The Minnesota Vikings entered the season as one of the most complete teams in the NFL on paper, and some would say they have Super Bowl aspirations. After picking up Kirk Cousins in the off-season, some expected them to maul San Francisco in the season opener. What transpired, however, was a bit tamer than most expected.
The defense was dynamic, racking up three sacks and three interceptions. They only gave up 16 points, and they certainly looked the part of a squad solid enough to surge deep into the post-season. The offense, on the other hand, was slightly less impressive.
Cousins failed to tally 250 yards passing, although he did complete more than half his passes and notched two touchdowns without tossing a pick. Adam Thielen logged just over 100 yards receiving on six catches, and Dalvin Cook caught the same number of balls on his way to logging over 100 all-purpose yards. Unfortunately, though, that’s where the highlights for the offense ended.
In Week 2, the Vikings face a much more formidable foe as they travel to the Frozen Tundra to face the resurgent Pack. Green Bay is widely acknowledged as being the Vikings’ primary competition for the Division crown this year, and the two teams were given virtually the same chances to win the Super Bowl according to pre-season odds makers.
In a Pre-Week 1 piece, I highlighted this game (along with the Bears vs. Packers nail-biter from last week) as one of the NFC’s defining games for the season, and it has only increased in significance since. The Packers can probably weather a loss today and still put together an impressive season. A Viking loss, however, could have serious implications for that team.
After engineering a truly magical second-half, post-injury comeback last week (that was seriously jeopardized by a completely unnecessary and unforgivable Clay Matthews penalty), Rodgers’s status was a major question in Titletown all week. It wasn’t determined until…