The Minnesota Vikings will look to newly acquired Sam Bradford to steer the ship on offense this week. He probably would have started in Week 1 if he was more acclimated with the Vikings’ offense. Wily veteran Shaun Hill started the first game, and it was enough for the Vikes to make it past the Tennessee Titans, 26-16. The win wasn’t because of how well the offense played, instead the Vikings’ defense put on a dominating performance. Marcus Mariota was getting frustrated and was never able to explode.
The kicker was a 77-yard interception return for the Vikings, which brought the score to 12-10 in favor of Minnesota. The Vikings didn’t look back after that, ultimately capturing the Week 1 matchup by a score of 25-16. Minnesota didn’t need to get the offense in motion as a result of their stellar performance on defense.
Shaun Hill played the game manager role to perfection. Hill finished the contest with 236 yards and no picks. That’s about all the Vikings needed him to do. However, they probably would have hoped their rushing attack was going to play better. Adrian Peterson rushed for only 31 yards, and as a team went for 65 yards. For the Vikings to be successful this season, that’s going to need to improve and it will.
The Vikings are going to be playing in their brand new stadium tonight on SNF football. It’s the regular season opener of the beautiful new palace for Vikings football. U.S. Bank Stadium is a major improvement from the dilapidated Metrodome. Domed stadiums are pretty much extinct in the NFL now, with the Falcons and Saints the only teams left playing in one, I believe.
The new stadium is expected to be louder than the Metrodome, which could get pretty loud. They couldn’t really test that out during preseason football, but tonight on Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers, the place is going to be a madhouse. Bradford is going to get the start for the Vikings, after they trade for him as a result of the injury to Teddy Bridgewater.
He has big shoes to fill, and if he fails to deliver early, I suspect that the Vikings won’t hesitate going back to Shaun Hill. I was personally surprised the Vikings were going with Bradford instead of Hill this week. The Vikings gave up a first-round pick and fourth-rounders to acquire Bradford. The Eagles jumped all over it. Something tells me we’ll be looking at this during the draft and thinking what a dumb move it was giving that up for him. Oh well, here we are on SNF, and Bradford has a shot to prove that he is worth it against the Packers.
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Vikings +3(-115)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Vikings Pick:
The Packers opened the season with an early trap game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida. They averted a Week 1 loss to the Jaguars, as they went back to Wisconsin with a narrow 27-23 win. The Packers are looking for much more production from their offense in 2016, after having to survive without Jordy Nelson last season. Nelson missed the entire 2015 season due to the knee injury he suffered in the preseason. He immediately got into the mix this season, hauling in a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd quarter.
Rodgers has to love having Nelson back in the offense. The Packers regressed all the way back to 23rd in total team offense, averaging 334.6 yards per game. The Green Bay offensive line has definitely taken a seatback the last couple of years, so it wasn’t just a Jordy Nelson issue. The Packers were 25th through the air. It was one of the first seasons where teams weren’t scared to death of Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers have retooled their line this offseason. Their biggest newsmaker was when they cut three-time pro bowler, Josh Sitton. This is a business first and foremost, as Sitton found out. He was in his final year of his contract, but the Packers felt like it was time to pull the cord on him. The Packers’ offensive line is going to get a workout against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Minnesota allowed 18.9 points per game in 2015, which was 5th in the league. The Packers lost 20-13 to the Vikings in the last game of the 2015 regular season. The Vikings captured the NFC North title, snapping a three-year run for the Packers.
This should be a crazy game to play in for the Packers. It’s the first game at U.S. Bank Stadium, so I expect the Vikings’ defense to flourish off the crowds’ energy. They’re great anyway, and this should give them an added boost against Rodgers. Expect pressure on the Packers’ quarterback often tonight. However, what do we make of Bradford making the start here? I don’t know if I have much confidence in him on SNF playing well after learning a brand new offense. The spread is a tough one to peg in this game, but the UNDER looks like an attractive option for Sunday night.
PICK: UNDER 43.5 POINTS (-110)