The Green Bay Packers are heading into their Week 8 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings looking like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. After starting the season 5-1, Aaron Rodgers and company are riding high. While they may be feeling good, they are also still in business mode and are looking to sweep the Vikings once again this year.
It doesn’t get much better than a rivalry game in the NFC North. Both the Packers and Vikings hate each other and leave everything on the field each and every matchup. This week will be no different.
On the other side of the game, the Vikings have not gotten off to the start they were hoping for. Many thought that Minnesota would be Green Bay’s stiffest competition in the division. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. The Vikings are just 1-5 and are not looking anything close to a playoff contender.
Looking ahead to this week’s game, the main focus will be on the quarterbacks. Rodgers is playing at an MVP level, while the Vikings cannot be confident in Kirk Cousins being their long-term starter if he keeps playing the way he has this season. Cousins has been downright awful so far.
While the Packers would love to win this game and are favored to do so, the Vikings are facing a must-win game. Dropping to 1-6 would practically seal their fate. Coming back from that record would be nearly impossible in the NFC.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at four bold predictions for the Packers in their matchup this week against Minnesota.
4. Green Bay Racks Up Five Sacks On Cousins
Entering the season, the Packers were extremely excited about their pass rush. Both Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith were monsters last season, which was expected again this year. Za’Darius Smith has come through for the Packers, but Preston Smith has been a bit underwhelming in his second year with Green Bay.
This week, however, that will change. The “Smith Bros” are going to get to Cousins, with Rashan Gary joining the party as well. Both Smith’s will end up with two sacks and Gary will have another. Putting pressure on Cousins usually leads to good things for a defense.
Even though this isn’t a “huge” matchup for the Packers, they are going to continue looking to prove a point. They are sick and tired of not getting the respect they feel they deserve. Mike Pettine will throw a lot of pressure at Cousins, which will pay off in a big way.
3. Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson Each Have An Interception
Kevin King reportedly suffered a setback this week, so the Packers will likely be rolling with Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson as their top two cornerbacks. Missing King is tough news, but thankfully Green Bay has a lot of talent at the cornerback position.
Alexander has actually been graded as the top cornerback in the NFL through seven weeks by Pro Football Focus:
1. Jaire Alexander – 90.6
2. Jamel Dean – 90.5
3. Jason Verrett – 87.1
4. Kendall Fuller – 84.5 pic.twitter.com/moR8PMAqGr
— PFF (@PFF) October 24, 2020
This week against the Vikings, Alexander and Jackson will both pick off Cousins. Due to the amount of pressure Cousins will face, he will make two key mistakes. If the defense can force a couple of turnovers, a win will be very likely.
Green Bay fans are going to love what they see from the Packers’ pass rush and secondary this week.
2. Aaron Rodgers Turns In Another MVP Performance
Through the Packers’ first six games, Rodgers has made it clear that he is still one of the most dominant quarterbacks in the game. He has completed 65.9 percent of his pass attempts for 1,657 yards, 17 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. Rodgers threw his two interceptions against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but has not turned the ball over any other game.
Rodgers has been an MVP candidate since Week 1. Last week, he torched the Houston Texans for 283 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks. Back in Week 1 in the Packers’ win over the Vikings, Rodgers wreaked havoc on the Minnesota defense to the tune of 364 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Once again, the Vikings will have no answer for Rodgers. He is going to turn in another MVP-caliber performance. Rodgers will end up throwing for 300 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions this week.
1. The Packers Come Through With A Blowout Win To Sweep The Vikings
Finally, and most importantly, the Packers are going to move to 6-1 on the season with a big blowout win over their divisional rival. The Vikings will do their best to put up a fight, but Green Bay is a far superior football team on both sides of the ball.
Behind another massive game from Rodgers and a strong defensive performance, Green Bay will take this game easily. We are predicting that the Packers will take this game by a final score of 38-24.
This will be the final nail in the Vikings’ coffin this season. Dropping to 1-6 will put them into sell mode ahead of the NFL trade deadline. As for the Packers, they will continue looking like potential Super Bowl contenders, and the win could convince general manager Brian Gutekunst to look to buy at the trade deadline in order to bolster this team for a championship run.