Green Bay Packers know that the Minnesota Vikings have an ace up their sleeve on Sunday night football. The Vikings are coming off a game where they beat Detroit last week, while Green Bay lost to Dallas in overtime – and still has one of its top receivers out with injury. Will this be enough for the Pack?
The “Patriots Packers trade” is a trade that will take place on Sunday night football. The Green Bay Packers know the Minnesota Vikings have an ace up their sleeve, and they want to take it away from them. However, the Patriots may have something else up their sleeves as well. Read more in detail here: patriots packers trade.
On Sunday night, the Minnesota Vikings will face the Green Bay Packers without quarterback Kirk Cousins. Sean Mannion will fill in for Cousins, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The 7-8 Vikings are in a difficult situation, and the 12-3 Packers seem to be aware of it.
In this game, the Vikings look to have just one obvious route to victory. The issue now is whether the Packers can prevent Minnesota from continuing down that route and earning their 13th victory of the season.
The Minnesota Vikings are expected to run the ball a lot against the Green Bay Packers.
The Minnesota Vikings’ Dalvin Cook #33 rushes the ball against the Green Bay Packers | Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Everyone knows the Vikings have one ace under their sleeve versus the Packers. Minnesota’s best opportunity to win on Sunday night, especially without Cousins, is to pound the rock mercilessly against Green Bay’s defense.
Alexander Mattison is about as excellent a backup running back as you’ll find in the NFL, and Dalvin Cook is back from his COVID stay.
Minnesota’s best chance of making Mannion’s life easier is to get Green Bay’s aggressive secondary to look in the backfield and worry more about what Cook and Mattison are doing than about Justin Jefferson and the fact that Mannion is a professional quarterback who can get the ball to the second-year star.
On the pass-rush, getting Green Bay’s sights in the backfield will help slow down Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. Mannion, who hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since joining the league in 2015 but has thrown three interceptions, will make every second count.
This season, the Green Bay Packers have struggled to stop the run.
The Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb #24 sprints for yards against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field | Stacy Revere/Getty Images
The Packers have a highly opportunistic defense that is in the top five in the league in interceptions (18), but they’ve had trouble stopping the run at times this season.
Consider Green Bay’s Christmas Day victory against the Cleveland Browns. The Packers were able to shut down Baker Mayfield, who threw four interceptions, but they were unable to stop the Browns’ rushing onslaught. Against the Packers, Cleveland ran for 219 yards, with Nick Chubb accounting for 126 of those yards.
Cleveland was a significantly lesser squad in that game, but they came close to defeating the Packers because to their strong running game. That has had to be the Vikings’ plan. At the very least, that’s the game plan the Packers are anticipating from Minnesota.
According to Ryan Wood and Kassidy Hill, Green Bay linebacker De’Vondre Campbell remarked, “The Vikings are a run-first offense, and everything they do is reliant on the run.” So it doesn’t matter who is in charge of the offense. It’s all part of a system. The quarterback will perform well if they can run the ball effectively.”
Green Bay Packers #52 Rashan Gary reacts after a play against the Washington Redskins | John Fisher/Getty Images
On Sunday night, defensive coordinator Joe Barry and the Packers must stick to a basic game plan.
First and foremost, the Packers must sell out in order to end their losing streak. The Vikings are well aware of this, and they intend to carry it out. Even the typical football fan watching the game and seeing that Cousins is out will be aware of the situation.
Minnesota’s greatest chance of winning is to urge Cook to break the Packers’ hearts, something he has been more than willing to do in the past. When healthy, he’s one of the top running backs in the NFL, but he appears to kick it up a notch when the Packers are on the other side of the field.
The Packers are likely to use their larger run-stopping players early and frequently. That means T.J. Slaton, a 6-foot-4, 330-pound defensive tackle, will get some crucial reps in order to clog up the middle for the Packers. Green Bay will likely deploy Gary and Preston Smith as edge-setters in run coverage. Both players are large and powerful enough to accomplish it, and they’re more than happy to help out in a pinch.
Following that, the Packers should abandon the soft coverage they’ve used in recent weeks and put some pressure on Minnesota’s wide outs. If it involves jamming at the line of scrimmage, which isn’t something Barry’s design encourages, maybe this is the week. This is the week to provide Jefferson the respect he deserves, even if it means double him and treating him as opposition defenders treat Davante Adams.
The plan boils down to this: make Mannion a better quarterback than you. Take away his ability to run and lock up Jefferson, who will likely be his safety net for the rest of the game.
It’s a straightforward technique, but it’s more difficult to implement than it seems. It is, however, one that will result in a major victory for a Green Bay team vying for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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The Green Bay Packers are at home on Sunday Night Football, and they know the Minnesota Vikings have an ace up their sleeve. The Packers need to take that ace away from the Vikings if they want to win. Reference: greenbay packers game.
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