Packers vs Vikings: Pressure is on Minnesota, Not Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings will meet Sunday night at the Vikings new stadium in an important early-season contest. Yet, when you examine things a little deeper, you can see why there is be more pressure on the Vikings to win, than the Packers.

For starters, Minnesota is at home and unveiling its new stadium for the first time in the regular season. The game is in prime time and if the Vikings are going to defend their NFC North title, beating Green Bay at home. something it hasn’t done since 2012, would be a good start.

Yet, the Vikings are also (most likely) going to reveal their new starting quarterback in Sam Bradford. Now, expectations might be tempered a little in his first start, if indeed he makes it, but make no mistake, he needs to prove to everyone he was worth the first-round pick he was traded for.

And playing well and helping the Vikings beat the Packers could do just that. However, I have a feeling that it won’t be that easy.

Green Bay is coming in with a chip on its shoulder. The Packers remember losing the NFC North last season and the offense, which didn’t play that well last week against the Jaguars, is ready to make amends.

Yet, at the end of the day, even with a loss, the Packers would be sitting at 1-1 after two road games to start the season. Certainly, Green Bay wants a win, but if you had told me before the season, that the Packers would split the first two games, I’d take it.

Winning on the road is tough, especially against good teams. It makes it even harder on nights like tonight when a new stadium is opened or a number is retired. In truth, Green Bay may be walking into a buzz saw.

Green Bay has won three straight in Minnesota and both Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers have exceptional records against the Vikings. Rodgers was also disappointed in his performance last week, which means he could in line for a big game Sunday.


Whatever happens, there is no doubt, this game is bigger for the Vikings than the Packers. Minnesota is still trying to prove, mostly to itself, that its a contender — Green Bay, on the other hand, already has.

And while Green Bay certainly wants to come away with a victory, there is little doubt that when the ball kicks off tonight, it will be the Vikings, not the Packers, who are feeling the pressure.

 

 

chris peterson

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