Packers predictions: Lombardi Ave staff with outlook

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 08: (L-R) Richard Rodgers
ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 08: (L-R) Richard Rodgers /

Packers vs. Vikings is one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the week as the NFC North Division rivals face off in Minnesota.

Like many others predicting the outcome of this game, the writers here at Lombardi Ave looked at many of the factors that could turn this game one way or the other.

And like so many others, this is another week when it comes down to one thing: Aaron Rodgers and how he will handle the pressure that is sure to come from Minnesota’s premier pass-rushing group.

In the end, however, we’ve seen this matchup before, and feel that even with the Packers’ offensive line in disarray, Rodgers has too many weapons and options not to be successful today.

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With Rodgers working at optimum efficiency and coming off his Offensive Player of the Week performance at Dallas last week, the Packers have the clear edge.

Take a trip around the internet and you will see that most of the experts taking stock of the outcome of this game lean heavily in favor of the Packers.

We all know that doesn’t mean the Packers will be handed this victory in a handbasket – they will certainly have to earn it.

But with Rodgers under center for Green Bay the field certainly tilts their way.

That said, let’s take a look at what the staff members at Lombardi Ave have to say about the outcome of this one …

Joe Olkives: The Packers have the better and more experienced team in the areas that count.

The Vikings have their hands full.

With the recent news of Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs ruled out, it wold be hard for anyone to pick Minnesota here. The Vikings defense is good, but it’s Aaron times two this week with Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers coming off  impressive performances at Dallas last week.

Packers 26 Vikings 13

Joe D’Aloisio: The Green Bay Packers enter Week 6 riding a three-game winning streak, as they travel to Minnesota to take on Vikings.

Case Keenum will get the nod for the Vikings, as Sam Bradford will miss the game with a knee injury. Keenum has played extremely well in four games, completing 78-of-121 passes, for 895 yards and four touchdowns.

The most impressive stat from Keenum’s four games is he has yet to throw an interception.

Dom Capers’ unit will be aggressive and create turnovers against the divisional rivals. Star wide receiver Stefon Diggs will also be out with a groin injury.

As for the Packers, running back Ty Montgomery is questionable, after breaking his ribs in week four. However, news reports today indicate Montgomery is ready to play.

Don’t expect Aaron Jones to continue his hot streak, as the Vikings run defense is one of the top units in the NFL.

Aaron Rodgers will continue his dominance against the Vikings. In 18 games against them, he has completed 400-of-586 passes for 4,810 yards, 40 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

Packers 34 Vikings 17

Evan Siegel: The Vikings are too beat up to beat the Packers. The uncertainty at quarterback, combined with the loss of Stephon Diggs will prove to be too big of a loss for the Vikings.

Losing Dalvin Cook puts a huge dent in the Vikings’ running game.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense are simply too hot for Minnesota right now. Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson may have a tough time against Xavier Rhodes, but the Packers are simply in too good of an offensive groove to lose a divisional game.

The Packers convincingly improve to 5-1.

Packers 27 Vikings17

Ralph Mancini: Facing a formidable Vikings’ defense on the road is never a walk in the park, especially when an already struggling cornerback group is without its top cover man in rookie sensation Kevin King.

But the Packers get a bit of a break with wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who’s also been ruled out, as he recovers from a groin ailment.

The Packers’ offense would benefit greatly from Aaron Jones delivering a repeat performance of last week’s 100-yard-plus effort in order to slow down Minnesota’s pass rushers that can make things a living nightmare for Aaron Rodgers if the offense becomes one-dimensional.

Anticipate a close game with Rodgers donning his Superman cape late by making a few pivotal plays to put his team in position to kick the game-winning field goal and go into the new week at 5-1.

Opposing signal caller Case Keenum will do a serviceable job in keeping things close, but will fail to
match No. 12 in the fourth quarter.

Packers 24 Vikings 22

Brad Miller: Ah, the good ole’ “NFC Norris” divisional rivalry (as former ESPN commentator Chris Berman put it) gets rekindled for their bi-yearly battle as the Packers invade Minneapolis this Sunday.

These games always seem to be close no matter what the records of each team are. I don’t expect anything different this week either.

The Vikings, not unlike the Packers, have had their share of tough injuries so far this season.

The QB position being one of the main ones but Minnesota has seemed to have weathered the storm fairly well. Considering they are starting a relative third string quarterback again this week.

Well-travelled Case Keenum gets the nod this week over the still-battered Sam Bradford.

Keenum has ran the Viking offense fairly well and has giving the Vikings the chance to win each game he has played in. He relieved Bradford last week to steal the win in Chicago.

The Vikings did lose starting rookie RB standout Dalvin Cook to a year ending knee injury. This was maybe a bigger blow to the purple and yellow then the Bridgewater or Bradford injuries at QB.

Cook was looking like Ezekiel Elliott looked like last year as he tore his way opposing defenses this year for a 4.8 yards per carry average. His absence will insure that back up RB Latavius Murray will get plenty looks this week.

Also out is their star receiver Stefon Diggs. His loss and Cook’s will put most of the pressure on Murray and TE Kyle Rudolph to carry the offensive against the Packers.

The Packers, coming off an amazing come-from- behind win AGAIN in Dallas, will look to continue their torrid run this season. Aaron Rodger made believers out of anyone else who didn’t think he is the most clutch QB in the league. Even Coach McCarthy stated in his post-game press conference that he is just running out of superlatives to describe his starting quarterback. Not too many NFL QBs past or present can pull off what Rodgers did Sunday. He seems to have ice in his veins and thrives in those situations.

The Packers will have Jordy Nelson and Ty Montgomery back this week. Nelson will surely start but who will start at running back? Montgomery or breakout rookie Aaron Jones? It may be hard to Coach McCarthy to give the reins back to Montgomery after Jone’s performance last week against Dallas. I’d expect Jones to get most of the carries whether he starts or not.

Look for a hard-hitting, hard fought game this week. The Vikings will have that home field advantage for this game and that will help their cause.

I expect Latavius Murray to put up some numbers this week but it just won’t be enough. The Packers defense will bend but not break on Sunday. I see Rodgers hitting 10 different receivers throughout the game as his arm leads the Pack to a 5-1 record.

Packers 27 Vikings 20

Freddie Boston: The last time Green Bay visited Minnesota, Sam Bradford threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, while Stefon Diggs caught nine of Bradford’s passes for 182 yards and a score.

Both Bradford and Diggs are out of game. That alone swings the game in the Packers’ favor.

Now consider Aaron Rodgers.

In Rodgers’ past 14 games (including playoffs), he’s thrown for 4,038 yards, 37 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

The Packers have gone 12-2 in that span.

Mike Zimmer’s defense might create some problems, but the Vikings have lost too many pieces on offense to keep pace with the two-time MVP.

Packers 20 Vikings 14

Ray Rivard: With Green Bay riding high over their emotional last-second win against the Dallas Cowboys last week and Aaron Rodgers playing better than he has at any point in his career, I feel the boys from Packers News go into this NFC North Division matchup against the Minnesota Vikings with the field clearly tilted this way.

Throw in the fact that the Packers have had issues at the quarterback position and are missing their biggest offensive weapon in Stefon Diggs, and the field tilts even more toward the Packers.

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Expect the Vikings defense to get through the Packers makeshift offensive line, but also expect Aaron Rodgers to use his legs effectively to evade the rush and make plays outside the pocket. Those plays will be enough to give the Packers at least a 10-point advantage and to lift them to a 5-1 record.

Packers 32 Vikings 20