The Green Bay Packers narrowly escaped the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Day. This Sunday, they will play host to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings got the best of the Packers in their first matchup. However, things have changed. It was reported today that Vikings’ wide receiver Adam Theilen’s season is over due to an ankle injury. This is a major blow to a Minnesota team still hunting for a postseason bid. What can we expect from two teams who are a bit of a skid?
Justin Jefferson Is Held To Under 100 Receiving Yards
There is no doubt in saying that Justin Jefferson is one of the NFL’s elite wide receivers. The numbers that he has put up in just under two years is remarkable. Last week he surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. for most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons. In Green Bay’s first matchup with the Vikings, Jefferson caught eight passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. That game was in a dome, though. I am definitely not expecting a type of game like that for Jefferson Sunday. Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas have been a great tandem for the Packers defense this season. Sunday’s forecast calls for single digit temperatures at kickoff. This type of weather affects quarterbacks who are not used to playing in cold temperatures. Justin Jefferson will get his receptions, but this type of game has a heavy dose of Dalvin Cook written all over it.
Aaron Jones Catches Three Touchdown Passes
One thing we know about Aaron Rodgers is that the more weapons he has, the better. Aaron Jones has not been himself since returning from injury. How does a team make use of their star running back when struggling? The answer is the passing game. Despite the record, the Minnesota Vikings still have one of the NFL’s best defenses. With the weather playing a factor, most teams would resort to running the ball. I am very confident that Green Bay will run the ball very well Sunday night. Davante Adams will be heavily occupied and Marquez Valdes- Scantling will eye up more attention. This will leave a wide open room for Aaron Jones to make his presence known in the passing attack. Jones is capable of making a big impact as he did against Detroit this year with four receiving touchdowns. That game was no fluke and I am feeling that we will see it again on Sunday.
Dalvin Cook Accounts For All Viking Touchdowns
Most Packer fans remember the beatdown that Dalvin Cook gave last season at Lambeau Field. Needless to say, it was not a pretty sight. Green Bay has been challenged heavily the past two weeks and have shown signs of ‘bend but don’t break’ defense. The run defense has been subpar, but Green Bay played two teams with very good rushing attacks. It is does not get any better with facing Minnesota, though. Dalvin Cook is the MVP of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense and even with a stud player in Justin Jefferson, this team is built around Cook. My biggest fear going into this matchup is how burned out and tired our run defense actually might be. Whether or not the Packers win on Sunday, the defense is going to get a whole lot of Dalvin Cook punches in the mouth.
Green Bay Suffers Critical Loss, But Still Retain the #1 Seed
There is truly a lot at stake on Sunday for the Green Bay Packers. Playing a division rival who is also playing for just as much does not help. The one factor that is going to have the largest impact on this game is if Joe Barry and the defense can at least contain Dalvin Cook. At the end of the day, I am not too sure if the Packers can do just that. Having a game plan to stop Nick Chubb one week and then Dalvin Cook the next week is extremely difficult for any NFL team. But, there is one thing to look forward to. Dallas, who is behind Green Bay for the #1 seed in the NFC plays Arizona on Sunday. Arizona is looking to bounce back from a loss to the Colts, and what better way to do that then to beat the Cowboys. With a gut-wrenching loss to the Vikings and a huge upset from Arizona, the Packers hold their spot for the #1 seed for next week.