Dave Schroeder’s “Fast 5 Pack Facts”: Packers at Vikings

Get in the know and ready to go with the “Fast Facts”
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Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - As the Green Bay Packers get set to start a new season by visiting the Minnesota Vikings, it’s time to get in the know and ready to go with Dave Schroeder’s “Fast 5 Pack Facts.”

#1 Offensive Optimism: The Packers will have growing pains playing the opener without their top 3 WRs from last year. Davante Adams and MVS are on other rosters. And Allen Lazard is doubtful to play in the opener with an ankle injury. But back-to-back reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers should still give you reason for optimism. He has thrown for a ridiculous 38 TD and 0 INT against the NFC North over the past 2 seasons.

Furthermore, Green Bay has gone 7-0 under Matt LaFleur when forced to play without Adams the last 3 years. The Packers have won by leaning on RBs and TEs in the passing game during those games. Aaron Jones is potent as ever and Robert Tonyan is amazingly back and ready to go for the opener after tearing his ACL last year. But on the offensive line? David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins will reportedly miss the opener still coming back from their own ACL injuries.

#2 World’s Best Defense?: The Packers defense sure looks primed to be world beaters this year. The last time we saw them, they didn’t surrender an offensive TD to San Fran in the playoffs. They lost Za’Darius Smith to the Vikings, but drafted two 1st round defenders and will have Jaire Alexander back after the CB missed most of last year.

Show me the weak link among this group: Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Kenny Clark, De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker

#3 Vikings offense: That said… Minnesota poses a huge challenge in Week 1. When you look at their stars’ stats, it’s almost unfathomable to think the Vikings missed the playoffs last year. Kirk Cousins was 4th in the league in QB rating. Justin Jefferson was 2nd with 1,616 receiving yards. Dalvin Cook was 5th with 1,159 rushing yards. And Adam Thielen has always been a thorn in the Packers’ side.

Joe Barry’s Green Bay defense only gave up more than 30 points 3 times all of last year. Two of those appeared to be outliers (38 given up in an opening loss to the Saints and 37 while resting starting in the finale at Detroit). In between those two odd bookends, Minnesota was the only other team to top 30 points against Green Bay.

#4 Road Openers: Odd as it is, this will be the Packers’ 4th consecutive opener on the road. The Matt LaFleur era has seen every Week 1 game played away from Lambeau Field. The Packers are 6-4 in openers the last 10 years. They lost 3 in a row from 2012-2014, then won 6 in a row from 2015-2020, before losing 38-3 in last year’s opener against the Saints.

#5 Tough Place to Play: The Packers have only won 1 game at U.S. Bank Stadium with the opposing fans at full throat. Green Bay lost its first 3 games played in the new Viking Ship. The Packers did win a big primetime game at Minnesota in 2019. And they won there in Week 1 of 2020, but no fans were allowed due to Covid. And last year? Green Bay lost on a last-second field goal.

Prediction: Packers 3, Vikings 0

As always, tune in to Action 2 News at 10 p.m. and Sunday Sports Night Cover 2 at 10:35 for the best Packers postgame coverage around.