4 Vikings players to watch in Week 8 vs. Packers

The Minnesota Vikings will be looking to improve to 2-0 in the NFC North along with getting back to 0.500 when they take on the Green Bay Packers. They were desperate for a win against the San Francisco 49ers and they got one by a score of 22-17.

As things currently sit, the Vikings are currently tied for a wild card spot but would lose out on the tiebreaker to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a head-to-head loss.

The Vikings currently have two of their best players on injured reserve in Marcus Davenport and Justin Jefferson, but they are playing well regardless. Going into week eight, these four players will be key to a Vikings victory at Lambeau Field.

Managing editor Tyler Forness: LG Dalton Risner

Alika Jenner/Getty Images
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

With Ezra Cleveland missing Monday night’s game and questionable for Sunday against the Packers, the Vikings counted on Risner to fill his shoes. He did really good job against the 49ers with a PFF grade of 65.0 and a run blocking grade of 66.5. The presence of Cleveland was missed because of how quick he is out of the block and Risner isn’t nearly as quick. It was one of the few warts from his game against the 49ers. If Cleveland isn’t going to play against the Packers, Risner’s performance could be pivotal to a Vikings win at Lambeau Field.

Columnist Judd Zulgad: RB Cam Akers

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The running back was the backup to Alexander Mattison after being acquired from the Rams last month, but that changed in Monday’s victory over San Francisco. Akers finished with more touches than Mattison, rushing for 31 yards on 10 carries and catching two passes for 30 yards. Mattison rushed for 39 yards on eight attempts and caught two passes for 3 yards. Akers is a more explosive runner than Mattison and it would make sense for the two to share the workload equally or have Akers get a few more touches each game. Akers also provides an interesting option in the screen game.

Columnist Saivion Mixson: WR Jordan Addison

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

 Have a day, Jordan Addison. Have a day.

With Justin Jefferson out, someone had to step up in the passing game to become a reliable target for Kirk Cousins. Addison firmly took that title when he ripped an interception away from Charvarius Ward’s waiting arms and turned it into a 60-yard touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the half. Addison continuously created separation against San Francisco’s man coverage, hauling in seven of his ten targets and drawing two crucial defensive coverage penalties down the field.

With Green Bay’s secondary continuing to battle injury and adding two more names to their injured reserve list in Darnell Savage and Eric Stokes, this could be yet another signature performance for the blossoming rookie receiver.

Columnist Chris Spooner: OLB Danielle Hunter

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are on a winning streak and looking to push it to three games over their division rivals. Not enough is being made about the play of the defense in helping the Vikings turn their season around. That play begins with Pro Bowl edge rusher Danielle Hunter. Hunter has been the subject of trade rumors all season, but he hasn’t let that distract him and has been on a tear recently. He leads the league in sacks with nine, and four of those have come in the last three weeks.

If the Vikings are going to get back to .500 on the season and come away with a win over the Packers, they’re going to need to put pressure on young quarterback Jordan Love. Similar to how they pulled off the upset of the 49ers, if they can bring pressure on Love and force him into making rookie-esque mistakes, they can put the offense in a great position to capitalize. If they’re going to do that, it’s going to start with their best player: Danielle Hunter. Look for him to have another big game in a big spot.

The Real Forno Show

[lawrence-related id=85130,85124,85127,85082,85109,85107]

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire