The Green Bay Packers travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings inside that team’s newest digs tonight.
Under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football, the Packers and Vikings pick up from Week 17 of the 2015 season finale where the Vikings stole a NFC North Division title.
How will this game go?
Well, the staffers here at lombardiave.com take a stab at predicting the outcome of this game that is attracting a national attention.
The result will also have long-term effects on determining the team that wins the NFC North Division this season.
Here is what we here at Lombardiave think …
Ralph Mancini: You can bet week’s paycheck that the Purple and Gold be motivated to show up their division rivals in a spotlight game in the newly-constructed U.S. Bank Stadium.
But one can also argue that the Packers will be just as much fire in their bellies to silence Vikings diehards Sunday night given the fact that Minnesota stood in their way of winning a fifth-consecutive division title last January.
The difference in this game will be the fact that Aaron Rodgers won’t be serving up a win on a silver platter just as Marcus Mariota did in Nashville. Mike Zimmer will need his offense to score touchdowns this time around and expecting the newly-acquired Sam Bradford to be up to the task this early in his Vikings tenure is probably a bit much to ask for.
Packers 24 Vikings 16
Kenn Korb: It only took one week, but I already have to change my mind from my huge season prediction article!
While I do still see the valid concerns I was worried about a few weeks ago in regards to this matchup (an impressive defense unit, Adrian Peterson) and seen some new ones pop up (no Sam Shields will be a concern, and Quinten Rollins must play much better), I can’t in good faith go against Green Bay here.
Rodgers and Nelson showed signs of finding their rhythm again already last week, and I think we’ll see more of that on display here.
Lacy has been a dominant force in all but one of the seven games he’s played against the Vikings and could find his footing here. Oh, and the defense won’t have to worry about the same kind of explosive passing that caused trouble last week with this team.
I’d expect Adrian Peterson to do some damage, and their defense to help keep things close, but ultimately the underwhelming nature of their passing game will prevent Minnesota from being able to open their new stadium with a victory.
Green Bay 20, Minnesota 16
Joe Olkives: I believe the Packers come out on top.
Their defense will play well enough to force the Vikings to settle for field goals. The Packers offense is versatile enough where they will find ways to get the ball in the end zone.
Ultimately, the Packers are far more dangerous on offense than the Vikings are. I think the Packers offense will be able to put up enough points again this week that the Packers defense will have enough breathing room to get the job done.
Also, Aaron Rodgers is due for one of those games where he goes off, and he is yet to do so against a Zimmer defense, so Why not on Sunday Night Football on the National stage?
Packers 30, Vikings 20
Aaron Rodgers 287 Yards, 3TDS
Eddie Lacy 97 yards
Sam Bradford 205 Yards, TD
Adrian Peterson 114 yards
Remember when Sam Bradford was 10/10 with 121 yards passing and 3 touchdowns against the Packers?
Well, you can forget that.
A feat of that nature will not be duplicated in the first regular season game played inside US Bank Stadium.
Minnesota will and should rely on a very strong defensive unit. However, they will not be the beneficiary of the turnovers from a week ago.
Packers 27, Vikings 20
Joe D’Aloisio: It still uncertain who will be the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. But, quite frankly it doesn’t matter.
Shaun Hill, who started against the Tennessee Titans in week one, was average at best. He completed 18-of-33 passes for 236 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions. If it wasn’t for their defense scoring two touchdowns, the Vikings would have dropped the first game against a lousy Titans team.
Of course the other quarterback option for the Vikings is Sam Bradford, who has never beaten the Packers in his career (0-2).
On the flip side, the Vikings defense is legit. However, Packers will present a much tougher task than the Titans’ offense. The Packers defense will need to be aggressive and force turnovers with whoever is at quarterback and limit Adrian Peterson, who wasn’t impressive against the Titans.
If the Packers can establish a rushing attack with Eddie Lacy and run an up-tempo offense they will move onto 2-0.
Packers 28, Vikings 13
Brad Miller: This Sunday night NBC will showcase a title bout among 2 NFC North rivals and playoff hopefuls.
A solid offensive line, and weapons at skill positions make for an offense that you cannot underestimate, even with Shaun Hill at quarterback.
The Packers have to find a way to move the ball against one of the top defences in the NFL. As we discussed on Tundra Talk, it starts with getting Eddie Lacy going, but they ultimately need everyone in the offense to step up and get involved in the attack.
All the pieces could come together; the Packers are surely capable of beating this team. I just don’t know if they will this time.
Vikings 20, Packers 16
Ray Rivard: If emotion is an intangible that could factor into the final score of this Packers vs. Vikings tilt, the Vikings surely have the edge.
The team from Minnesota also has the best defense at this point in time.
But the Packers have Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.
Could those two, along with a supporting cast of contributors named Eddie Lacy, Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, be enough to overcome the intangibles tonight as the Vikings open the doors to their new billion-dollar-plus stadium?
If the Packers play a near-perfect game, they can win.
However, I feel that somehow, somewhere the football gods are going to make this NFL season interesting and set the stage for a Vikings victory that will come down to the foot of Blair Walsh.
Yes, I’m hoping I’m wrong and Walsh is wide left, but I feel the Vikings pull out a close win in this one.
Vikings 23 Packers 21