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Lunchbreak: ESPN Analysts Like Vikings Chances Against Packers

Border Battle No. 122 is on deck for Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, with kickoff at noon (CT).

The Vikings are fresh off a big win in Southern California and now sit at 4-5 on the season. The Packers, meanwhile, are 8-2 and lead the NFC North and the conference.

ESPN NFL analysts Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano took an early look at some Week 11 games, and circled the Minnesota-Green Bay tilt as one they both have their eye on.

Fowler, in fact, believes the Vikings will not only hang tough with the Packers, but also get a win against their biggest rival.

He wrote:

Sure, Aaron Rodgers traditionally plays well in Minnesota, with a 7-6 career record there. But the Vikings will play with the urgency of a desperate team. Falling to 4-6 would stifle a playoff run. And that road win over the Chargers last week was impressive. The Vikings are battle tested because pretty much all of their games are close. They win a close one here; I'm thinking within three points.

Graziano said he wouldn't be surprised if Fowler's projection came true.

Interesting. I've been kind of liking the Packers and the way their defense has improved lately. And I have to figure Rodgers plays better after a week of practice than he did Sunday coming off two weeks without. Not sure what to make of Minnesota overall, but you're right that they don't really seem to be out of games even when they end up losing them.

The Vikings are 55-63-3 all-time against the Packers, a series that includes a split in a pair of postseason games.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is 6-7-1 in his career against Green Bay.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Packers.

PFF praises turnaround of Vikings rookie class

A group of Vikings rookies are coming on strong.

Analytics website Pro Football Focus posted its weekly roundup of the rookie classes across the NFL, and had praise for Minnesota’s group after a Week 10 win.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus wrote:

While this was a bit of a surprise early in the season, given their double-digit draft class, the Vikings rookie group is turning around in a big way in recent weeks. Both left tackle Christian Darrisaw and safety Camryn Bynum have come on strong of late. Darrisaw already looks like arguably their best left tackle since early Matt Kalil, with six pressures allowed in five games, while Bynum has earned a 90.5 overall grade in two starts in Harrison Smith's stead.

The Vikings have the third-fewest snaps among all rookies with 515 on either offense or defense, trailing only the Seahawks (284) and Buccaneers (298).

Darrisaw leads all rookies with 316 snaps, while Bynum played 167 total snaps in Weeks 9 and 10 on the road.

Voting is officially open for 2022 Pro Bowl

It's time to cast your votes for your favorite Vikings to make the 2022 Pro Bowl.

Voting for the annual all-star contest opened Tuesday on NFL.com, and you can click here to get involved.

The above link is the only way to vote for now, but the social media portion of Pro Bowl voting opens Dec. 1.

Minnesota had a pair of Pro Bowlers in 2020 in wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook.

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