Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Matchup Preview 9/13/20: Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream
Week 1 starts off with a bang with the fierce Green Bay and Minnesota rivalry. This matchup has always led to great games with the highlight being the 29-29 tie in 2018 which featured loads of missed FGs and an insane comeback by Kirk Cousins in the 4th quarter. This game will mean a lot to both teams as it is not only a rivalry game but will set the pace and course of the season for two teams in an incredibly competitive NFC North.
Date: Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Time: 1:05 PM ET
Location: US Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Live Stream
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Minnesota Vikings: D. Hunter (Undisclosed) IR
Green Bay Packers: M. Adams (Toe) Q, O. Burks (Groin) Q, R. Greene (Quadricep) Q, R. Ramsey (Groin) Q, B. Turner (Knee) D
Minnesota Vikings Analysis
The Vikings go into this season with two major question marks: Defensive secondary and Offensive line. Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes, and Mackenzie Alexander are all gone and an entirely new cornerback group will be leading the way in Minnesota. Third-year player Mike Hughes will be crucial to Zimmer’s defense. If he can bring the 1st round talent that he was drafted for it would be a huge plus for the Vikings. Both rookie Cameron Dantzler and third-year UDFA Holton Hill have looked great on the outside at CB. Add in this year’s 1st round CB in Jeff Gladney and the Vikings are counting on four young, unproven, but talented players to stop opposing wide receivers.
The Vikings made a huge move just two weeks before their Week 1 matchup trading for Yannick Ngakoue. The edge-rushing talent of Danielle Hunter and Ngakoue, both only 25 years old, make a strong case for the best set of edge players in the league. The pressure they will be able to create will surely help out the young secondary. However, we will have to wait until at least Week 4 to see this combo as Hunter was put on IR with an undisclosed injury.
The interior defensive line will be missing Michael Peirce, NT signed from Baltimore, who opted out of the season due to COVID. This leaves a mixture of young unproven players to fill both defensive tackle positions. The Vikings were destroyed by the 49ers running up the middle is last year’s divisional game. How Zimmer is able to fix up this hole will be key not only to this game but the season.
Onto the offensive line. The Vikings let their best guard Josh Kline inexplicably walk in the offseason. For now, the offensive line in training camp has been Reiff-Dozier-Bradberry-Elfien-O’Neil. Brian O’Neil has been great but every other single player on that line has struggled in pass protection and has not been dominant in run-blocking. Gary Kubiak is going to have to be creative to allow Kirk Cousins time to get passes off and allow running lanes for his superstar running back, Dalvin Cook.
The Vikings will try and run it down the Packers’ throat, which they had success in, in their first meeting last year. However, Kirk Cousins probably had one of his worst games and threw a late interception to lose the game while Cook was driving down the field on the ground. If Kirk can play better, and the Vikings can be more dedicated to the run, then that will be one of the keys to victory for this team.
Of course, if you do not stop Rodgers then you have no chance. This is the second key to the game. As mentioned before the young corners and an inexperienced line will have to really impress to give the Vikings a chance in this game.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart
Green Bay Packers Analysis
Green Bay had quite an interesting offseason and draft. Instead of getting Aaron Rodgers more weapons in what may have been one of the best drafts ever for wide receivers, they drafted for the future. They grabbed Jordan Love, rookie QB in the first, and then later picked up AJ Dillion in the second. For now, Rodgers is stuck with the same mediocre WR core and aging offensive line.
The key to the offense will be getting Davante Adams the ball, and how well they can run on the depleted Vikings’ front with Aaron Jones and company. The combination of these three, Rodgers, Adams, and Jones, may very well be the entire offense for Green Bay. Whatever matchup Adams ends up drawing from the young Vikings CB group will be the matchup to watch.
On the defensive side of the ball, they signed former Browns LB Christian Kirksey to a two-year deal adding to their linebacking core, which will be one of their strengths as a defense this year. Both Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith looked great last year and will be key to the defense as they rush the passer. Losing Blake Martinez will sting but Kirksey is a good piece to add at a much cheaper price.
The secondary, that has been worked on a lot through the draft and free agency the past few years, is decent. It may not be the best in football but can get the job done. If Jarie Alexander can take another step forward and turn into an elite corner, the Packers defense may start to inch into that tier of the Vikings’ and Bears’ defenses from the previous few seasons. Their job of stopping Adam Thielen and young WRs, Johnsons and Jefferson, will hopefully be made easier by their elite pass rush and the Vikings’ weak offensive line.
Green Bay Packers Depth Chart
Despite the Vikings having an extremely young CB group and questionable defensive line, I expect Mike Zimmer to be able to handle Aaron Rodgers. I am one of the believers that the secondary actually has gotten better in Minnesota and that the young players are going to step in beautifully. However, this game is going to be won in the trenches: can the Vikings’ defensive line, headed by Ngakoue, stop the running game and get some pressure on Rodgers? On the other side can the Vikings offensive line give Dalvin Cook enough space to make the difference in this game?
I think that the Vikings pull off the win and the Packers beat the spread: MIN 23-21
Dalvin Cook: While extremely expensive I am confident that the Vikings rely on Cook enough to make up for his $7,900 price point on Draft Kings. He may not be an extremely rostered player and this could be a place where a breakout game gives you the edge in tournament plays. The pass-catching will give him a solid floor that you will not have to worry about
Adam Thielen: Another player who will be overlooked but that I love is Adam Thielen. I think that he is the perfect candidate to zag away from the field. He is the #1 target on this offense and has constantly been a top player for the past three years barring injury. I expect loads of targets for him while going deep and in the red zone, two ways to score massive points.
Davante Adams: One of the best values in the tier one WR group on DraftKings. Adams should receive 10+ targets almost every game. There really are not any other great weapons for Rodgers to choose from. While I do think that the secondary will be better than most expect for the Vikings, I do not think that they will shut down Adams by any means. An extremely safe option and my #1 WR on the week.
Aaron Jones: We have no idea how the split will be between Jones, Dillion, and Williams. That is the only pause I have playing Jones. The Vikings defensive line, especially at DT, is extremely weak. Jones should feast when he is in the game. Again it is him and Adams as the real weapons for this offense and that is pretty much it.
Olabisi Johnson: A flyer play at $4,100 for Draftkings. Johnson has been the #2 WR all throughout camp and is getting glowing reviews from beat reporters and teammates alike. Johnson will also get the easier matchup with Thielen being the #1. This could be a nice play if Johnson gets the targets, but will be a huge risk with only training camp reports to go off of.