The 4-5-1 Packers will travel to Minnesota to take on the 5-4-1 Vikings in this week’s Sunday night matchup. Both teams are coming off losses in games which they had good chances at winning. The Packers blew a 4 point fourth quarter lead over the Seattle Seahawks as they were defeated 27-24 on the road. The loss pushed them into third place in the NFC North behind the Vikings and the first place Chicago Bears. Minnesota played the Bears last week but failed to gain ground in the division as they were beaten 25-20 in Chicago. The Vikings trailed 14-0 at halftime but made a nice come back with 2 touchdowns and a field goal in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Kirk Cousins also threw a pick six in the final quarter extending the Bears lead to 14.
Aaron Rodgers finished with a passer rating of 128 against the Seahawks and it still wasn’t enough to get the win. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 332 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Davante Adams who 166 yards on 10 receptions. They struggled running the ball as they gained just 48 yards on 13 carries. Aaron Jones led the team with 40 yards which include a touchdown. For the year, the Packers offense has averaged 24.7 points and 421 yards per game. Defensively, they were able to recover a fumble and sack Russell Wilson 3 times. Against the run, they allowed Seattle to gain 173 yards on 35 carries which is an average of 4.9 yards per rush. The Seahawks also had 6 different receiver catch passes that gained at least 15 yards.
The Vikings had 3 costly turnovers against the Bears and it started with Cousins. He threw 2 interceptions as he finished with a quarterback rating of 52.5. He completed 30 of 46 passes for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. His favorite target was Stefon Diggs who had 13 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. Their run game was non-existent as the team had just 22 yards on 14 carries. On the season, the Vikings offense has averaged 24.1 points 379.4 yards per game. Defensively, they intercepted Mitchell Trubisky twice and recovered a fumble. They allowed the Bears to gain 148 rushing yards on 39 carries while having 8 tackles for losses. Their defense could get a boost with the return of starting linebacker Anthony Barr who missed the prior 3 games with a hamstring injury. While his status hasn’t been confirmed, he has stated he expects to play.
The Vikings will have home field advantage and are favored by 3.5 points. They have gone 5-4-1 against the spread this season including 3-2 at home. The Packers have gone 4-5-1 against the spread including 1-3-1 at home. There is a storied rivalry between these teams who are both looking up at the Chicago Bears in the NFC North. The fans at U.S. Bank Stadium will be more than ready to help their team get closer to the Bears while diminishing the Packers playoff hopes.
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