Key Matchups: Week 16- God, We Hate The Vikings

Here are some key matchups that will help the Packers finally defeat the Vikings at home.  

Let's be honest, we are all sick of losing to the Vikings in Minnesota.  If I'm being honest, the Vikings are tied for my most hated sports team along with the D-Bag Duke Blue Devils.  Let's put aside my personal biases and talk about how the Packers can finally end the high jinx against their hated division rivals tonight.

Key Matchups:

1. The Front Seven vs. Any Vikings Player Who is a Running Back (Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullah):

Let's be honest, this is probably the key to the game: if the Green and Gold can hold the Vikings rushing attack to 100 yards and keep them out of the endzone they will win this game.  The key to making the 0-8 Monday Night record of Kirk Cousins to grow to 0-9, is to make him throw the ball 35-40 times because the odds of him throwing an interception or two grow incredibly if he has to throw the ball over 25 times.

2. Jaire Alexander vs. Stefon Diggs

In my opinion, Jaire's second year has not been quite as good as his rookie season.  Metrics do not necessarily agree with that but I feel like he has been beat a bit more by the deep ball.  What does Stefon Diggs like to do; beat corners with a go route or two.  Personally, I would guard Thielen with a combination of Savage, Tramon, and King since there is no way he can really be at 100% (well, it's the Packers so maybe he can have a 200 yard day) and try and match Jaire one on one with Diggs.  If Jaire has his best day, he contains Diggs and the Queens have to hope for Thielen to single handedly win them the game.  My guess is that doesn't happen and he and captain Kirk have more issues.  

3. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams vs. The Vikings Secondary:

Again, it doesn't really matter what side of the field Tae lines up on.  The truth of the matter is that he needs to just win the majority of his one on one matchups (against either Xavier Rhodes or Trae Waynes) and find soft spots in the zone if Minnesota ever decides to go that route.  Most pundits are not big fans of force feeding Davante the ball, I tend to go against the grain and say that in order for the Packers to win, number 17 needs 10+ targets and 2 touchdowns.  Frequently targeting Adams will open up the field for the secondary weapons and allow Rodgers to eventually diversify the offense anyway.  

4. Aaron Jones vs. Jamaal Williams:

I think the Packers best plan on the rushing attack may be to have a closer to even split on carries.  The Vikings have premier talent in their front seven and some heavy bodies up front to combat.  Giving Williams some more carries in certain series as well as in short yardage situations may end up paying dividends for the Packers.  I would look for Williams to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 carries and to have Jones have extended touches in the screen game and split out wide (I still think Jones gets 18-23 touches but LaFleur finds creative ways to get him the ball).  

Prediction:

Last Sunday, I texted a friend that I thought the Packers would definitely get smoked, now I'm not so sure.  Honestly, not worrying about Dalvin Cook is a huge factor for my change of heart.  The key to this game has now been shifted to containing Diggs or Thielen and I think that the Packers are up to the task.  I believe that Kenny Clark and the run defense keeps the Vikings rushing attack to around the 100 yard mark and Jaire Alexander plays his best game of the season.  I think the Packers play their best game of the season and pull off a 24-21 upset of the Vikings.  

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (38)

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NashvilleCheesehead's picture

December 23, 2019 at 07:19 am

Believe!

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Hematite's picture

December 23, 2019 at 07:31 am

Tonight is primetime for the Packers to put an end to their struggles in Minnesota.
Tonight is also a good time to extend Cousins MNF losing streak.
GO PACK GO!!!!!

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GBPDAN1's picture

December 23, 2019 at 07:46 am

A good performance tonight, on the road in a hostile environment against a talented team, will show that we are ready for the playoffs and that we have a legitimate chance to contend. A performance tonight like that against the Chargers or 49ers this year will remove any hope I have that we are legitimate.

A win tonight will give us , basically, a first round bye (because beating the depleted lions next week should be a given). I hope our team is ready to bring their A game. Go Pack!

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:29 am

”because beating the depleted lions next week should be a given).“. There are no givens in the NFL, just ask Seattle!

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GBPDAN1's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:09 am

That's why I used the word "should " and not "will". But thanks for checking in anyway

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Good point... I didn’t catch that. Yes they should beat them.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:35 am

I totally agree with your sentiments. This will be our best test to see if we are ready for the playoffs. Time to play to the teams potential for all 4 quarters. GPG!

