The Packers have a big matchup this Sunday. They travel to U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Vikings. They want to stay in control of the NFC North and keep the number one seed in the NFC. The Minnesota Vikings are better than what their 4-5 record says. They are a really talented football team and are going to give the Packers a good challenge as they are desperate for a win. Here are the keys to victory for the Packers against the Minnesota Vikings.
Key#1-Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen Will Be a Challenge For The Secondary
The Packer’s secondary, despite being banged up, has really performed well this year. They certainly have a really big challenge this week as they face wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. These two are arguably the best duo of wide receivers in the NFL. They have given opposing defensive secondaries fits. Kevin King, Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes all have a really tough task ahead. If the Packers going to slow down this Minnesota offense they have to contain Jefferson and Thielen or else it will spell doom for the Packers defense.
Key#2 Aaron Rodgers Has to Play Better
Aaron Rodgers needs to play better than he did against the Seattle Seahawks. Rodgers was missing a lot of his throws including a wide-open Joshiah Deguara in the endzone when he threw an interception. Yes, he was rusty however, he can not do that this week as he has to try to keep up with Minnesota’s top ten offense and his play last week will not cut it. Not to mention he is playing a Mike Zimmer defense that has given him some trouble over the years.
Key#3 Packers Offensive Line Has to Be Stout
The Minnesota Vikings defense might not be what it once was in 2017. However, their biggest strength is their pass rush this year. The Vikings rank tied for first in the NFL this year in sacks. Even with Danielle Hunter out for the season, the Vikings still have players that can rush the quarterback. They have one especially in Everson Griffen who is having a resurgence year in his return to the Vikings. David Bakhtiari will most likely not play this week again as the Packers ease him back in as he recovers from a torn ACL last year. Royce Newman had a bounce-back game against the Seattle Seahawks. He has a bigger task this Sunday with a much better interior defensive line in the Vikings. The Packer’s offensive line has been solid this but really have to be stout this week against a really good pass rush.
Key#4 The Packers Offense Have To Win Time Of Possession
The Packer’s defense has been really good, especially these last couple of weeks. Nonetheless, the fact still remains they are very banged up. The Packers won the time of possession last game against the Seattle Seahawks. That needs to continue this Sunday when they face the Vikings. The Packer’s defense can hold up against the Vikings, but asking for another shutout will be a tough task especially with the injuries they have. The Packer’s offense needs to do their part on Sunday in order for the Packers to come out victorious.
Key#5 Have to Get Constant Pressure On Kirk Cousins
It is always a debate whether Kirk Cousins is an elite quarterback. However, the fact that still remains is if you give him time in the pocket he can do damage to a defense. The Packer’s pass rush did well in putting constant pressure on Russell Wilson this past Sunday. There are thin on edge rushers with Whitney Mercilus out and Rashan Gary is dealing with an elbow injury. The good news is that Kingsley Keke is back this week. That can provide a much-needed interior pass rush with Kenny Clark, Tederell Slaton, and Dean Lowry. Even with a banged-up pass rush group, the Packers need to find a way to get constant pressure on Kirk Cousins or will pick the defense apart.