The Minnesota Vikings’ strange 2021 season rumbles on.
All but one game Minnesota (4-5) has played this season has been decided by one possession. The latest, a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Will this be the week the Vikings can finally put away an opponent and win in non-nail-biter fashion?
Aaron Rodgers and the first-place Green Bay Packers make their annual visit to U.S. Bank Stadium at 12 p.m. Sunday. Green Bay’s defense has been the team’s biggest weakness for most of the last decade but it comes into this Week 11 collision red-hot. The Packers haven’t allowed a single point in six quarters, as they blanked Seattle 17-0 last week, and are the third-ranked unit in terms of total yards and points allowed.
A loss would be another dent into the Vikings’ playoff hopes. A win would move the team to .500 and another chance to get over the hump next week.
Here’s this week’s predictions from around the web:
Barry Wilner of the Associated Press: Packers 23, Vikings 21.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times: Packers 28, Vikings 24. “Controversial as he is, Aaron Rodgers is on mend and figures to play better this week. Green Bay's defense did a good job in consecutive weeks against Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson.”
The Miami Herald’s Greg Cote: Packers 27, Vikings 18. “Pack has won three of past four in this division rivalry including two straight trips to Minny entering this near-pick ‘em game. Kirk Cousins if he’s on give Purples a big chance, but I’m riding with Gee Bees’ defense. Aaron Rodgers gloms all the attention, but Packers’ D is really good, as Russell Wilson and Seahawks were reminded in last week’s shutout.”
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal: Packers 28, Vikings 24. “The 8-2 Packers are barely favored against the 4-5 Vikings, a sign that Minnesota's underlying statistics are strong and that Vegas still believes regression's coming for the Pack. This Green Bay squad has defied expectations all season, winning nine straight against the spread with a defense that is greater than the sum of its parts and an offense that does just enough. I loved the newfound aggressiveness the Vikings showed last week, and they are talented enough to pull off the upset, but something special has been brewing in Green Bay all season that is hard to quantify, but you know it when you see it. (That's me, giving up on real analysis. But seriously, have you watched this team?).”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: Packers 24, Vikings 19. “The Packers are playing great defense right now, which will present a real challenge for Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. Minnesota was impressive last week winning on the road against the Chargers. But this Packers team will get the offense back on track again to go with a defense that will slow Cousins in what is a big game. Packers take it.”
John Breech of CBSSports.com: Vikings 23, Packers 20. “I've watched enough Vikings games this year to know exactly how this game is going to play out, and that's because nearly every game goes the exact same way for Minnesota: They will jump out to an early lead only to blow the lead, but then probably get the lead back before blowing it again. Half the time, this ends with them losing, but the other half of the time it ends with them winning, which makes their games nearly impossible to predict. ... In full disclosure I shouldn't even be picking this game because it's a conflict of interest due to the fact that I tried to become a Packers owner on Tuesday. However, the stock sold out before I could buy any and now I'm bitter, so I'm picking the Vikings”
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com: Packers 24, Vikings 21. “Are we going to pretend Aaron Rodgers isn't on a vengeance tour right now? The irony of the Jordan Love pick is it gave Green Bay at least two years of peak FU-MVP Rodgers. And now we've got the Immunized Reunion Tour, except there's an interesting plot twist. Because Davante Adams and Rodgers each missed games, the Green Bay defense was forced to step up. And it's stepped up big, allowing 11.3 points per game over the last three while playing Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson (the last one admittedly gimpy in the hand). Aaron Jones being hurt is a problem, but I think it just condenses the Green Bay offense around Adams and A.J. Dillon. This is a statement slate for Rodgers -- at Vikings, vs. Rams, vs. Bears, at Ravens -- and he's fully aware. Minnesota's been his best divisional opponent, and now he's very angry.”
Jordan Dajani of CBSSports.com: Vikings 28, Packers 27.
Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com: Packers 24, Vikings 23. “I'm leery of the Packers as road favorites in this spot. First of all, I'm always somewhat hesitant to take a road favorite in a division game due to the familiarity between teams. Still, more than anything, I wonder about Green Bay's rushing defense. The Packers rank 27th in the NFL in defensive success rate and have struggled against the run. They rank 30th in success rate against the run and 30th in defensive EPA against the run. That's not a great matchup against Dalvin Cook and this Vikings offense. While the Vikings rush the ball only a little more often than the league average, they get extremely run-heavy in the red zone, rushing the ball 53% of the time (league average is 48.2%). They're effective with it, too, ranking seventh in the league in red-zone touchdown rate and fourth in goal-to-go conversion rate. None of which bodes well for a Packers defense that ranks 29th in red-zone efficiency. Now, Minnesota's defense hasn't exactly been lights out itself, so this isn't a situation where the wrong team is favored, but I do believe this to be a matchup in which the Vikings pose a lot more problems for Green Bay than the line suggests.”
Jonathan Jones of CBSSports.com: Packers.
Bill Bender of the Sporting News: Packers 26, Vikings 25. “This is a kitchen-sink game for the Vikings, who can't afford to fall further behind in the NFC North race. The Packers have won the last two at Minnesota, and Rodgers is 7-6 there for his career. Minnesota, which has played in eight one-score games this season, could pull this stunner. We're trusting the Packers' defense (that's right) in a close one.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Packers 27, Vikings 24. “This is a tough division game for the Packers as they try to keep their No. 1 seed status in the NFC. But they're OK without Aaron Jones because of having A.J. Dillon to give plenty of support to Aaron Rodgers. Minnesota's secondary is a mess and the pass rush doesn't have much and it already overachieved last week against the Chargers. The Packers' defense is playing with more confidence and will contain Kirk Cousins when it counts most in the second half.”
Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith and Mike Florio: MDS – Packers 31, Vikings 21; Florio – Packers 27, Vikings 17.
Ben Rolfe of Pro Football Network: Vikings 24, Packers 21. “Minnesota’s offense will be the key to this game. Green Bay has been incredible defensively the last two weeks, but their offense is struggling. If the Vikings can crack open the Packers’ defense, they have a great chance to raise some questions about the direction of the NFC North. The Packers have been susceptible to the run game, and Dalvin Cook has had success against them before.”
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Packers 30, Vikings 23.
Ken Schott of The Daily Gazette: Packers 21, Vikings 20.
Don Brennan of the Toronto Sun: Vikings 27, Packers 24.
Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area: Packers 27, Vikings 24. “The Packers’ defense has been stout this season. They’ll turn Kirk Cousins over a couple times and leave the Twin Cities with a win.”
Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski: Vikings.
Bleacher Report staff: Packers 26, Vikings 23.
Joe DiTullio and Cecil J. Walker III of The Game Haus: DiTullio – Packers; Walker – Packers.
Ross Jackson and Cameron LaFontaine of Locked On Podcast: Jackson – Packers 21, Vikings 17; LaFontaine – Packers 24, Vikings 21.
All four writers at Athlon Sports think the Packers will win.
Just two of 11 analysts at ESPN pick the Vikings.
Only one seven writers at USA Today (Jori Epstein) predict a Vikings victory.
Three of four analysts at SI.com are picking the Packers (note: As of this posting, Albert Breer had not submitted picks.)
Three of eight analysts at CBSSports.com take the Vikings to win.