The Minnesota Vikings kick off their 2022 NFL season with a Week 1 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. This NFC North rivalry has been far from one-sided as both Minnesota and Green Bay have captured five wins in the last 11 head-to-head matchups. They even played to a tie back in 2018.
The Packers head into this game as a 1.5-point road favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds. NFL fans know that anything can happen in Week 1, however, as teams are still figuring everything out. Let's take a look at three reasons the Vikings will be able to pull off an upset win.
Vikings vs Packers Week 1
1. Lack of Weapons in Green Bay
It's hard to talk about the Packers' offense this season without mentioning the difference in weapons quarterback Aaron Rodgers has at his disposal. Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams is no longer on the team after being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. It leaves Allen Lazard as the No. 1 WR, but the 26-year-old has never posted more than 513 yards in a single season. The rest of the receiving group is made up of aging veterans (Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb) and unproven rookies (Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson). This is the best chance the Vikings have had in years to shut down Green Bay's passing attack.
2. Justin Jefferson's Dominance
It's only taken two seasons for wide receiver Justin Jefferson to assert himself as one of the most dominant players in the NFL. To dive even deeper, he was unstoppable against the Packers in 2021. Jefferson accumulated 227 yards and two touchdowns on 14 receptions across two games against Green Bay. His extensive route-running tree allows him to thrive in short-yardage situations, deep passing plays and crucial third downs. That's a level of versatility that should give Green Bay's secondary fits. Cornerbacks Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas definitely have their work cut out for them on Sunday.
3. One-Two Punch at Running Back
As much as Jefferson made a difference, it was the rushing attack that guided the Vikings to a win over the Packers in U.S. Bank Stadium last season. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison combined to rush for 91 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. It wasn't a perfect performance, but they continued to move the chains against a Packers' defense that posted the fifth-worst rush defense DVOA rating in 2021. With Kevin O'Connell now in charge, it wouldn't be surprising to see the new head coach lean on a strong rushing attack to control the pace. That will open up big plays over the top for Jefferson & company.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.