Five things for the Packers to get a win over the Vikings

Packers

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (WFRV) – Aaron Rodgers is back after only practicing once this week but the leader of the Pack was back in the building for the week leading up to the NFC North matchup with the Vikings.

Here are the top five things the Packers need to capitalize on in order to head back to Lambeau Field with a win.

  1. Protect Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers is back but he’s back in a limited way. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the toe injury he sustained sometime when he was on the reserve/Covid list is a very persistent injury. It limited Rodgers so much that he didn’t practice Wednesday and Thursday and only practiced Friday. The Packers offensive line needs to be able to let him sit in the pocket and make the throws he’s so good at. Rodgers doesn’t need to be doing a whole lot of running on an injured toe.
  2. Feed AJ Dillon – There aren’t many more ways to say it: The Packers offense does better when it isn’t reliant on Davante Adams, who defense’s have decided to take out in any way that they can this season. That means you see a lot of two high defense in order to eliminate the receiver who is regarded as the top wide receiver in the league. When that happens, you should feed your running backs. With Aaron Jones out with an MCL sprain, this means feed Quadzilla. Dillon was the lone piece of offense that showed up against the Seahawks and that wasn’t until the 4th quarter. Dillon hasn’t had a 100 yard rushing game yet but that’s in part to the fact that he’s been splitting carries with Aaron Jones. Expect Matt LaFleur to ride Dillon with a heavy hand, especially against a Vikings defense that isn’t great against the run, seeing as they’re ranked 28th.
  3. Make Kirk Cousins uncomfortable – Preston Smith said it best: you know this game won’t be a cardio game. The past three quarterbacks the Packers have faced, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Patrick Mahomes, all extremely mobile. The Packers defense limited all three of them so combined, they threw 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. Kirk Cousins may not be mobile as those three, but he will run if forced too. However, Preston Smith knows the key: do not let him make in rhythm throws. The Packers defense will have to push the pocket, make him uncomfortable and do not let him get in sync with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. The Vikings offense gets dangerous if that happens.
  4. Eliminate Dalvin Cook – It’s outrageous that this is number 4 on the list but Dalvin Cook is not having the season that he had last year. He had 16 rushing touchdowns last season and through 10 weeks so far this year, he only has three. That doesn’t mean the man isn’t still a threat. The Packers know what he can do, especially since he came into Lambeau last year, rushing for 163 yards and four touchdowns. Eliminating Dalvin Cook then makes Cousins uncomfortable, which causes the whole enchilada to fall apart.
  5. Control the clock – 8 of 9 of the Vikings games have been decided by one possession. Most of those games have come down to who has the ball at the end of the game. Controlling the clock and time of possession is key against a gritty team that is desperate for a win in order to stay in the playoff hunt. The Packers need to do what they did against Arizona and keep Kirk Cousins and his offensive weapons off the field.

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