After being eliminated from the playoff race following last week’s 31-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Green Bay Packers will turn to Brett Hundley to finish off the final two games of the season after putting Aaron Rodgers back on injured reserve. He’ll lead the Packers into battle against the Minnesota Vikings, who have already wrapped up the NFC North and now aim to improve their seeding in the conference during these final two weeks. Here are three Packers Keys To Victory for Green Bay to pull the upset this Saturday night.
Week 16 Green Bay Packers Keys To Victory
Get Creative With The Run Game
Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have developed into a phenomenal 1-2 punch in the backfield this season. Both backs are powerful downhill runners that compliment each other nicely, with Williams adding the power and Jones adding the speed and vision. They’ll be challenged by a Vikings defense that ranks second in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up just over 85 yards a game on the ground and 3.7 yards per carry. In order to counter this, the Packers need to get creative with the run game. Read options with Hundley and end arounds with speedy receivers are both great options for keeping the defense on edge.
Let Brett Hundley Sling It
Ever since Rodgers went down with a collarbone injury, we’ve seen a lot of up and down performances from Hundley. He’s had games where he’s thrown three touchdowns and no interceptions, and games where he’s failed to reach 100 yards passing. Statistics aside, Hundley has become more comfortable leading this team as the season has gone on, and that has culminated in overtime victories in his past two starts. In order to pull the upset this Saturday, however, the Packers need to open up the offense and let Hundley sling it.
With how good Minnesota’s run defense is, the Packers could find themselves in a lot of longer yardage situations that require throwing the ball downfield, which is something that the Green Bay coaching staff has been reluctant to let Hundley do on occasion. With these final two games more or less being used as an opportunity for younger players to showcase their ability, the Packers should take this opportunity to showcase Hundley’s ability by turning him loose and giving him a chance to lead Green Bay to victory on his right arm.
Play Fast on Defense
All season long, this Packers defense has been torched in the secondary and been straight up bullied by opposing offenses. With the playoffs out of reach, the Packers now have the opportunity to play spoiler in these final two games, and in order to knock off Minnesota they’ll have to take the field with a high level of intensity on defense.
Expect a lot of younger, hungry, high-energy players to get an opportunity on defense. Young, unproven players such as Montravius Adams and Vince Biegel are going to get a lot of playing time. Fast, physical, hard hitting defense will keep Green Bay in this game and give them an opportunity to win, and who knows, maybe one of these younger players will develop into a star before our very eyes this Saturday night.
Overall, this game is still worth watching, even with the playoffs out of reach. The Vikings are a hated rival of Green Bay and it’s a virtual certainty that players, fans, and coaches would like nothing more than to put a dent in their first-round bye aspirations. The Packers may not be able to play in the postseason in 2017. But they will have a chance to play spoiler in these next two games.