The Kevin O’Connell era starts on Sunday, September 11th at 3:25 central time as the Green Bay Packers come into U.S. Bank Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings
The game itself is one with a few storylines with the first being an already alluded to a new era of Vikings football. For the first time since the 2010 season, the Vikings have a head coach with an offensive background.
Coming from the Sean McVay tree, O’Connell will be prioritizing 11 personnel which will give the Vikings the ability to both run successfully and attack down the field on seemingly any play.
The other major storyline comes from the Green Bay Packers. Having traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Packers go into the season with a wide receiver corps that is massively unproven. The best receiver in the room is Allen Lazard and he will be missing the game against the Vikings due to injury. Joining him in missing the game are starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins.
Where does leave the game? The line moved on Tipico Sportsbook from Vikings +1.5 to Vikings -2.5 overnight due to the injury announcement. With all the concerns on the Packers side of the ball, they still have a great defense and the Vikings are debuting two new schemes.
How will this game go down? There are a wide range of outcomes but the one that makes the most sense with all factors involved is a Vikings win at home. Kirk Cousins has the opportunity to prove that he can evolve and become more aggressive. The Vikings also have a relatively clean injury report and match up well against the Packers, especially with the pass rush on the outside without Bakhtiari and Jenkins.
Prediction: Vikings 34, Packers 24