The Minnesota Vikings defense was able to contain Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in two games last season. It helped them capture the NFC North Division title.
The Vikings will try to contain Rodgers once again tonight when the two teams open up the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Rodgers ability to move around in and out of the pocket last week was a huge factor in the Packers pulling out a road win in Jacksonville last Sunday.
The Packers will be trying to spoil the Vikings first regular season home game in their new stadium. The Vikings played 32 seasons at the Metrodome and their .615 winning percentage in dome games is the best in the NFL.
The noise at the Metrodome was deafening during that stretch. It promises to be every bit as loud and perhaps even louder at the Vikings new venue.
Defensively for the Packers, it starts with stopping Adrian Peterson. He struggled last week at Tennessee, and the Packers would like to continue to bottle him up this week.
The Vikings haven’t announced their starting quarterback for the game, but newly acquired Sam Bradford has worked with the one’s in practice all week and is expected to get the call against the Packers.
The Vikings lost starter Teddy Bridgewater during training-camp and Shaun Hill started the opener at Tennessee last week. But it was the Vikings defense that scored a pair of touchdowns in the 25-16 win over the Titans.
Bradford was the top overall pick in the 2010 draft but hasn’t had the kind of NFL career he would have liked to this point. He’s 25-37-1 as a starter with a career passer rating of 81.0.
After trading away a first-round draft pick for Bradford, the Vikings have likely prepared their new quarterback for this exact moment. Now the question is, will Bradford be able to do enough offensively to complement the Vikings defense and knock off the Packers on their home field.
On the injury front for the Packers, as expected, they have ruled defensive back Sam Shields out of the game with a concussion. But the Packers key players are generally healthy entering tonight’s game.
Mike McCarthy has managed is teams work in practice this week after the hot sun in Jacksonville took a lot out of them in last weeks win. We’ll see if there’s any kind of hangover from that contest heading into the division opener.