Via https://packerswire.usatoday.com

Minnesota Vikings (1-0) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-0) at Lambeau Field

NFL Week 2: Sunday, September 16, 2018

One of the most heated rivalries in the NFL is renewed on Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings travel to take on their NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Both of these teams enter the game at 1-0, but records don’t matter when these two face-off. This is always an exciting matchup, and this year it should be even more important as the two are likely to be battling for the division title.

Kirk Cousins Debut a Success as Vikings Down 49ers, 24-16

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In the off-season, the Minnesota Vikings gave free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins one of the richest contracts in NFL history hoping he would be the solution to their quarterback problem. If Sunday is any indication, they may have found their man, as Cousins threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 24-16.

Minnesota jumped out to a 24-6 lead before San Francisco knew what hit them. The only scoring in the first quarter was a Daniel Carlson 48 yard field goal with a little less than four minutes left in the quarter. A little over 80 seconds into the second quarter, Cousins found Stefon Diggs for a 22-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 10 point lead.

After the 49ers got a field goal to cut the Vikings lead to seven, Mike Hughes intercepted a Jimmy Garoppolo pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. San Francisco responded with a second field goal by Robbie Gould, but Cousins extended the Vikings lead to 18 with an 11-yard pass to Kyle Rudolph for a touchdown.

San Francisco would mount a late rally, adding a touchdown and a field-goal but would get no closer as the Minnesota Vikings pulled out the 24-16 victory. Cousins finished 20 of 36 for 244 yards and two TDs. Wide receiver Adam Thielen had six receptions for 102 yards. The defense made three interceptions, and Harrison Smith led the team with eight tackles, a sack, and an interception.

Rodgers Returns to Lead Packers Stunning Comeback Victory, 24-23

Midway through the third quarter on Sunday night the Green Bay Packers looked dead in the water. Their All-Pro quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, had left the game early with a knee injury and they were trailing their archrival, the Chicago Bears, 20-0. However, Rodgers returned leading an improbable comeback that saw the Green Bay Packers pullout the 24-23 victory.

The Packers were trailing 10-0 when it looked like a promising season was going to come to an end as Rodgers went down with a knee injury and had to be taken to the locker room. He returned for the second half with the Bears leading 17-0 and they would extend their lead to 20, but then Rodgers came alive, leading one of the greatest comebacks of his illustrious career.

After a field goal moved Green Bay to within 17, Rodgers found Geronimo Allison for 39 yards and a touchdown. Five minutes later, the Green Bay quarterback connected with Davante Adams for a 12-yard touchdown to cut their deficit to just three.

The Bears would add a field goal with 2:39 left in the contest, but Rodgers responded right away. At his own 25, the star quarterback found a streaking Randall Cobb, sending him 75 yards for the touchdown and the Packers would hang on for the 24-23 victory.

Rodgers finished 20 of 30 for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Cobb had nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. The Packers defense recorded three sacks.

Trends:

Minnesota:

  • 8-1 ATS in their last nine September games.
  • 5-2 ATS in their last seven games on the road.
  • 43-19 ATS in their last 62 games overall.
  • 2-5 ATS in their last seven games on the road when facing a team with a winning record at home.

Green Bay:

  • 1-7 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a winning record.
  • 1-5 ATS in their last six games at home.
  • 0-4 ATS in their last four games against NFC opponents.
  • 0-4 ATS in the last four overall.

The Winner Prediction

The Packers have traditionally played well at home against the Vikings, but the one stat that stands out is that Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams. That bodes well for going with the Vikings and the points.

The Pick: Minnesota Vikings (+1.5) (-110)

The Total

The total is set at 46, but these are two really good offenses who combined to produce 48 points last week. That’s probably about the total they produce this week as well, so take the slightly over.

The Pick: Over 46.0 (-110)

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