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The Packers are heading to Minnesota to take on the Vikings on Monday night. These teams are incredibly well matched up and this should be a great game to watch. The Packers have one of the highest scoring running backs in the league with Aaron Jones who has put up 14 touchdowns this year. The Vikings have Dalvin Cook who has put up 13. However, Cook might be out due to the shoulder injury that has been limiting him for these past couple of weeks. They both have great passing offenses as well, with both Rodgers and Cousins ranking in the top 5 for lowest interception rating. It’s hard to pick a winner in this one but I think that Minnesota will win based on Green Bay’s weakness to the run this season. Click here for more details and betting information on the Packers @ Vikings matchup.
Date: Monday, December 23, 2019
Time: 5:15 PM PST
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Packers: Blake Martinez (Q), Yosh Nijman (Q), Dean Lowry (Q), Jimmy Graham (Q)
Vikings: Alexander Mattison (Q), Dalvin Cook (Q)
The Packers are a great offensive team this season. Surprisingly, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been the star of the show. Rather, it’s been their running back Aaron Jones. Jones has 830 yards on the season (15th most), 14 rushing touchdowns (tied with Christian McCaffrey for the most in the league), and an average 4.4 yards per carry. He’s been responsible for a lot of their wins and is going to be vital against the Vikings on Monday. Rodgers and the Packers passing game has been pretty solid as well. This season Rodgers has 24 touchdowns (tied for 9th most) an only 2 interceptions, the fewest among starting quarterbacks. Davante Adams has been a very productive receiver this season, and just last game had 7 receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings defense has created the 4th most takeaways this season which is something the Packers will have to look out for. I’m expecting this to be a very close game where every drive matters, so a single takeaway could be the difference between a win and a loss.
The Packers defense hasn’t been as great as their offense this season. On the bright side, they’ve created 23 takeaways this season, the 7th most in the league. They allow an average 250.4 passing yards, the 11th most in the league. The Vikings have a strong passing attack and have a couple of great weapons in Diggs and Thielen, so the Packers secondary will need to be on it. They also allow an average 120.9 rushing yards per game, the 9th most in the league. The Vikings have Dalvin Cook who has been one of the most productive backs this season. However, its possible that the Vikings will be down to Mattison or Boone, their 2nd and 3rd string backs, which would be a big of a break for the Packers. These are still talented backs who have been productive in Cook’s absence, so the Packers will need to be on top of their game to prevent getting run down on Monday.
Green Bay Packers Depth Chart
The Vikings have also been a great offense this year. Much like the Packers being led by Aaron Jones, the Vikings owe a lot of their wins to Dalvin Cook. This season Cook has 1135 yards (7th most in the league), 13 touchdowns (tied for 3rd most in the league) and rushes for an average 4.5 yards per carry. Unfortunately, Cook has been dealing with a shoulder injury for the last few weeks and left their game against the Chargers last week because of said injury. Their backup to Cook, Alexander Mattison, came down with an ankle injury earlier that week and was out for their game against the Chargers, so Mike Boone, their 3rd string, took the place of Cook. Boone had 13 carries for 56 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. The fact that a 3rd string running back can come in in the middle of a game and make an impact like that shows the strength of the Vikings offensive line, and I think that even if they’re down to Boone on Monday they can still put up a dominant running performance against the Packers who allow the 9th most rushing yards per game on average. They’re also dangerous through the air with weapons like Diggs and Thielen. Kirk Cousins has thrown for 3,481 yards (10th most) 25 touchdowns (t-7th most) and only 5 interceptions (t-5th fewest). The Packers allow the 11th most passing yards per game on average so I’m expecting a good game for Cousins.
Defensively, the Vikings haven’t been as dominant, but have similar stats to the Packers with a few exceptions here and there. They allow 239.9 passing yards per game on average, the 13th most in the league. They’re much stronger against the run where they allow only 99 yards per game on average, the 8th fewest in the league. Their strong run defense will be a huge help against Aaron Jones. They’ve also created 27 takeaways this season, the 4th most in the league. As discussed before, with how close this game might be a takeaway could be the decider, so this stat bodes well for the Vikings. I’m expecting a close one but I think the Vikings strength against the run will give them the win on Monday night.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart
Alexander Mattison and Mike Boone are both good potential waiver wire pickups for this matchup. You’ll have to keep an eye on who is getting the start. Mattison is rostered in a little over 32% of leagues and Boone is rostered in a little over 42%, so there’s a chance that one or both of these players are available in your league. I don’t know how much play time Cook is going to get as I assume they want to keep him as healthy as possible for the playoffs, but even if he does get the start I think he’d probably be splitting carries with one of these players, so keep an eye out on the injury report for Monday night to see if you should pick up either of these players. Other than that, I think this game could be very high scoring, so if you have any of the high-ranking receivers on either team they would probably be worth a start. Even Rodgers or Cousins might be worth a start depending on who you have available on your waiver wire or on your roster.