Can fans expect a defensive battle in Week 1?
November 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) embrace after the game at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden – USA TODAY Sports
From our current vantage point, it’s very difficult to predict what the Week 1 game between the Vikings and Packers will look like. Even still, we might have some clues and guesses.
When considering Green Bay’s roster, most fans think of Aaron Rodgers, the infallible Hall of Famer who inspires a lot of praise and criticism. He is, without a doubt, one of the best to ever play. A recent survey of league executives, coaches and players even named him the best QB in the NFL. Although I would go for Mahomes, the point remains: Rodgers is excellent.
The problem, of course, is that Davante Adams is out of town. Could Green Bay’s offense have trouble adjusting to the loss of their WR1? Some have predicted that the offense will not be the same, and we must not overlook the MVS subtraction. If this scenario occurs, the Vikings could face a considerably less dangerous attack from the Packers in Week 1.
Meanwhile, Minnesota is managing its own transition. Kevin O’Connell certainly brought a lot of excitement and hope with him, but we still need to see it all come to fruition. Off-season hope means very little without real production once the season begins in September. This may still be a work in progress by the time Week 1 rolls around.
Green Bay’s defense will likely be formidable. Their list is loaded. Some fans underestimate the significance of Jaire Alexander’s return. If the young corner is usually dominant himself, the Packers will have top-notch talent in all critical positions on the pitch. They had the 13th best defense in 2021even if the talent is there to be much better in 2022.
The Vikings will also be looking to put up a solid defense. Ed Donatell brings the system that helped Denver overcome a poor offense and numerous injuries to remain one of the NFL’s preeminent defenses in 2021. If things go as planned at the edge of the rusher – Hunter and Smith are in good healthy and dominant – then Minnesota has a significantly better chance of doing so than in previous seasons.
The Week 1 game between the Packers and Vikings will be compelling. The game will give us our first chance to see who has the advantage in the NFC North. Don’t be surprised, though, if this ends up being a defensive battle between two teams still trying to perfect their attacks.