It’s Week 17, and the Vikings are coming to Lambeau for the annual showdown in the Frozen Tundra. The Packers look to possibly lock up the number one seed for the 3rd straight year. For the Vikings, they look to stay in the playoff race, but with dwindling hopes, their already low chances will be zero with a loss at Lambeau. The Vikings took game one in Minnesota, but the Packers look to avenge that loss in a cold Sunday night game. Clear skies and a high around zero degrees should make for a lovely Frozen Tundra evening. Let’s preview this game for both sides.
The Vikings travel to Lambeau for a Sunday night matchup at Lambeau. COVID-19 has been a very big issue across the league, and it’s affected every team in a variety of fashions. For the Vikings, their QB Kirk Cousins, who is unvaccinated, will miss this game. Sean Mannion will start the game for the Vikings.
While this is a good thing for the Packers, it may not be the worst thing for the Vikings. That reason is because of Dalvin Cook. The Packers have been abysmal vs. the rush in the past few weeks. The Vikings will certainly look to take quick advantage of the run. While the QB play is relatively unknown the Vikings may have to win the game on the ground. With a loss in Lambeau the Vikings will be eliminated from the playoffs, all while possibly giving their rival, the Packers a good shot at the number one seed. It’s a rivalry game and anything can happen, but with a Frozen Tundra Lambeau Field, it should be interesting to see the Vikings strategy sans Cousins.
The Packers come into this game at 12-3 and are the current number one seed in the NFC. The Pack have faced adversity all season long and a huge credit goes to Matt LaFleur for his play-calling and adapting through COVID, and injuries. I found a crazy stat that says the Packers have had only three players play in every game this season on offense. That’s wild to think about considering how competitive the NFL can be. This game is important because if the Packers can win and we get lucky with an Arizona win over the Cowboys the Packers can take week 18 off for rest. The Packers have still been great over the past few weeks, but they’ve allowed teams to stay in games. The playoffs are approaching and Sunday nights test vs. the Vikings is one of their last chances to play a full all gas no f’in brakes game on offense and defense.
The Packers will be without their three All-Pros David Bakhtiari, Jaire Alexander, and Za’Darius Smith for another game. Hope is dwindling that we get these three back, but their importance does not go unnoticed. Having these three back can make or break a Super Bowl run.
While the Vikings will be without Kirk Cousins as we discussed earlier, the Packers can not fall victim to this Vikings offense. Dalvin Cook will look to replicate his game last year vs. The Packers when he pretty much single handedly won them the game with 163 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. In the first matchup this season the Packers looked foolish when Justin Jefferson put up a highlight reel vs the Packers secondary. While this is a rivalry game and anything goes, this is a game at Lambeau at night where the high temperature is a brisk zero degrees. One would say that is greatly in Green Bay’s favor. If the Packers can get all cylinders firing, they should send the Vikings home without another playoff berth. All the while hopefully clinching that all-important playoff bye.
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