In a Week 8 showdown that couldn't paint a more stark contrast between two bitter rivals, the Minnesota Vikings are riding high on the euphoria of a recent triumph over the 49ers. At the same time, the Green Bay Packers find themselves mired in a disheartening three-game losing streak. The Vikings, fueled by a resurgent offense and bolstered defense, are looking to solidify their playoff aspirations further and build on the momentum of their latest victory. On the other hand, the Packers, who have endured a series of gut-wrenching defeats, are desperate for redemption and are determined to turn the tides of their season in this critical divisional battle.
Start Time: 1:00 pm EST
Location: Green Bay
TV Info: Fox
Spread: Vikings -1.5 Packers +1.5
ATS Records: Packers lead all-time series record 65-57-3
NFC North Standings:
Green Bay Packers:
Minnesota continues to struggle to take care of the rock; meanwhile, Green Bay has only been able to come up with five turnovers from their lackluster defense. In contrast, the Vikings have 14 turnovers through week 8 to match the Cleveland Browns for the second-highest total, behind only Las Vegas, who has 15.
Packers' Rollercoaster Season
The Packers are 2-4, and there's no denying Green Bay has some challenges to overcome. If the NFL draft were held today, Green Bay would have the seventh overall pick, and if they lose to the Vikings, it's possible they would be picking in the top five. The Packers front office will be forced to make some tough decisions if Love doesn't begin to show significant improvement. Head coach Matt LaFleur said during a recent press conference, “These guys aren’t afraid of a challenge, and right now we have a challenge." LaFleur also said, “And I think going through some adversity, as long as you come out the other side of it, can be a positive thing if channeled and harnessed the right way and if you respond the right way. And so, that’s my expectation for our football team.”
Matt LaFleur and the Packers might have the best intentions, but the old saying goes, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." Unfortunately, if the last few weeks are any indication, LaFleur and Joe Barry seem to be making the same old mistakes repeatedly. The Packers' head coach and head defensive coordinator consistently demonstrate a shocking lack of situational awareness, making crucial game-losing decisions that defy logic weekly.
Interestingly, the Vikings would have the 8th overall pick in 2024. Therefore, it's safe to say the outcome of this game might change the entire trajectory for both teams. Not even a week ago, there were rumors Minnesota might trade their Cousins. After watching the aerial display that Cousins put on vs. the Niners' defense, the Vikings front office might want to keep their QB1 longer. While the Packers try to respond to adversity, the Vikings look to prove they can handle their recent success and quick turnaround with a third straight win. “We’ve got to show we’re a mature football team that after this can get right back to work and get the next one,” Cousins said after the 49ers game.
Players to Watch:
Rookie Wr Jordan Addison is coming off a breakout game with 7 Rec, 123 yds, and 2TDs against the 49ers, proving he can step into the WR1 role with Justin Jefferson on his second week of IR. Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson prove that sometimes drafting a WR in the first round pays off. Not thinking of any team in particular...
QB Kurt Cousins is coming off a massive Monday Night victory over the Niners' defense, putting up astronomical numbers against a top 3 defense. Cousins went 35-45, 378 yards, 2 TDs and one int. It was a massive win for Cousins, considering he was 2-10 on Monday night in his career.
QB Jordan Love had a solid game against the Broncos despite the game-ending interception, going 21-31, 180 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 Int. It looked like the Packers were about to make another 4th quarter comeback but unfortunately could not. Love and the offense somehow continue to fall flat on their face in the first half but, oddly enough, lead the league in 2nd half scoring, averaging 17 points. The Packers currently have the youngest offense in the NFL, but if they can stay in sync for four quarters, Green Bay could be a decent team. Love is a first-year starter, no matter how you look at it, so everyone needs to have patience.
RB Aaron Jones is so important to this Packers offense, averaging almost 5 yards per carry, and if you can't see by now, then you haven't been paying attention. Jones has a history of balling out against the Vikings, and the Packers will no doubt need him to overcome this defense with the highest blitz rate in the NFL. Love has to get his playmakers the ball and quick; Jones only had 11 touches vs. the Broncos and certainly made an immediate impact on offense, but Love will need his biggest playmaker on the field most of the game to have a good shot at victory.
Matchups to Watch:
RB A. Mattison vs Quay and Packers rush defense
Vikings Offensive line vs Packers Defensive live
Ezra Cleveland G Questionable Oct 24
Brian Asamoah II LB Questionable Oct 25
T.J. Hockenson TE Questionable Oct 26
Green Bay Packers:
De'Vondre Campbell LB Questionable Oct 25
Luke Musgrave TE Questionable Oct 26
Aaron Jones RB Questionable Oct 26
Jaire Alexander CB Questionable Oct 26
Preston Smith LB Questionable Oct 26
Despite having a home-field advantage, this will be an important game for the Packers, offensively and defensively. Green Bay hasn't played at home for almost a month since they faced the Lions in a 34-20 loss. The last thing the Packers and their fans want is to lose back-to-back games at Lambeau against a divisional opponent. The Vikings looked like a top-five team last Sunday against the 5-1 49ers and will most likely continue in that direction. However, the Packers keep trending downward and are facing their possible 4th straight loss. Unfortunately, I feel the Packers will fall short and continue to struggle in the first half against Minnesota, ultimately making hopes of a comeback win very difficult for this lackluster offense. If Aaron Jones plays Sunday, that would boost the Packers' bottom-five rushing attack since AJ Dillon only averages 3.2 yards per carry. I'm holding my breath to see if the Packers can pull off another stunner at Lambeau Field on Sunday like they did against the Saints in Week 3.
Vikings 27 Packers 20
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