also best in the league. The Vikings, on the other hand, were 31st in average yards per carry (2.3) against the Titans last week, even with Adrian Peterson carrying it 19 times. This is a matchup that sets up well for Green Bay’s stout run defense, and a battle that will likely determine the game.
If Peterson and the Vikings have success on the ground, they could upset the Packers. If Green Bay limits Minnesota’s run game, it’ll be a fairly easy win. I expect the Packers to stand strong with Letroy Guion and Mike Daniels up front. Their front seven played extremely well in the season opener.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Aaron Rodgers is, well, Aaron Rodgers
Does this need any other explanation? Rodgers is one of the three best quarterbacks in football and is substantially better than both Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford. If it were possible to combine their abilities into one, Rodgers would still be far better. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and when you pair his arm strength and pinpoint accuracy with the Packers’ outstanding corps of receivers, the Vikings almost don’t stand a chance defensively. Minnesota’s top cornerback Xavier Rhodes may also miss this game, which will only help the Packers’ aerial attack.
Rodgers owns a career 11-5 record against the Vikings, with a passer rating of 113.2, and has only thrown five picks to 34 touchdown passes in those 16 games. There will be a lot of hype surrounding the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium, but Rodgers is no stranger to excitement or the bright lights. The Packers match up exceptionally well with the Vikings, especially if Rhodes is sidelined.