Early Look: Vikings at Packers

EAGAN, Minn. — Border Battle No. 118 is on tap, with first place in the NFC North already on the line between the Vikings and Packers.

Both Minnesota and Green Bay are 1-0 entering the Week 2 matchup at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is at noon (CT) Sunday.

The Vikings scored an impressive 28-12 Week 1 win over Atlanta thanks to a strong rushing attack and big plays from safety Anthony Harris.

The Packers came away with a 10-3 win over the Bears in their season opener on Thursday, meaning Green Bay will have a few extra days of preparation for the matchup.

Minnesota is 54-60-3 all-time against Green Bay, including a split of two postseason games. The Vikings are 5-1-1 in the past seven meetings under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

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

Here’s a look at the Vikings 2019 road opener against Green Bay:

Passing: Neither starting quarterback put up overly impressive numbers, as Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers combined for 301 passing yards in Week 1.

Cousins attempted just 10 passes, his fewest in an NFL game as a starter, as Minnesota relied on the run game. He completed eight of them for 98 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions for a passer rating of 140.8.

Rodgers, meanwhile, completed 18 of 30 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. His passer rating was 91.4.

Rodgers’ best sequence against Chicago occurred early in the second quarter when he marched Green Bay 74 yards in four plays, all of which were completions.

Rodgers is 11-8-1 in 20 career regular-season starts against the Vikings. He has thrown for 5,033 yards with 41 touchdowns and six interceptions for a combined passer rating of 110.0 in those games.

Rushing: The Vikings made quite a statement in the season opener, rushing for 172 yards and three touchdowns against Atlanta. That total would have been the third-highest in a 2018 game for Minnesota.

Dalvin Cook led the way, zooming for 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The running back had two rushing touchdowns in 2017 and 2018, and has already matched his season high.

Alexander Mattison chipped in with 49 yards on nine carries in his first game, and Cousins had a 1-yard touchdown run on a quarterback sneak.

Although there are two games on Monday night, the Vikings currently rank third overall in the NFL in rushing.

The Packers had a tough go against a stout Chicago defense, as Green Bay tallied 47 rushing yards on 10 attempts. Aaron Jones had 39 yards on 13 carries with a long of nine yards.

Receiving: One of the best receiving duos in the NFL had a quiet day, but Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are just fine with that.

Thielen had three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown, while Diggs had two catches for 37 yards — a byproduct of the Vikings controlling the clock and running the ball 38 times Sunday.

Cook had two catches for nine yards, and Chad Beebe gained just what he needed on a screen pass to convert a third-and-9.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling had four catches for 52 yards to lead the packers. Devante Adams had four receptions for 36 yards, and Jimmy Graham had three catches for 30 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown.

Defense: The Vikings defense was on fire early Sunday and kept the flame burning for most of the game.

Anthony Barr tallied a sack on the first play of the game, one of 4.0 total sacks for Minnesota. Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph had the others.

Harris snagged two interceptions off Matt Ryan, with both picks leading to eventual touchdown runs by Cook. Harris also recovered a fumble forced by Trae Waynes.

Minnesota is plus-3 in the turnover battle one game into the season, as the Vikings also limited Atlanta to just two conversions on eight third-downs, good for a 25-percent success rate.

Harris and fellow safety Harrison Smith played all 78 snaps, and safety Jayron Kearse played 45 snaps, mostly in the slot after Mackensie Alexander left with an elbow injury.

The Vikings also allowed just 73 rushing yards as the Falcons relied on their passing attack to try and get back in Sunday’s game.

Green Bay allowed 254 total yards against Chicago, including just 46 yards on the ground.

Adrian Amos had an interception for the Packers, who also recorded 5.0 sacks on Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Preston Smith had 1.5 sacks. Blake Martinez, Kevin King and Za’Darius Smith each had one. Kenny Clark split a sack with Preston Smith. Both Smiths were signed by Green Bay this offseason.

Special teams: The Vikings got an early jolt from special teams when Eric Wilson blocked the Falcons first punt.

Wilson’s big play lead to Thielen’s score and gave the Vikings a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Dan Bailey was clean on all four extra point tries, and new punter Britton Colquitt averaged 49.4 yards on five punts.

Beebe called for a fair catch on all three punt returns, and he had a 13-yard kickoff return.

Mason Crosby hit his only field goal attempt in Week 1 and also added an extra point. Packers punter J.K. Scott averaged 47.6 yards on nine punts, with five of them landing inside the 20-yard line.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

Recent trend

The Vikings played to a 29-29 tie against Green Bay at Lambeau Field in 2018, and earned a shutout win on the road against the Packers in 2017. If the Vikings get a win or tie Sunday, it will mark three straight trips to Wisconsin without a loss. That would be the best run of success since Minnesota went 7-0-1 in Green Bay from 1971-78.

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