Sunday 15 September, 18:00
Both of these NFC North rivals missed out on the play-offs last season, but they started the current campaign with a win apiece to set up what should be another titanic clash.
Vikings Edge the Recent Head to Head
This is one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL, dating back to October 1961 when the Packers prevailed by 33 – 7. Overall, Green Bay have the edge during the regular season, winning 60 – 54 with three games tied, and their two play-off meetings, in 2005 and 2013, have produced a win apiece. But in recent seasons, the Vikings have had the better of this rivalry. They’ve won five and tied one of their last seven against the Packers, including their latest, a 24-17 victory at US Bank Stadium last year.
Packers Start Slow but Steady
Green Bay started the season with a re-vamped offense and a strengthened defense, but it was the latter unit who were most impressive in their opener against Chicago, as they put Mitchell Trubisky under intense pressure and limited the Bears to just three points. Aaron Rodgers and the offense struggled to get going, but they were up against one of the strongest defenses in the NFL, and ultimately, were able to grind down their opponents. That was a more impressive result than the Vikings achieved in their opener, and explains they are the 4/7 favourites here.
Minnesota with a Point to Prove
The Vikings made a solid start last week against the Falcons, but after missing out on the play-offs last time round, they have a point to prove this season and this will be their first serious test. It was their defense, so often a strength, that let them down last time, but the signs were positive against Atlanta. Although there was a string of needless offsides from the defensive line, they were pretty successful in shutting down their opponents, who had one of the better offenses in the NFL last season and sacked Matt Ryan four times. They also packed a punch with their rushing game.
A Tight Game Predicted
The Vikings are 29/20 outsiders but given that both teams have been focusing on defense, this could be a tight, low-scoring encounter and a Packers win by five points or less is available at 4/1.