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NickPerry's picture

December 23, 2019 at 07:56 am

I gave David a "Thumbs Up" just for the title of his story. I'm a Packers fans who HATES the Vikings to my core...Even more than the Bears! Maybe it's because I've never seen a more of obnoxious fans who have NEVER WON SHIT, or maybe it's because Kurt Cousins reminds me of a human who resembles a rat, but I'm a Packers fan who detests the Minnesota Vikings.

I posted something similar to this in a previous piece but IMO this is when the Packers absolutely have to play their best football. From tonight and all games that follow, IT IS TIME Play 60 minutes, all gas, no brakes, and when you have your foot on the opposing teams neck place your other foot there and jump and break that MF'er!!

More Williams but with Jones on the field at the SAME time. Take what the defense gives you and do it with some TEMPO.

Rodgers...DON'T run the play clock down to zero when snapping the ball. Playing away you may not get those calls where it seems like every other snap is made about 1 second AFTER the play clock runs out. Just get to the line and snap the damn ball. Hell you do it so little you might catch them sleeping!

Mike Pettine...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be more aggressive for start to FINISH. If you build a lead and are ahead 21-3 or 24-10 keep doing the SAME thing and stay aggressive. Don't resort to that Capers Prevent which almost got you beat against Carolina and Chicago to name a few.

Packers 27 to 16!

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Cubbygold's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:52 am

The only thing more obnoxious than a fan base that hasn't won shit is a grown ass man taking credit for other men's accomplishments.

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packerbackerjim's picture

December 23, 2019 at 09:48 am

I think Cousins more resembles Doug in the annoying Liberty Mutual ads. I’m reluctant to make ad hominem attacks, but I’ve never liked him since his days at MSU.

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mrtundra's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:21 am

As for viking RBs, I think Boone will get most of their carries. He is as good as Cook is, IMO. If we plan for Cook, we can use that plan on Boone. Guarding their WRs is key, but do not forget about their TE's, underneath the coverage. Our DBs and LBs will have their hands full on that underneath stuff. Cover Thielen and Diggs like a glove and give Kark no one to pass to. All pass plays they run can be nullified with a strong pass rush and by putting a lot of pressure on Kark to make mistakes, which he will. I hope Pettine is cooking up some plays to do just that. Making Kark be 0-9 on MNF, is the order of the day! GO PACK, GO!!!

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Cubbygold's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:53 am

Yeah, Boone is the guy to watch. I don't know that he's as capable of the big plays, but it won't be a walk in the park by any means.

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:34 am

Good article David. I especially agree with number 1 stop the run and make cousins try to beat us. Turnovers will win or lose the game and making Cousins throw when not in play action mode is our best chance for INT’s. High scoring game 28-24 Packers.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:16 am

They may come out passing on first downs with quick releases from Cousins. DBs have to play press-man coverage and force the QB to be perfect. Martinez is just as well off blitzing as sitting in coverage. Use Sullivan on the TEs.

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Lphill's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:40 am

Throw the ball to Aaron Jones I don’t think they can cover him well on turf he might be the key tonight.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 23, 2019 at 08:57 am

I think the #1 key to the game, by a mile, is the energy that this team shows up with. US Bank Stadium will be rocking, just like SF was. GB has to come out aggressive, just like Philly was in week 4. GB has to be the one punching them in the mouth, ready for a hard fought 60 minute battle.

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Spock's picture

December 23, 2019 at 09:12 am

Aaron freakin' Jones. Give him the ball. Anywhere. In space. With Williams/Vitale in the same backfield. Just get Jones the BALL. The Smith brothers have been so close to sacks on bad fields, now on turf, I see sacks/pressures resulting and Kirk turning over the ball. I hope we don't even need to use our weapon JK Scott because the O keeps scoring. Go, Pack, Go! Over the top prediction: R. Gary gets two sacks. :)

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Cubbygold's picture

December 23, 2019 at 09:44 am

Would be a great gameplan to come out using a mix of TEs and Vitale to play some smash mouth football early on. Let the o-line be the aggressive ones, instead of playing on their heels all game. run sets up a play action

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 23, 2019 at 09:14 am

The key to the game is Aaron Rodgers. Hall of Famer. He plays like one we win.

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porupack's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:13 am

Why focus on the run? Just an honest question. Why not focus on tight coverage on Thielen, Diggs, Rudolf? Press them hard off the line with safety support. No outlet passes by TEs or RBs.
Err on letting them have the ground yards.

Then priority #1 is to explosive and unpredictable offense. Keep the ball on sustained drives, or quick strike (doesn't matter). Then, Minnepo's ground yardage works against them, and they have to abandon the run.

