November 1, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) celebrates with offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland (72) after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It’s that time of the off-season when a little more creativity is needed to fill the void in football. In fact, there isn’t as much news as there was towards the end of July, so I’ll take this opportunity to provide a prediction for the Vikings game plan. We’re chopping up the schedule and putting together bite-sized chunks rather than one giant article. Greetings Vikings.com for help with game details, PFR for statistics and PFF for roster information and grades.
Week 1 – Packer, September 11, 3:25 p.m
The schedulers knew what they were doing with this one.
Vikings fans will be equal parts excited and nervous in Week 1. Division rivals Packers have won the North for three straight seasons. They’ll be trying to get fourth straight without the help of Davante Adams, arguably the best receiver in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers is a great player but I’m more nervous about their defense. Kenny Clark, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, De’Vondre Campbell, Adrian Amos and Jaire Alexander are all superb players (and the talent doesn’t stop there). Minnesota’s skills should pose a challenge, but GB has the potential to be a top defense in 2022. I hate to say this but they come out on top in week 1.
Prediction: GB 31 – MN 21
Week 2 – @ Eagles, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. (MNF)
Expect a tonne of “Kirk Cousins in Prime Time” articles. The veteran will get another chance to subvert one of the most consistent criticisms that have been sent his way (there are several).
On the other side is Jalen Hurts. He only had 16 TD passes last season, a number that’s even less impressive given his 9 INTs. However, he’s rushed for 784 yards and 10 TDs, so Minnesota needs to be really sharp on defense. Last season, Hurts created many problems for an impressive Denver defense. AJ Brown is the new WR1, and Dallas Goedert is an excellent player (he had a 90.7 score). PFF last season).
They won’t be as strong defensively as Green Bay. However, remember that they paired James Bradberry with Darius Slay on the corner. Former Vikings Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris are safe, and their DL still has Fletcher Cox (who’s still really good). Still, I’m looking for a recovery from Minnesota taking her record to .500.
Prediction: MN 34 – PHI 27
Week 3 – Lions, September 25, 12:00 p.m
We shouldn’t overlook the lions. Many did this last season (including mine really) and things went bad. Jared Goff clinched his first win with Detroit with a last-second TD pass. One wonders if it was a game that basically sealed Mike Zimmer’s fate.
In all likelihood, the lions will be better in 2022 (Adam New takes on this theme for VT). They actually have some strong talents in both OL and DL. Frank Ragnow, Penei Sewell, Taylor Decker, Romeo Okwara and Aidan Hutchinson are all good players. Also, it will be difficult to cover Amon-Ra St. Brown and TJ Hockenson. Both will test Minnesota’s new defense.
Regardless, this was to be victory #2 for the Vikings. Detroit is still rebuilding; Minnesota, on the other hand, has decided to push for a 2022 Super Bowl. You have a lot more talent.
Forecast: MN 27 – DET 13