Minnesota Vikings: Week 6 preview against Green Bay Packers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Sam Bradford
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Sam Bradford /
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Players to Watch


Offense: WR Davante Adams

Who’s the Packers leading receiver? Jordy Nelson, right? Actually.. Adams is the correct answer. In five games, he has 23 catches for 285 yards on 39 targets. Basically, Rodgers looks his way a lot, especially in the red zone. As matter of fact, he already has four touchdowns on the year, including a beautiful back shoulder, game-winning catch in Dallas.

Against the Vikings, he’s bound to be heavily targeted, especially if Xavier Rhodes covers Nelson, which is expected. In result, the defense is going to have to help whoever is on Adams throughout the game, hoping Rhodes comes through as usual.

Defense: DT Mike Daniels 

Defensively, the Packers have been bailed out over the years with a pair of great quarterbacks in Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. While they aren’t awful, they aren’t great either. Heading into this week though, the Vikings have to control the time of possession, so getting push up front is crucial. Daniels is one of the best players, if not the best on the defense, contributing 23.5 sacks and 21 stuffs to the defense in his six seasons.

Pat Elflein and the Vikings guards are going to have their hands full with the defensive tackle. If Daniels wins the battle in the middle, that could prove destructive to Minnesota’s rushing attack and force them to lean on the pass. Not an ideal situation for the Vikings.


Offense: Latavius Murray 

One of the Vikings’ top free agent signees is going to have to make an impact against the Packers. Although McKinnon was the better back last week, he’s not going to be able to shoulder the load on his own. Granted, the carries were pretty evenly split against the Bears with McKinnon receiving 16 to Murray’s 12.

Even so, Murray only came away with 31 yards compared to McKinnon’s 95 on the ground. Basically, he was far less productive, even though he looked much more fluid running the ball than previous games this season.

If the Vikings want to come out with a win this week though, they are going to need some hard-nosed running and Murray is the perfect back for the job. Additionally, that takes part of the load off McKinnon, who’s had a history of nagging injuries.

In my view, a good day for the veteran back is 15 carries for at least 70 yards, maybe even a touchdown. If they can get that production from him, that’ll go a long way towards a victory.

Defense: Trae Waynes

Well, Adams is the Packers offensive player to watch, so the Vikings defensive player to watch is Trae Waynes. Likely tasked with covering Adams, he’s going to have a huge opportunity to either shut the haters up or see himself trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons.

Thus far, Waynes has had his highs and lows, but overall, I’d say he’s performed just fine. Yet, the expectations are high for the former first round pick, so it’s understandable that some feel differently.

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In my opinion, this game could be a real defining point of his season. If he gets torched, there’s a great chance he’s benched in favor of Terence Newman and sees his playing time fall. If he holds his own, there’s a great chance he builds on the performance and plays well the rest of the season. Honestly, I think it’s that big of a game for the 25-year old.

At the same time, let’s keep in mind that Waynes is going to give up catches and a good share of yards. Adams is a top-notch receiver and Rodgers is too good not to find his favorite target. Yet, he has to make plays. Whether that’s through an interception, a forced fumble, some good tackling or a couple of pass deflections, Waynes has no choice but to make as many plays as he lets up. Essentially, Waynes’ play is going to play a huge factor in how well the defense plays.