Game Preview: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, October 15, 2017)

Riding high after their huge victory against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, the Green Bay Packers are riding high as they enter brand-new U.S. Bank Stadium this Sunday, as 3.5-point favorites against the Minnesota Vikings according to NFL betting odds for Packers vs Vikings gameAnd that’s exactly why they could be in position for a big upset this weekend…

When we think of the Vikings, we first think of their defense, thanks to the organizational philosophy laid down by head coach Mike Zimmer. Minnesota enters Week 6 of the NFL season with the 11th-ranked defense in the NFL. They have star players at every level of the defense. Defensive end Everson Griffen is third in the NFL in sacks (six). Cornerback Xavier Rhodes has been one of the best in football this season. Outside linebacker Anthony Barr is a freakish athlete that does so many things for them.

But even with the in-and-out from Sam Bradford due to various injuries, this offense has been deceptively good as well. Minnesota actually averages more passing yards per game (357 — 5th most in the NFL) than Green Bay (336.6 — 11th most in the NFL). It’s even more disparate when you look at each team’s rushing attack: Minnesota averages 118.2 yards per game (#11 in the NFL) versus Green Bay’s 91.6 yards per game (22nd in the NFL). In place of promising rookie Dalvin Cook, who was lost to a season-ending injury to his ACL, Jerick McKinnon provided a spark to Minnesota’s offense, evidenced by his 146 total yards against the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs is in the midst of a breakout season of his own, sitting in 5th place in the NFL with 395 receiving yards. And the Vikings are just as likely to spread the ball around to the rest of their offense, as they are to force-feed their stars. On Monday evening, quarterback Case Keenum — playing in place of the injured Bradford — threw 16 of his 21 passing attempts to his running backs and tight ends.

Of course, the great equalizer in this entire game — or any game Green Bay plays in — is Aaron Rodgers. At some point, it just feels like we’re going to run out of superlatives to describe his level of play. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time right now, but Rodgers is the best in the game as of today. His stats don’t tell the whole story (although his league-leading 13 touchdown passes certainly help), but the way he puts the Packers on his shoulders, week after week, is unlike anything we’re seeing in the league today (this side of New England, anyway).

Minnesota’s defense has held Rodgers to less than 220 passing yards in each of the last three games these two have played in Minnesota. Of course, the Packers are 2-1 in in those games, thanks to the balance provided by the Packers rushing attack.

Minnesota handled two very potent offense at home already: New Orleans in Week 1, and Tampa Bay in Week 3. They should be well aware of this, given that they play them twice a year, but if Green Bay is not careful, they could have their hands full.

But as of right now, Green Bay looks like they’re one of the two best teams in the NFC, alongside the Atlanta Falcons. While this game should be a really good matchup, the Vikings aren’t quite as dangerous as the Packers… or as Rodgers, anyway.

My Pick: Green Bay.

 

Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers – Superbowl 51 Contenders

 

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are two hungry talented teams with latent potential to  go all the way in  2016-7 as they did 5 years ago.

 

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson is never ever active in free agency. He just gets brand-new players from the draft, and this year was no different. All Green Bay did this year in free agency was re-sign linebacker Nick Perry, and add tight end Jared Cook as add another weapon for the best quarterback in the league, Aaron Rodgers. With Rodgers at the helm, Green Bay will always be Super Bowl competitors. With receiver Jordy Nelson coming back next season, the Packers’ offense will return to its pre-2015 season hype, and it is going to be very dangerous.

The Pittsburgh Steelers nearly beat the Super Bowl champs in the Divisional Round in 2014, with injuries to star receiver Antonio Brown, Le’veon Bell and Deangelo Williams, and Ben Roethlisberger. They were a fumble from winning the AFC Divisional Round, and knocking off the ultimate Super Bowl champs. This team is absolutely loaded with skill, on both the offensive and defensive side. Pittsburgh’s offense is absolutely stacked, with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, brand-new tight end Ladarius Green, Le’veon Bell, and Deangelo Williams. Their defense is in fact also excellent, as they were a top 5 run defense last year. They simply need some more people in the secondary, and they can easily end up being genuine Super Bowl contenders.

 

Computer Forecast: Green Bay Packers To Win Superbowl 50.

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Who will win Superbowl 50? Our computer Beardog is picking the Green Bay Packers over close rivals New England, Seattle and Dallas.   Sportsbooks have set the betting odds  at 6.5-1.

It will be inspiring and poetic for the Packers to win the prize after being derailed in last year’s NFL Championship game. Once again, the NFL’s smallest market cap team, will prove to be the best. Some teams would never recover from the trauma of blowing a 19-7 lead with 4 minutes to go as the Packers did in Seattle. The Hawks comeback from down 16-0 at one point was the largest ever in a conference title game. Such a breakdown is not consistent with the heart Green Bay has shown over the years and we are sure they will bounce back strong and determined.

Let’s state the obvious: in a quarterback driven league, Aaron Rodgers is the most effective and most consistently lethal at his position. The Packers ensured he did not lose his vital receivers and strong offensive line in the off season. We don’t think the loss of Jordy Nelson to injury will be a large negative. Furthermore, running back Eddie Lacy is one of the very best in the game. Astute readers will know that we like to see the quarterback to also have a strong running option. The Green Bay defense may only be a little above average but by coupling Clay Matthews with Julius Peppers they have their share of play makers.

The key to this year’s success is to simply play as well as they did last year but to gain the home-field advantage for the Championship game. Played on the frozen tundra of Lambeau field, the Seattle crowd will obviously not be a factor in the game. As the strongest team in the NFC North, they are in position to have the best win-loss record.

Reaching the Superbowl in Santa Clara, California will be very exciting, especially if Rodgers plays New England (winner of Superbowl 49) with Tom Brady since both quarterbacks grew up in Northern California and are considered the best in the game. Green Bay won the first two Superbowls at a time before it became a national holiday. It will only be fitting for them to win the 50th Superbowl as well!