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Vikings vs. Packers: Three things to watch

Vikes, Pack round two. Another tie perhaps? I bleeping hope not.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I guess neither team won the ‘Battle of Lambeau’, which means the war could be won during ‘The Battle of the Bank’ on Sunday night.

That’s right, Minnesota (unfortunately) gets another crack at primetime against another divisional opponent in the Green Bay Packers. This is a perfect opportunity to get redemption from that filthy tie and prove that the Vikings can actually perform during primetime.

Here’s this week’s three things to watch:

How will Cook and Murray be beneficial this week?

Last week was a lackluster performance for the Vikings run game, which if I may add, was drier than the Sahara Desert (sorry that was lame). The run game only averaged a little less than two yards per carry between Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook.

The 22 yards off 14 carries was the least amount of rushing yards forced since that toxic game against Buffalo earlier in the season. Those damn Bills held Minnesota to only 14 rushing yards (I cringed as I wrote that sentence). Despite those two games, Minnesota has still averaged 84.7 yards per game on the ground.

Minnesota rushed for 68 yards off 18 carries earlier in the season against Green Bay. Cousins did throw the ball 48 times (completed 35) for 425 yards that game though. Cook’s hands came into play a few times through the passing game. He caught three passes off five targets for 52 yards.

The Packers’ defense has allowed 147.2 yards in its last five games. I’d like to see more than 14 carries Sunday night, but that’s just me. I feel like Murray and Cook will see a decent size workload, whether that be in the pass or rush game. What if DeFilippo used Cook as a receiver-back and Murray as a the lead workhorse when carrying the ball? I’m by no means trying to be a couch coach, but that’s just my thought behind our two talented backs.

Can the Vikings make adjustments if needed?

If you’ve been watching the games, you can tell that adjustments just aren’t being made when needed. Just for the sake of not going on forever, I’ll talk about the offense. Our O-line is banged up, I think everyone gets that. As fans, we can’t continue to use that as an excuse.

Does the offense not have any plays regarding short passes? Short slants? Curl routes? Plays where you hike the ball and throw it off in under two seconds? A bang-bang play. A lot of the play calling is making me think back to them shaky Norv Turner days.

I don’t know about y’all, but based off some playmaking-decisions to throw a swing/screen pass on 3rd and 10, only to have that receiver already have three guys on him before he even catches the ball or immediately after. Like I said before, I’m down for screen passes, but is 3rd and 10 really the most appropriate time to run that play?

Can the Vikings D continue its success on third downs while the offense improves on that?

Minnesota’s defense on third down couldn’t be any better right now (well, I guess they could be). The offense though, not so much. This season the Vikings’ opponents have only had a 28 percent success rate on third down, a league best. Minnesota’s offense ranks 17th for only converting on third down 38.93 percent of the time, according to TeamRankings.

However, in Minnesota’s last three games, the offense converted 43 percent of the time on third downs. That’s more similar to the 44 percent conversion rate Minnesota saw in 2017. You’d think you might have a little better luck at home when it came to 3rd down conversions, but that’s not the case for Minnesota where 3rd downs were only converted 38 percent of the time.


  • Cousins throws for 350 yards 2 TDs and one INT.
  • Run game finds its feet and totals 80 rushing yards.
  • Cook will have four catches.
  • Anthony Harris grabs an INT.
  • Vikings win 30-27 with three seconds on the clock when Dan Bailey boots a 45-yarder.