The Vikings are in a must-win mode heading to Green Bay to face a hot Packers team that is 7-0 at home this season.
The Packers are a 6.5-point home favorite in this NFC North clash with a total of 47. Surprisingly, the public has backed Minnesota in this game, as they opened as a 7-point underdog and as of Thursday are a 6.5-point dog.
After Week 16 the Vikings are 7-8 and 8-7 ATS and the Packers are 12-3 and 11-4 ATS.
The Vikings had won two in a row before their last game where they were at home and lost to the L.A. Rams 30-23. They outgained the Rams and picked off L.A.’s Matt Stafford three times but they gave up 159 yards and only rushed for 66 yards and were only 2-12 on third down.
The Packers won their fourth in a row in their last game with a 24-22 home win over the Cleveland Browns. Green Bay was outgained by almost 100 yards and gave up 209 rushing yards but they forced four turnovers and did not commit any.
The last loss for Green Bay was a 34-31 road loss to the Vikings. Minnesota was the underdog in the game and covered and the underdog has covered the spread in the last four games between these division rivals.
One Back, One Down
While the Vikings will get star RB Dalvin Cook back, they lost WR Adam Thielen (726 yards 10 TD), who is out for the season on IR.
Kirk Cousins (3,971 yards 30 TD 7 INT) passed for 315 yards in the loss to the Rams but struggled on third down. While he has five TD over the last three games, he has four INT in that span and has been sacked seven times in the last two games.
The loss of Thielen is a big one and it puts more pressure on Justin Jefferson, who ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards and had 116 of them in the last game.
Cook ranks fourth in the league with 1,067 rushing yards and getting him back is big since Minnesota only rushed for 66 yards in the loss to the Rams last week.
Green Bay was not impressive on defense in the win over the Browns and in the loss to the Vikings a little over a month ago they gave up 34 points. On the season the Green Bay D ranks 10th in the league against the pass and 19th against the run.
Looking to Hold onto #1
The Packers are currently the top seed in the NFC and winning this game is a big deal since they play the two-win Lions in the season finale. Finishing with the top spot would be huge, as they would have home field throughout the playoffs and they would get the only bye in the conference.
Aaron Rodgers (3,689 yards 33 TD 4 INT) has to be the front-runner to repeat as MVP and he has 10 TD in the last three games and has not been picked off in the last five games. He has a bad toe that has hampered his mobility and while listed as questionable he will go against the Vikings.
Davante Adams ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards and he has 100+ receiving yards in four of the last five games.
Aaron Jones (723 yards 4 TD) is banged up and listed as questionable but should go in this game and he rushed for 66 yards in the win over the Browns. A.J. Dillon (677 yards 3 TD) has rushed for 63 yards in the last two games after rushing for 140 yards in the previous two games.
The Vikings have given up at least 28 points in four of their last five games and on the season, they only rank 27th in the league against the pass and 28th against the run.
The Vikings are in desperation mode in need of a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. On the other side of the coin the Packers will not let up, as they want to hold onto the top-seed in the NFC. The Vikings will run the ball often with Cook back and facing a Packers run defense that gave up over 200 rushing yards in the last game. I see the Vikings playing well on offense but the same cannot be said about their defense. I look for Rodgers to have a big game and for Green Bay to light up the scoreboard. They will not blow out Minnesota but they will get the W and cover the spread at Lambeau.