The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL News / Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Week 1: Preview and Predictions

Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Week 1: Preview and Predictions

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 09: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Week 1 Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers Thoughts & Prediction

Week 1 for my Minnesota Vikings doesn’t give new head coach Kevin O’Connell and company much time to get their feet wet facing the hated-rival Green Bay Packers. Before we get into the X’s and O’s lets discuss some recent trades and 53-man roster items. Two cuts worthy of mentioning were followed by two trades as a very active Kwesi Adofo-Mensah the new honcho in charge filled out the Vikings 2022-23 Vikings roster. Check out the top football betting strategies.

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Pencilled in as a starter by the coach’s defensive lineman Armon Watts was a surprise cut to this podcaster & even some of the players in the locker room according to Patrick Peterson. The other player getting unexpectedly waived was second-year wideout from Iowa Ihmir Smith-Marsette. On defense the Vikes made a trade for a 2020 2nd-round selection out of TCU, a rotational player for Houston Ross Blacklock. On offense with punter returning in mind, the Vikings traded for Jalen Reagor from the Eagles.

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Reagor underachieved, catching around 30 balls per year, considering he went one spot ahead of our beloved Justin Jefferson, but it’s a good deal via trade. Watts was a free agent at the end of the year and isn’t considered stout versus the run so Minnesota will rely on Blacklock (two years left) and veteran free agent signee Jonathan Bullard. All and all it’s been a busy offseason for the Vikings as they begin a new era after Mike Zimmer’s eight seasons and Rick Spielman’s longstanding run with the franchise dating back to 2006.

Heading into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Packers, the Vikings are a slight home underdog for the first time since the mid 1980s. The first thing from a Vikings perspective to address is the interior offensive line and how it will hold up against Kenny Clark and the rest of the stellar players on GB’s top-tier defense. Will see if Garrett Bradbury can improve even slightly, along with needing left guard Ezra Cleveland to become more consistent in his third year. Right guard had a battle that rookie second-round pick Ed Ingram won, and if he can be serviceable, the Vikings may have found a way to become average on the interior, a far cry from the last four seasons.

Health on defense is a huge key, but at least the Vikes can say they will have both outside linebackers Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith on the field together, causing havoc in the home opener. And with stud OT David Bakhtiari listed as questionable, that would be an advantage for the Vikings if he doesn’t play. The corners beyond Patrick Peterson will be something to watch all year long with 3rd-year corner Cam Dantzler and newcomer at nickel spot former Green Bay Packer Chandon Sullivan. Look for Green Bay to establish the run early to take pressure off a possible banged up O-Line.

They will also need to run the ball well to help ease the passing game to an extent that their stallion at wide receiver, Davante Adams, is no longer on the team. Plus, role player Marquez Valdes-Scantling is gone to the 49ers, and it’s almost certain Allen Lazard will not play. The Pack still have Aaron Rodgers, so don’t expect him to take a sizable step back from his MVP performances. Maybe this lifelong Vikings fan is just being biased but I’m thinking the Vikings will find a way to get the job done at home and give ’ KO’ his first win as a head coach.

My Official Prediction is Vikings win 27-24. I’ll be taking Vikings +1.5

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

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