GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) –The Packers defense played about as good as you could expect in their season opener at Soldier Field against the Bears, where they allowed just three points and only 254 yards of total offense to Chicago.
After watching the Vikings walk all over the Falcons in the first half of their season-opening victory at home last week, Green Bay’s defense is well aware of what they are facing especially when it comes to stopping Minnesota’s ground game and Dalvin Cook.
“I think if you saw the film and what he (Cook) did, you know that definitely he will be a factor in the game, so we got to try to come in and it’s always the number one thing. Stop the run, you always have to be able to do that against any team, so we definitely have to make that a point of emphasis against this team right here.” Rookie safety Darnell Savage Jr. added, “Just stop the run be disciplined upfront and play hard, last week I think they only through 10 passes and they run the ball extremely well, so we just got to be ready to stop the run.”
Safety Adrian Amos had the last laugh against his former team when he intercepted a Mitch Trubisky pass late in the 4th quarter, and as one of the most consistent tacklers on the Packers defense, he’s cognizant of how the Vikings RB is turning potential into reality.
“That just goes to show that you have to stop the run first, and they would have to throw up more, I think the majority of teams, if I don’t stop that run early, they are going to keep running it. I know if I’m playing Madden and I got a controller and you can’t stop the run I’m just going to keep running it. So we just got to be prepared to set edges, tackle hard in the open field.”
The Vikings gave Kirk Cousins a three year, $84 million dollar contract to throw the football, and Minnesota has two of the top targets in the NFL with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
“I think when it comes down to it, you just have to know the people. And we know they are two great receivers, two top-tier receivers in this league, so we understand that it’s going to be a challenge first and foremost,” said Williams. “But at the same time, we know we have to be able to get the job done out there with those guys. It’s always key, you know I’m nowadays it’s a passing league so you always want to be able to control that aspect of it. Even though it’s still tough because quarterbacks nowadays are so much better, they are very, very good in where they place the ball, and you have to be able to control those things. So hopefully we can control that, and the guys up front can get that run game in order.”
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has worked with five different NFL teams in the past decade and has personal experience with the Vikings quarterback.
“They have weapons all over the field. And then I know Kirk Cousins pretty well. I was with him in Washington, got a lot of respect for him. And if you let him sit back there and have time, he is going to pick you apart because he is extremely accurate. So it is a challenge in terms of what you’re trying to take away. But the game always starts up front. We have to own the line of scrimmage.”
Rookie safety Darnell Savage Jr. has already earned the trust of his teammates and has shown that he doesn’t play like a rookie on the field while embracing another opportunity to face a quality offensive opponent in back to back weeks.
“I’m extremely confident, and I go out there and just try to have fun. And just play to win. I know I’ve got a lot of guys around me that think extremely highly of me even though I am so young. They expect a lot from me and they don’t treat me like I’m a rookie, so for them to have that trust in me, and respect, I got to make sure I do the work on my end too.”