Before we talk about this upcoming game on Sunday, what did you think of our boy Kirk Cousins? Not bad, right? It’s the kind of thing you say when you prepare for the worst but get a successful, albeit not quite spectacular, result. That pretty much sums up Cousins’ Minnesota debut in which he tossed for 244 yards, two touchdowns and more importantly, no interceptions. He was solid in the pocket, didn’t get rattled, and took one for the team when he beat feet and lunged for the first-down marker. It was an unsuccessful attempt but it’s the thought that counts.
Yet, what had to resonate with even the biggest Case Keenum fan is a touch on the ball so soft it makes Cottonelle feel like sandpaper. All you had to do was watch those precision touchdown strikes to Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph that he lofted into windows that were shrinking faster than the bankrolls of all those who bet the 49ers. Sure, they weren’t all poetry in motion as he connected on just 55 percent of his passes but he came through in the clutch and surrendered no picks. It’s a nice start and Vikings fans should feel content in the knowledge that, barring injury, there will be no musical chairs at the quarterback spot for the foreseeable future.
Okay, let’s get down to business and check out the review of our friends at Sportsbetting.ag, one of the industry’s most reputable and trustworthy sites, to see what they are hanging on this game. It turns out that Sportsbetting.ag is giving the good guys +1 ½ points which is a better value than most that are dealing this game at a pick. We don’t believe Minnesota will need any help as their prospects for victory are looking better and better with every report that continues to question Aaron Rodgers’ status on Sunday. Rodgers did not exit Sunday night’s clash with the Bears unscathed and after returning this season from a broken collarbone we must wonder not only will he start, but if so, will he finish?
We’ve spoken about Cousins running the offense but what have yet to touch on is the menacing Vikings’ defense. The Packers know it well particularly after Minnesota shut them out 16-0 and became the first team in almost 25 years to do so. Of course, it was not Aaron Rodgers under center in that game as he had been ailing from his injury but the fact remains that Minnesota owns one of the most punishing and opportunistic defenses in the league. Fast forward to Week 2 of the 2018 season and now it is not a collarbone but a knee injury that could sideline Rodgers but even if he does suit up, will he be nimble enough to avoid the Vikings’ onslaught? Sounds like a dicey proposition yet the oddsmakers are holding fast on this line but if Rodgers is ruled out before kickoff, there is no doubt that the Packers go from favorites to underdogs in a flash. And that is just one very good reason to lock in your wagers early in the week, particularly in a game like this where the most important position on the field may very well be someone other than a future Hall-of-Famer like Rodgers.
The Vikings are 3-1 both straight up and against the spread over their last four games against the Packers and this early season clash will be one that both teams will need if either is to claim the NFC North this season. It appears to be a two horse race with the Lions limping out of the gate in their loss to the Jets and the Bears dropping their opener to the Pack. We fully understand Chicago has made tremendous strides in the offseason and their acquisition of Khalil Mack was brilliant but if we’re betting the rent on which team will emerge as the class of the division then Minnesota is our top choice followed closely by Green Bay. Let’s get behind a live underdog (for now) and watch the Vikings go 2-0 on the season.