“Return Of The Northstar”

Special Preview Week One

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Packers: If you do a review of everything from last season, it was a good year for them. Before 2019, the Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs in back to back seasons. You bring in Matt LeFleur and things turn around. For the first time since 2016, the Packers won the NFC North and they were the two seed in the NFC Playoffs. They would end up falling short to the eventual conference champions in the NFC title game (San Francisco 49ers). My one concern for them was the offense. It was Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams. They had all off-season to find the quarterback a second wide receiver and they failed to do so. That’s still a lingering issue coming into this year. The defense allowed 19 points per contest last season which is a major improvement. They’ll kick things off in Minnesota on Sunday.

Vikings: Last year, they get to the playoffs with Kirk Cousins. All that money they’re paying him, it’d be another disappointment if they didn’t. The Vikings even did the impossible in January in the Wild Card round when they went into New Orleans and beat the Saints on the road. After that, the weight of the world was lifted off Kirk’s shoulders. ¬†When Dalvin Cook is healthy, the Vikings are a tough group to beat. He brings a different dynamic to the field. In the off-season, they traded away Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills. However, the Vikings were able to draft a future star in the making in Justin Jefferson from LSU. The defense has been the mantra in Minnesota. Just last week, they added Yannick Ngauoke from Jacksonville to pair him up with Danielle Hunter. Green Bay is in town.

Packers X-Factor: Marquez Valdes-Scantling– Can someone please step up and be that other weapon for the Packers offense? Marquez has shown flashes and potential, now can he put it together? This is what I need to see. Davante can’t do it all in each game. I need to see someone not numbered 12, 17 or 33 do something for the Packers offense. If they don’t, it could be a long year for this offense.

Vikings X-Factor: Mike Hughes– He will have his hands full with one of the best receivers in the game. I’ve seen him travel with many of the number one receivers in the league. Mike is a read and react corner. He drops back, then attacks. With Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Xavier Rhodes gone, this is now the leader of the cornerbacks for the Vikings secondary. Talk about having your hands full for the first game of the year.

Final Thoughts: This has always been a heated rivalry. At the moment, it’s these two teams battling at the top for the NFC North. The Vikings should come out and feed Dalvin Cook the football as often as possible. Test Green Bay’s defense early by making them stop the run. How will the Packers offense come out? Aaron Jones will be bottled up early on. Let’s see what direction they go in. The Packers offensive line must be ready for what this Vikings front seven will bring.

Prediction: Packers 27 Vikings 21

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