We made it, folks.
Yes, we are less than an hour away from the start of the 2020 NFL regular season, and for the first time ever, the season will start with the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Green Bay Packers. These two teams have met several times to start a season at Lambeau Field, but this will be the first time it happens in the Twin Cities.
Here’s all the important information you need for today’s contest.
Date and Time: Sunday, 13 September 2020, noon Central time
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television Coverage: KSTP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates around the country, DirecTV Channel 712
Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 82, XM Channel 225, SiriusXM App Channel 819
Line: Vikings -2.5, Over/Under 46
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 23, Packers 20
1) Please try to block Za’Darius Smith - If you’ll recall, Smith basically ruined the Week 16 matchup between these two teams all by himself, as he took up residence in the Minnesota backfield. If Kirk Cousins is going to get this offense going and try to exploit matchups against the Green Bay secondary, he’s going to have to stay upright, and that means knowing where Smith is at all times.
2) Get the running game going - In the first matchup between these two teams last season, Dalvin Cook had a huge game. He missed the Week 16 matchup, and the difference for the Vikings’ offense was noticeable. A lot of what the Vikings want to do on offense is predicated on being successful in the run game, so whether it’s Cook or Alexander Mattison (who also missed the Week 16 game last year), the Vikings need to get the run game going.
3) Get after Aaron Rodgers to help the young corners - The Vikings swapped out almost all of their cornerbacks from last season, which is fine because they were largely terrible. However, that leaves them with a lot of inexperience at the corner position. Without Danielle Hunter, it’s up to Yannick Ngakoue and Ifeadi Odenigbo to lead the charge to keep Aaron Rodgers off balance.
Know the Foe: Acme Packing Company
As far as Open Threads go for this season, we’ll play it by ear. If we get the same level of commenting that we’ve been used to over the past few seasons, we’ll continue going with the “every quarter” format. If we don’t, we’ll change things starting next week. For now, however, you can expect a new Open Thread at the start of each quarter, so keep your eyes open for that.
For now, let’s sit back and enjoy the first week of NFL football, and here’s hoping we can all get together in three hours or so to celebrate a Vikings victory.