Week 8 of NFL action brings us an NFC North battle that pits first place against last place. The Minnesota Vikings will take the field on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers with hopes of turning their woeful season around.
The Vikings are only 1-5 on the season and sit at the bottom of the NFC North. The Packers, on the other hand, are 5-1 and have the division lead.
Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 PM Eastern on Sunday and will air on FOX.
The Cousins Conundrum
The Vikings’ offensive line hasn’t done a good job of protecting Kirk Cousins this season, but Cousins is putting together a very forgettable year on his own. He has thrown for 11 touchdowns, a league-leading 10 interceptions, and only 1475 passing yards.
While the yards are middle of the road, carrying an almost 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio is never good. Just ask Jameis Winston…
His abysmal Week 6 performance against Atlanta, in which he threw three interceptions before halftime, had fans calling for Cousins to be benched. While sitting him down would’ve sent a strong message, Cousins remained in the game, padding stats in garbage time.
When running back Dalvin Cook has been healthy, he has done his job for the most part. Cook is averaging almost 100 yards per game and 5.3 yards per attempt.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, Cook suffered a groin injury before the bye week, and is listed as “questionable” on the injury report this week. If he’s healthy enough to go, the Vikings always have somewhat of a chance, even with Cousins at the helm.
Man on a Mission
Aaron Rodgers’ play this season is laser-focused on bringing the Packers to the Super Bowl. Aside from one poor outing against the Buccaneers, he has been in MVP-caliber form.
Rodgers rebounded off the terrible Bucs game last week by completing 23 of his 34 passes for four touchdowns against the Houston Texans. He is having yet another career year. He’s thrown 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions on the season.
The only thing that may improve the Vikings odds this week is that running back Aaron Jones remains sidelined with a calf injury. If Jones can’t go, the Packers will lean on backup Jamaal Williams and may try to utilize rookie A.J. Dillon, who earned head coach Matt LaFleur’s praises earlier this week.
With one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league right now, a defense playing at a high level, an established running game, and a coach that knows how to call the offense, look out for the Packers the rest of the season. They may be the best team in the NFC, and with the rest of the NFC North falling behind, Green Bay may have an inside track to the #1 Seed in the playoffs
The Packers are only favored by six in this matchup, which seems generous to Minnesota, given their struggles all season. The over/under is set at 50, but you may want to avoid betting on the total. Minnesota has a problem scoring outside of garbage time and a banged-up secondary that may have the Packers running out the clock before halftime, limiting scoring opportunities.
Packers (-6) at home is a no-brainer. Green Bay pours one on the Vikings here and easily wins by double digits. Take the Packers and the points.
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