The Green Bay Packers look to break their three-game losing streak this week when they host the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. The last time the two teams met the Packers won 44-31 in their final game at the Metrodome. It was the last game this season Green Bay notched a victory, and coincidently, the last game Aaron Rodgers played from beginning to end.
At 5-5 and one game behind the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions in the division, the Packers need to beat the Vikings this week to keep pace with the rest of the pack. It remains unclear when Rodgers will return this year, and Green Bay has still yet to get their first victory without him.
Could this be the week?
To get a better understanding of what to expect from the Vikings this week, we contacted Adam Carlson from The Viking Age to once again share his thoughts about the Packers-Vikings matchup.
Adam had some interesting things to say about the Vikings’ injury situation, the production of their rookies, and where their team is heading in the future.
Enjoy Adam’s insight.
Packers vs. Vikings Q&A with Adam Carlson
1) The Vikings are currently sitting at 2-8 and it appears their playoff chances are out of reach. What would you like to see from them to finish out the season?
As a Vikings fan, I always want to see the team win. Even if it means losing out on a top draft pick, winning games (especially division games) is really important to make sure that the team still can maintain some level of respect. Although it is true that the playoffs seem very, very unlikely for this Minnesota Vikings team, there is something to be said for players and staff that still give it their all no matter what.
2) The Vikings are dealing with a number of injuries. How has this impacted the team this season? Are there any significant players that may not play this week?
The biggest injury for the Vikings this week is John Sullivan. Last year, he was Pro Football Focus’ top center in the NFL. The Packers have a large, scary man named B.J. Raji in the middle that would be able to take advantage of a matchup against backup Joe Berger if Sullivan is unable to clear the concussion protocols in time for the game. The Packers and their fans know what it is like to have a team that has a lot of injuries and players on injured reserve. This seems to be an extra bad year for it.
3) The Vikings had three first round picks in this year’s draft. What have Sharrif Floyd, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Xavier Rhodes meant to the team this year? What’s your evaluation of their rookie seasons?
So far, they’ve all been eased into action. Happily, all three are coming along nicely. Floyd has shown the flashes of brilliance that had him as a possible #2 overall draft pick. Patterson is making explosive plays on special teams and finally got his first start of the year at wide receiver last week in place of Jerome Simpson. And finally, Xavier Rhodes is looking like the kind of cornerback that the Vikings need. Although he isn’t targeted a lot as a rookie, he is learning and developing his skills to hopefully be a cornerstone for that defense.
4) The Vikings defense ranks in the bottom of the league in points (32nd) and yards (30th) allowed. What positions do they need to address in the offseason to improve this side of the ball?
The Vikings need to get the defensive end position figured out, but I’ll talk about that more in the next question. Mostly though, Minnesota needs to get some stability and solid play from the secondary. The Vikings may have found their starter at safety next to Harrison Smith when he returns from injury in Andrew Sendejo. But the Vikings still have needs at linebacker, cornerback, and defensive end coming up.
5) Both Jared Allen and Brian Robison began this season in their final year of their contract. What does their future look like in Minnesota after this year?
Luckily, Brian Robison signed a 4-year contract extension this year, so Vikings fans can be happy that he’s returning. The team has been negotiating with Everson Griffen, but those talks have stalled. Jared Allen is reaching that age where another insane contract just isn’t wise for the Vikings to take on right now. His production the last two years isn’t where it should be for a player with that salary cap number. If the Vikings fail to sign either one of those guys back to the team, they may have to look to the draft to get a new body at defensive end.
6) Give us one player on each side of the ball we may not know a lot about but could impact the game Sunday?
On offense, tight end John Carlson has stepped in well in place of the injured Kyle Rudolph. He has been a virtual unknown to even Vikings fans because of his lack of production with the team. However, he has led the team in both receptions and yards the last two weeks and looks to have another big game this week.
Defensively, it comes back to Andrew Sendejo. As a safety, he has been a tackling machine. He bottles up a lot of plays and keeps a lot of longer plays from becoming touchdowns. The Vikings also signed him to an extension during this year. He is a real up-and-comer in this Vikings secondary.
7) Finally, give us your game prediction with an explanation, final score, and any other final thoughts you’d like to leave with us.
I desperately want the Vikings to win this game to make things a little more respectable for the franchise this year. However, you never know which Christian Ponder you’re gonna get. And both defenses and offenses are struggling recently except in the running game. I’m going to say that the Vikings lose this one in a close contest, 34-31.
I would just like to thank Adam from The Viking Age for taking the time this week to answer our questions. Make sure to check back in with us at Lombardi Ave fifteen minutes prior to kickoff for our live game day chat.