Three things the Packers need to prepare for in Week 1 against the Vikings.
The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings have one of the most intense rivalries in the NFL.
With that in mind, the Packers should prepare for three things for Week 1 against the Vikings.
Dalvin Cook has been a problem for many defenses. Since Cook was drafted, the Packers’ run defense has struggled to contain him.
Cook played a huge part in the Packers’ loss to the Vikings in their first matchup last season. If the run defense had done their part to contain him, the outcome may have been different.
Cook has 759 total yards and nine touchdowns in seven career games versus Green Bay.
It is absolutely crucial for the defensive line to prepare for Cook by winning the battle up front to set the tone early. Shutting down Cook slows down Minnesota’s offense. If Green Bay can put the brakes on Cook, the game will go a lot smoother.
With former Packers star linebacker Za’Darius Smith being signed by the Vikings, Aaron Rodgers should prepare for Smith to bring the heat in the backfield. Smith will also be accompanied to the backfield by two-time Pro Bowler Danielle Hunter.
Green Bay’s offensive line will have their work cut out for them. For Rodgers to escape the pressure, the offensive line needs to been on their A-game and then some as Za’Darius Smith will be ready to pounce.
David Bakhtiari could be available to play Sunday, which will help tremendously.
Green Bay’s special teams unit was a disaster last season. Negative plays on special teams became a recurring theme for the Packers last season which was very frustrating to watch.
A poor special teams performance was costly in the divisional round of the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers, as the blocked punt led to the loss.
Minnesota will look to capitalize on special teams given Green Bay’s poor performance in that area. The Packers need to clean up their mistakes on special teams and be ready to play sharp.
Shutting down kick and punt returners and making positive return plays will guarantee success on special teams. Hopefully, the Packers can upgrade their special teams performance to help earn the win.