Even with two full weeks to evaluate their disappointing start and prepare for this game, the 1-5 Vikings are facing a daunting task in Green Bay this weekend against the 5-1 Packers.
There's reason to believe that Kirk Cousins and the offense will be able to put up points, but it's going to take a coaching masterclass from Mike Zimmer for the Vikings – who traded Yannick Ngakoue and are down three of their top four cornerbacks – to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers from putting up all kinds of points.
Green Bay is the clear favorite in this game for obvious reasons, but will it be a closely-contested one or a blowout? Let's start with my prediction and then see what the national experts think.
Will's pick: Packers 34, Vikings 25
After watching their performance against the Falcons, it's very hard for me to think of a legitimate case for the Vikings winning this game. The only one I can come up with is that it would be very Vikings-y to have a great all-around performance out of nowhere after such a disappointing start. I think this will be a fairly high-scoring game, but I just don't know how this defense is going to get stops considering the current depth chart on the defensive line and at cornerback.
Last game's pick: Vikings 28, Falcons 23. Season record: 3-3
SI MMQB: All six of the MMQB's prognosticators are, unsurprisingly, going with the Packers in this one. Full picks here.
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Packers 34, Vikings 20
Trading Yannick Ngakoue in the same week that the Vikings announced Danielle Hunter is out for the season was a sign of surrender. Teams facing the Packers this season have no chance if they have no pass rush, and it's hard to see how Minnesota disrupts Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings cornerbacks are also all kinds of injured. With Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari trending toward a return this week, Rodgers should have some fun.
Bleacher Report Staff: Packers 31, Vikings 21
This feels like an easy pick, which probably means the Vikings will win in an upset. Dalvin Cook is back practicing, which will greatly help the Vikings offense, but this Minnesota defense has struggled so much this season. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams will do their thing.
Mike Florio, PFT: Packers 34, Vikings 17
Aaron Rodgers thinks the Vikings should keep Mike Zimmer. Based on Week 1, of course Rodgers does.
Michael David Smith, PFT: Packers 31, Vikings 20
The Vikings are just not going to contend this season. If that weren't already obvious, the Packers will make it clear on Sunday.
Courtney Cronin, ESPN Vikings Reporter: Packers 37, Vikings 30
Bold prediction: Packers receiver Davante Adams will go for 200 receiving yards on at least 14 catches. He torched the Vikings' secondary in Week 1 (156 yards and a pair of scores), but it'll be even worse this time around for Minnesota's cornerbacks, a group that has been decimated by injuries and could be down to Jeff Gladney, Harrison Hand and Kris Boyd to defend the top receiver in the NFC North. Adams has two games this season with at least 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and he'll record his third in Week 8.
Rob Demovsky, ESPN Packers Reporter: Packers 27, Vikings 23
What to watch for: The forecast for Sunday calls for winds gusting up to 40 mph in Green Bay. That's windy enough to impact more than just the kicking game -- and keep in mind that Packers kicker Mason Crosby is on the injury list this week. It could mess with even the strongest-armed quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins. Rodgers might have inadvertently given Cousins a tip about judging the swirling winds at Lambeau -- or perhaps he was deceiving him -- when he said this week, "You can't quite always rely on the flags in the stadium. They're kind of all over the place. So you learn which ones to look at and often it's opposite of the North end zone flag, that I've learned."
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Packers 36, Vikings 20
A lot has changed since they met in the opener with the Vikings a mess at 1-5 and seemingly playing for next year, while the Packers are 5-1 atop the division. Green Bay's offense was back rolling against the Texans, and I think that will play out here even more against a bad defense. Look for Aaron Rodgers to have another big day. This will be ugly.
Mark Craig, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Packers 42, Vikings 28
You’d expect the Packers to bring out one last gasp of unbridled determination before the Vikings truly accept their fate and settle in for the long winter’s nap. But Green Bay’s loss to Tampa Bay two weeks ago has Aaron Rodgers and Co. dialed in ready to punish a pass defense that’s lacking in the ability to rush and cover.
Sam Farmer, LA Times: Packers 31, Vikings 23
Davante Adams had a big game against the Vikings in Week 1, and Minnesota’s wobbly defense doesn’t suggest a different outcome this time. Packers are pulling away in the NFC North.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Packers 31, Vikings 27
The Packers set the tone for their follow-up season as NFC North champions by ripping the Vikings in Week 1, holding on 43-34. Green Bay had a hiccup against Tampa Bay, but quickly washed that away in Houston. Back home at Lambeau, the Packers should feel confident for the sweep, even with Aaron Jones hurting and Minnesota returning from a bye with Dalvin Cook likely back healthy. Simply, Aaron Rodgers is sharper and cleane than Kirk Cousins in these types of shootout matchups.
Make sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest Vikings news and analysis. Also, click the follow button in the upper right-hand corner of this page (mobile users, tap the bell icon – you may have to click ‘News’ first), leave comments below, and follow me on Twitter