Normally, in this spot, I try to give you - the faithful DN’ers - a glimpse into the world of an upcoming opponent. This could mean anything from injury updates and player bios, to interesting news regarding mascots, stadiums, and uniform changes. Most of this information goes under the radar and I try to mine the interwebz to bring it to you.
But it’s Vikings-Packers week, ladies and gentlemen. All the news that’s fit to print has been printed. Granted, we still don’t know the status of Aaron Rodgers (hint: we likely won’t until kickoff), or Davante Adams (hint: he’ll play), but it’s a pretty safe bet that every angle will have been covered at some point by the time the game kicks off on Sunday. With that in mind, this week’s “News and Notes” section will look a bit different.
By now, you’ve heard that this week’s opponent, the Green Bay Packers, beat the Chicago Bears. No need to rehash. But, if you missed that news completely and do want to read rehash, I did a piece earlier this week and talked all about it. But I won’t abandon this column, even for a week. After all, that’s why they’re paying me the big bucks!
There is one other interesting news item that came out of the game, as the website footballzebras.com points out: The Packers erroneously received a fourth timeout during the Bears’ second to last drive. It may not have affected the outcome of the game, because Chicago most likely still would have kicked a field goal, but the two-minute warning would have been in play during the ensuing kickoff return. So, Green Bay would have taken over with no timeouts and no two-minute stoppage. Perhaps the play-calling would have been different. We’ll never know.
The Packers on Offense
The Packers hopes this week rest one-hundred percent on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. If he plays, the Pack stays in the game. If it’s DeShone Kizer? Goodnight, Irene.
Running the ball against the Bears in week one, the Pack averaged just over 3.5 yards per carry, and, though Jamaal Williams’ nice pass protection led to Davante Adams’ 51 yard gain, his starting spot is far from guaranteed when Aaron Jones returns from suspension this week.
Adams, Randall Cobb, and Geronimo Allison (no relation) make up the brunt of the Pack receiving corps, with Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis (no relation) taking snaps at Tight End. It’s a formidable group - unless DeShone Kizer is quarterbacking the team, at which point they simply become five people who have never been in my living room. Adams, however, has been dealing with a shoulder injury, suffered at the end of Randall Cobb’s touchdown, so he could be slowed a bit.
The Packers on Defense
Packers’ Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine threw a completely foreign look at Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, as our friends over at Acme Packing Company point out. Pettine had six or more defensive backs on the field on over 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, and stayed in the formation even when Chicago presented three-back offensive formations. Minnesota is better at every offensive skill position - individually and collectively - than Chicago, so it could turn out to be a recipe for disaster if Green Bay tries going that route this week.
On the defensive line, Mo Wilkerson, Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark form a very solid core, and Nick Perry does a nice job providing pass rush off the edge. Are they Griffen, Joseph, Richardson, and Hunter? Absolutely not, but neither were Thomas, Mitchell, Buckner, and Armstead last week and even they gave the Vikings offensive line fits.
Beyond Nick Perry, the Packers linebackers are simply not good, and Clay Matthews has become an every down liability. They may get some help this week if rookie Oren Burks is a go, but this is a unit that is in desperate need of some help. It’s really too bad that the Pack couldn’t find a linebacker somewhere who could come in, get after the quarterback, and create some turnovers. They’d be a pretty damn good defense if there was such a player.
The Packers defensive backs are a collection of very young, very athletic players - the exception being 35 year old starting cornerback Tramon Williams. Honestly, they’re a confusing bunch of guys whose first and last names all start with the letter “J”, or “K”, so I’m really not sure who the good ones are. There’s a Jermaine, a couple Josh’s, and a Jaire. And a Kevin.
Mason Crosby still kicks for the team, and the Packers are counting on fifth round draft pick, punter J.K. Scott (really?? More J’s and K’s?) on fourth down.
Ridiculous Quote(s) of the Week:
Ahhhhh… Here’s where the real meat and potatoes of Vikings/Packers week really shows up. Silly things said by sillier people, who believe that buying a novelty piece of paper from the team somehow puts them on a different level than the guy who buys a hotdog and a giant foam finger. So, check these out and cast your vote for your whichever one you think is the ridicul-est.
Choice number one:
Aaron Rodgers called his injury a "sprained knee." He said he didn't take any pain medications on Sunday night because he doesn't like them. "There was a lot of adrenaline," he said, "and (it's) pretty sore the last three days." He said feel "a little... https://t.co/oo4C2VGTiI— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 12, 2018
Choice number two:
I also don't agree with this. Green Bay's offensive line is ORDERS better than Minnesota's. The interior DL is probably advantage Packers as well. Plus, with Aaron Jones, GB has better depth and versatility at RB.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) September 12, 2018
Choice number three:
Packers better at: QB, OL(Vikings Injured), TE, WR, K, P— Nick Rawling (@Nick_Rawling) September 12, 2018
Vikings better at: RB, LB, CB
DL, S could both go either way.
That being said, if Rodgers goes down the Vikings are hands-down the better team. Packers’ scheme built to live/die with Rodgers’ arm, and he’s irreplaceable
Choice number four:
HES PLAYING I GUARANTY IT AS A OWNER #GOPACKGO— REALCRAIGRICK51 (@PACKERSOWNERCR1) September 10, 2018
Honestly, I’m not even sure that last one is a real person, judging by the rest of his tweets (seriously, check them out). I really hope the jokes on me, and it’s just a brilliant troll somewhere out there. Yikes.
Which of the following make you most glad YOU didn’t say them:
This poll is closed
"He said he didn’t take any medications on Sunday night because he doesn’t like them. ‘There was a lot of adrenaline’"
"The interior DL is probably advantage Packers as well. Plus, with Aaron Jones, GB has better depth and versatility at RB."
"DL, S could both go either way."
"HES PLAYING I GUARANTY IT AS A OWNER"