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Early Look: Vikings Back from Bye with Border Battle Up Next

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are back from their bye, and have a Border Battle up next on the schedule.

Minnesota will head to Green Bay for a Week 8 matchup at Lambeau Field, which will mark the Vikings first divisional road game in 2020. Kickoff is at noon (CT) Sunday.

The Vikings stand at 1-5 thus far, but Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen said the team re-focused its mindset during a few days away.

"Yeah, I think you shake off your first six games," Thielen said of how the team approached the bye. "You just kind of push that behind us, it's over with, it's a clean slate.

"Come back to work and take it one day, one game, at a time. We can't win 10 games this week," Thielen added. "We have to make sure we're prepping, we're getting physically ready, mentally ready for a battle on Sunday. That's all we can do."

The Packers won the season opener between the teams and haven't looked back, as Green Bay is off to a 5-1 start.

The Packers had an impressive 35-20 win over the Texans in Week 7.

Look back at photos through the years featuring games between the Vikings and Packers.

Here's a look at the Vikings Week 8 matchup against the Packers, presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud Ophthalmology Partner of the Minnesota Vikings:

Passing: Kirk Cousins will aim to reduce turnovers in the final 10 games of the 2020 season.

The Vikings quarterback was connected to 11 turnovers in the first six games of the season, including 10 interceptions, which is tied for the league lead.

Cousins compiled an 88.2 passer rating before the bye. He completed 113 of 175 passes (64.6 percent) for 1,475 yards with 11 touchdowns.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Cousins ranks third among all quarterbacks with an aggressive-throw percentage of 20.6.

Cousins is 1-3-1 in his Vikings career against the Packers.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 14-8-1 against the Vikings as a starter in regular-season games, including a 7-4-1 record against Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Rodgers threw for 364 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1, compiling a passer rating of 127.5, which now stands as his third-best mark of the season.

The future Hall of Famer threw for 283 yards and four scores in Sunday's win over Houston. Rodgers has thrown multiple touchdowns in five of six games in 2020.

Rodgers has now completed 137 of 208 passes (65.9 percentage) for 1,657 yards with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has a passer rating of 113.4.

Rushing: Each team was missing its top running back in the most-recent games.

Dalvin Cook did not play in Week 6 with a groin injury, and his status for Sunday will be determined as the week goes.

Cook ranks fifth in the NFL with 489 rushing yards and is tied for the league lead with seven rushing touchdowns. Alexander Mattison has 245 rushing yards and a score.

That duo has helped Minnesota rank sixth in the league at 139.2 rushing yards per game. Green Bay is 10th at 132.2 rushing yards per game.

Packers running back Aaron Jones has 389 yards and five scores, but he did not play in Week 7 due to a calf injury.

Jamaal Williams had 77 yards and a score in Jones' place against the Texans.

Receiving: The Vikings once again have one of the top receiving duos in the league, as Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson have both performed well through six games.

Thielen is tied for the league lead with seven touchdown catches and has 415 yards on a team-high 32 receptions.

Jefferson, a first-round pick in 2020, ranks 10th in the league with 537 receiving yards. He has 28 receptions (19.2 yards per catch) with a trio of touchdowns.

Tight ends Kyle Rudolph (123 yards and a score) and Irv Smith, Jr., (133 yards) both have 10 receptions in 2020.

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams dominated against the Vikings in the season opener, hauling in 14 receptions for 156 yards and two scores. Adams has a team-high 36 catches for 449 yards and four scores.

Tight end Robert Tonyan leads Green Bay with five touchdown catches, while Jones and Allen Lazard have two apiece.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of January 4, 2021.

Defense: The Vikings defense has struggled for most of the 2020 season, an issue that began back in Week 1 against the Packers. Minnesota allowed 522 yards and 43 points in the season-opening loss.

The Vikings rank 30th in points allowed per game (32.0) and 28th in yards allowed per game (413.7) thus far.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said he dove into the Vikings defense during the bye week, looking for schematic tweaks that could help the unit that will now feature even more younger players after the Yannick Ngakoue trade.

Ifeadi Odenigbo has a team-high 2.5 sacks, while Eric Wilson leads the Vikings with a pair of interceptions.

The Packers gave up 365 yards to the Texans and now rank 11th in the league with 350.3 yards allowed per game. Green Bay is 19th at 26.5 points allowed per game.

Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith is tied for third in the NFL with 6.0 sacks. He notched one against the Vikings in Week 1.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander picked off Cousins in Week 1 and is tied for the team lead with Chandon Sullivan.

The Packers have a plus-2 turnover differential in 2020, while the Vikings are at minus-7 in that category.

Special Teams: Vikings kicker Dan Bailey has made six of eight field goals and is perfect on 11 extra point tries in 2020. Punter Britton Colquitt is averaging 44.2 yards per punt.

K.J. Osborn (170 yards) and Ameer Abdullah (157 yards) each have seven kickoff returns. Osborn has been inactive because of a hamstring injury in recent weeks.

Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby made all five extra points against Houston. He is 22 of 23 on extra points in 2020, and is perfect on all nine of his field goal attempts.

Punter JK Scott averages 45.5 yards per kick. Tyler Ervin averages 19.4 yards per kickoff return and 3.7 yards per punt return.

Neither team has a touchdown return on special teams in 2020.

Opposite directions

If the season ended today, the 1-5 Vikings would be in line for a top 10 draft pick. Minnesota last drafted in the top 10 in 2014, when it selected linebacker Anthony Barr with the ninth overall pick.

Green Bay, meanwhile, would be the NFC's top seed with a 5-1 record at this point in the season. The Packers would also get the conference's only first-round bye, as that format was changed when the NFL added an extra playoff spot to each conference this past offseason.

The Packers last claimed the NFC's top seed in 2011, but suffered a 37-20 home loss to the Giants in the Divisional Round.