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Houndog's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:21 am

Nice article David, one of the few I've seen that tells it like it is, sugar-coating is best left for donuts.
However, I'm still in the mode you were in last Sunday, I think the Packers get trounced (unless we see some of that "Illusion" offense we heard so much about last summer and something special from all of our 'High Round' DBs) tonight.
Rodgers will need to step up to the plate and the D will need a major performance or it could be a good old fashioned A$$ whooping.

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pacman's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:26 am

Here's to hoping the Packers lose their bad habits - AR holding the ball too long looking for the deep ball, AR not seeing the open man not named Adams, AR underthrowing receivers, (Note how many items are on AR!) and the team just not showing up for some games.

I'll be hoping that if the Packers go up, they don't just play dead.
I'll be hoping that special teams doesn't mess up (at least this looks much better with Ervin).
I'll be hoping we will be able to get a W in a stadium that we have never won in.

However, evidence points the other way.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:43 am

Jared Cook and Kenyan Drake LIT IT UP!!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:43 am

Oh yeah, there not Packers.

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Houndog's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:05 am

Careful Doug,
The thumbs down will be coming!
It appears you already stepped on somebody's sugar-coated toes by talking about who the Packers could have had, and didn't see the light.
The donut crowd doesn't like that.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:26 am

They have gotten soft and will accept mediocrity as long as the Club brings in a Lombardi every 15 to 30 years. No valid rationale for some of the personnel moves by Ted and Partners, Ltd.. Gutedkunst needed to bring in another wide at the deadline. Maybe Lazard steps up another notch? Time to let the offense rip.

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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2019 at 12:33 pm

What’s the point of stating if they would’ve picked that player they could be so much better? Every team can say that. Almost every pick a team takes in the draft they could’ve picked a player later that ended up better then the player they picked.

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CAG123's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:45 am

As much as I hate the Vikings too no teams meltdown warmed my heart more than the Lions these guys were arrogant yet humble enough to predict they would finish SECOND in the division and the Packers would finish last not considering that since the Matt Stafford era alone they have only finished above the Packers once in the division. I look at that pathetic 3-11-1 record, smile and think "yeah and don't ever forget your place again"! lol

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Houndog's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:16 am

Yeah, its great isn't it?
Funny how a bunch of loud-mouthed, no-clue fans affect how we perceive another team.
ViQueen fans first come to mind, slightly ahead of Detroit.
Bears fans to me are OK, they at least have some football knowledge.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

December 23, 2019 at 11:52 am

purple puke fans are a joke.....no matter what the outcome, they will have an excuse to disrespect the Packers.....if they lose, it's because Cook is out....or, the ubiquitous "the refs gifted the Packers the win"....(you KNOW they will say that)...and if they win...they'll say that they are so great, that they beat the Packers even with their bench players...annoying bunch, they are....GO PACK!!!!

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NickPerry's picture

December 23, 2019 at 07:04 pm

THIS, THIS, THIS!!!!!

OMG THIIIIIIS!!! Now isn't that about one of the truest posts you've read here for a while.

BUT, I have a remedy for talk like that.. Kick the ever-loving crap out of them 34-13 and tell them this...Cook doesn't play defense!!

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mnbadger's picture

December 23, 2019 at 01:09 pm

Come out fast on both sides of the ball. Bring a wire cutter or sound technician to kill speakers behind the bench. Hit 2nd cousins hard and often, repeat.

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Lare's picture

December 23, 2019 at 01:20 pm

Would love to see the Packers win tonight on a last second Mason Crosby field goal. He deserves it.

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LeotisHarris's picture

December 23, 2019 at 03:13 pm

That would be great! It has been a hell of a year for Mason and his family.

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Packers0808's picture

December 23, 2019 at 04:09 pm

Would really be neat to get to Super Bowl and see Crosby kill winnnig FG at buzzer ending game!

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Packers0808's picture

December 23, 2019 at 03:59 pm

Rodgers play tonight better shine big time, if has a game like most of his this year around average to below it could be a long night! If we win tonight it will be I think on turnovers in their territory leading to Pack scores! We need some interceptions and/or a couple fumble recoveries! I just hope we don't lose in a blow out! Packers win with Crosby in waning moments of game end!

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Lare's picture

December 23, 2019 at 06:50 pm

Hate to say it, but I think officiating will dictate the outcome of this game.

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DavidMichalski's picture

December 23, 2019 at 10:48 pm

NFC NORTH DIVISION CHAMPIONS!!!!! ZZZZZZZZZZZ PUTTING Captain Kirk TO SLEEP!!!!! SKOLOLOL

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