The Green Bay Packers benefited from an impressive defensive performance to kick off the NFL season with a victory over the reigning NFC North champions. The Packers will look to defeat a division rival for the second time in as many weeks on Sunday when they host the Minnesota Vikings, against whom they are 0-3-1 in the last four meetings.
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Green Bay's stingy defense made up for a subpar performance from Aaron Rodgers, who essentially capped his one successful drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham in a 10-3 win over Chicago on Sept. 5. The two-time NFL MVP traditionally has struggled versus the Vikings, throwing for one or fewer touchdowns in four of his past five healthy games against them. Minnesota's Mike Zimmer sports a 4-4-1 mark in his last nine starts versus Green Bay, but those totals don't add up to a successful game against Rodgers on Sunday in the mind of the defensive-minded coach. "I don't really take much stock into that because each week's a different week and each game that we play him is always a tough, competitive game," Zimmer said. "... It's a sleepless week for me."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -3. O/U: 44
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (1-0): Dalvin Cook has received an unfortunate nickname for the scarcity of his appearances in his young NFL career, but the 24-year-old made a statement with his 21-carry, 111-yard, two-touchdown performance in Minnesota's 28-12 victory over Atlanta. "We need the 'White Tiger' to be there for 16 games, right? He's been special when he's had the football in his hands, and we've got to have him out there," quarterback Kirk Cousins said. The 31-year-old Cousins threw the ball a career-low 10 times against the Falcons and has been held to 215 or fewer passing yards in five of his past six games. Adam Thielen reeled in Cousins' lone touchdown pass in the season opener while fellow wideout Stefon Diggs has scored in each of his last five games against the Packers, with three trips to the end zone highlighting last year's season series.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (1-0): Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams was optimistic in his assessment of Green Bay's new-look offense under coach Matt LaFleur, with the team mustering 213 total yards and converting just two of its 12 third-down opportunities. "There's nowhere (to go) but up," said the 26-year-old Adams, who bids to record a touchdown in his fifth straight game against Minnesota after being limited to just four receptions for 36 yards versus the Bears. A sluggish ground game did the Packers no favors, as Aaron Jones and company rushed for 47 yards on 22 attempts for the second-lowest rushing average (2.1) in the league. Perhaps a return home can jump-start the 24-year-old Jones, as he has scored in three straight games at Lambeau Field and had 93 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in last meeting versus the Vikings.
1. All 28 of Minnesota's points in the season opener were scored off turnovers.
2. Packers LB Blake Martinez, who led the team with seven sacks last season, has averaged 10.8 tackles in his last four meetings with the Vikings.
3. Minnesota S Harrison Smith, who had a team co-leading nine tackles last week, has three interceptions and 1.5 sacks in his past four encounters with Green Bay.
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Key Players to Watch
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Green Bay Packers
- GroinQues Mon | questionable
Ramsey has been unavailable for the past three games due to a groin injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut Monday versus the Falcons.
- ShoulderQues Mon | questionable
Kirksey left the previous game due to a right shoulder injury, and it is undetermined if he will be a participant in Monday's contest versus the Falcons.
- AnkleQues Mon | questionable
Gary injured his ankle in the last game, and it is uncertain if he will play Monday against the Falcons.
- GroinQues Mon | questionable
Clark has missed the last two games with a groin injury, and it is unknown if he will line up against the Falcons on Monday.
- HamstringQues Mon | questionable
Adams was held out of the previous game with a hamstring injury, and his status for Monday's matchup versus the Falcons is hazy.
- ShinQues Mon | questionable
Deguara has sat out the previous two games with injuries to his shin and ankle. It is uncertain if he will return Monday against the Falcons.
- BackQues Sun | questionable
Jenkins is managing injuries to his back and ribs, and his status for Sunday's game against the Saints remains unclear.
- ToeProb Sun | probable
Adams has a toe injury, but he is projected to play against the Saints on Sunday.
- NeckQues Sun | questionable
Hughes sat out the previous game due to a neck injury, and it is unknown if he will suit up against the Texans on Sunday.
- RibsQues Sun | questionable
Dantzler has missed the past two games with injured ribs, and it is unclear if he will return Sunday versus the Texans.
- FootOut indefinitely | I-R
Dye has been assigned to the injured reserve list with a mid-foot sprain, and it is unknown how long he will be debilitated.
- AnkleQues Sun | questionable
Reiff is dealing with an ankle injury, and it is undetermined if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the Titans.
- HamstringQues Sun | questionable
Boyd is hobbled by a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen if he will participate in Sunday's tilt versus the Titans.
- ConcussionQues Sun | questionable
Boone left the last game to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return. It is unknown if he will be cleared in time for Sunday's matchup against the Titans.
- PectoralI-R | I-R
Barr has been added to the injured reserve list due to a torn pectoral muscle.
- NeckOut indefinitely | I-R
Hunter has landed on the injured reserve list due to a neck injury, and he will miss an extended period.