Green Bay Packers 2019 opponent preview: Minnesota Vikings
After a disappointing 2018 season, will the Minnesota Vikings bounce back this year?
The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings both underachieved in 2018. The two teams had battled over first place in the NFC North for multiple years, with 10 of the previous 11 division titles going to one of the two teams prior to 2018.
But the Chicago Bears changed all of that last season, with both Green Bay and Minnesota missing out on the playoffs entirely.
Will the Vikings return to the postseason in 2019?
The Vikings fell short of expectations in 2018, finishing with an 8-7-1 record and failing to reach the postseason. They were still in playoff contention after starting the year 6-4-1, but lost three of their final five games. Minnesota finished second in the NFC North.
When are the games?
Just like last season, the Packers will host the Vikings at Lambeau Field in Week 2, the game being played on Sunday, Sept. 15. Last year, the game ended in a tie.
Green Bay will travel to U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 16 on Sunday, Dec. 23 in primetime.
The Vikings focused on improving the offensive line this offseason. First, they brought in guard Josh Kline in free agency. They then selected center Garrett Bradbury in the first round of the draft, guard Dru Samia in the fourth and tackle Oli Udoh in the sixth. If the offensive line improves, expect the Vikings offense to be much better.
Minnesota also drafted tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round, who could be the long-term replacement for Kyle Rudolph.
Overall, it looks to have been a strong offseason for the Vikings.
Last meeting with Packers
Nov. 25, 2018: Vikings won 24-17 at U.S. Bank Stadium
Player to watch
Kirk Cousins: Just like last year, the Vikings are relying on their $84 million quarterback to lead them to the playoffs. Cousins was inconsistent in his first season with the Vikings — while he did throw a career-best 30 touchdown passes, he also had double-digit interceptions for the fourth straight year.
With an improved offensive line and Cousins entering his second year with the team, he could take the next step.
If the Packers’ defense can force Cousins into mistakes, they’ll have the advantage.