2020 Week 1 Analysis: Packers @ Vikings (By Ross Jacobs)
-The number one story coming out of this game for most people was “Aaron Rodgers is back!” There's some truth to that. This is by far the freshest I have seen the Packers offense look in years. They were very creative and deceptive with the early looks, and most importantly they put the ball in the hands of their all-world QB. But I think at least some of this offensive explosion by the Packers can be attributed to a pretty poor Vikings pass defense. They lost multiple starters from last year, and it showed here. I'm not ready to declare the Packers an unstoppable offense just yet, but they did look improved over last year.
-Credit the Vikings defense though, they didn't just roll over and die. They fought and got good pressure on Rodgers. The pass defense just couldn't hold off the onslaught.
-The Vikings offense didn't look bad either, although their scheme is rather old and predictable. They moved the ball pretty well whenever they had it. They just didn't get many chances, especially in the first half. Kirk Cousins had only attempted 4 passes at halftime and 12 going into the 4th quarter.
-Marquez Valdes-Scantling looked pretty good here. He beat Vikings corners multiple times. It's actually a reason I'm skeptical of the Packers being a great offense. It's easier to imagine that the young Vikings defense is bad than to suppose that Valdes-Scantling has finally arrived as a great complement to Davante Adams.
-If I were the Packers I'd be just a tad worried about how flimsy my defense looked this game. They got a lucky interception off an inaccurate Cousins pass but otherwise did very little to slow the Vikings.
-The Packers team as a whole is probably still good enough to win the NFC North, but anyone crowning the Packers already is jumping the gun a bit. This was not a one-sided domination of a good team. They scored at will, but I doubt when we look back in a few weeks that it will seem as impressive. I suspect the Vikings have a bottom 5 pass defense.
-The Vikings obviously have issues. Kirk Cousins is great at piling up numbers against bad teams, but every time he faces a better than .500 team he gets beat. And the Vikings defense, which has been so good the last few years, now looks poor. This is probably a 5-6 win team.
-You have to start Rodgers every week, but it might be worth considering someone with a better start come week 5 and the Buccaneers. We'll know better about these teams by then, but if anyone can hold Rodgers down it's the Bucs. Other than that the Packers have an insanely easy schedule of pass defenses the rest of the year. If Rodgers does pile up numbers like it's 2010 it's likely more to do with the soft schedule than anything else.
-Adam Thielen and Davante Adams are obviously both must-starts every week at WR. Thielen never gets the respect he deserves, but the guy is great and Cousins is likely to feed him 160+ targets this year.
-Aaron Jones isn't my cup of tea, but you could do worse for one of your RB's. He should get plenty of TD's again this year just from being present.
-Dalvin Cook is also not my cup of tea, but he looked the best I've ever seen him here. He's the guy unless an injury happens.
-Valdes-Scantling had a terrific game, and while I'm sure he'll have a few of those this year, I imagine it might be a bit up and down depending on the matchup. He's certainly worth keeping if you already have him though.
-Target this Vikings defense ruthlessly. TY Hilton and Parris Campbell get them next week.