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NFL: 5 takeaways from the Minnesota Vikings' Week 8 win over the Green Bay Packers

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook returned from injury to score 4 touchdowns against the Packers
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook returned from injury to score 4 touchdowns against the Packers
Andrew Pistone
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In a battle of longstanding NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings secured their second win of the season against the Green Bay Packers by a final score of 28-22.

This was an intriguing upset, as the Packers had been favored over the struggling Minnesota Vikings by 5.5 points at home. Here’s what we learned from the divisional clash.


5. The wind wreaked havoc on this game

As the calendar turned from October into November, the weather conditions at Lambeau Field for Sunday’s matchup forced both teams into some interesting strategic decisions. At kickoff, it was a near-freezing 35 degrees with wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

In the first half, the teams combined for a total of five possessions -- the Minnesota Vikings had the ball twice and Green Bay had it three times -- but the Packers' final possession was basically a half-hearted attempt to get down the field since this was not a day either team felt comfortable kicking field goals.

Since neither team felt good about kicking, there were a combined six attempts to convert on fourth down -- five of which belonged to the Packers. Kicker Mason Crosby came into the game with injuries to his calf and back, so the Green Bay coaching staff decided that it was best to try to punch it into the end zone against the Minnesota Vikings' defense each time they got the ball.


4. Green Bay has a talented tight end group

There have been many opinions shared in the past week or so about what Green Bay should do as the trade deadline approaches this Tuesday. Many are pushing for the Packers to trade for the wide receiver they refused to select in April’s NFL Draft.

While the acquisition of a Will Fuller or Golden Tate type of player could certainly bolster the Packers’ chances of making it to the Super Bowl, they’ve got a couple players at tight end who are athletic and can make plays down the field.

On a fourth-down play in the first quarter, Aaron Rodgers found tight end Jace Sternberger sitting down in the soft spot of the Minnesota Vikings' zone defense. The Texas A&M product finished the day with three catches for 46 yards.

The Packers’ longest play of the day came on a 45-yard pass play to their other tight end, Robert Tonyan, who could’ve potentially scored if Rodgers had made a better throw.


3. Neither the Minnesota Vikings' or Green Bay Packers' defense was impressive

On a blustery day in Wisconsin, the weather dictated that each team would rely more on the ground game than they normally would.

That should’ve led to stacked boxes, which dared Rodgers and Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins to air the ball out downfield. With a cheat sheet on how the game would be played, each defense still had a tough time containing the other’s rushing attack.

Packers' fill-in RB Jamaal Williams rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries, while rookie A.J Dillon contributed 21 yards on five totes.

Meanwhile for the Minnesota Vikings, RB Dalvin Cook absolutely eviscerated Green Bay for 163 yards on 30 carries. (More on that later...)


2. Davante Adams is a man among boys

Fresh off of his 13-catch, 196-yard, two-touchdown masterpiece against the Houston Texans last week, Davante Adams still had plenty in the tank left for the Minnesota Vikings.

While Adams didn’t accrue the same yardage totals as he did last week, likely due to the weather at Lambeau Field, the Packers' star receiver ran crisp, definitive routes in the red zone to give Rodgers the windows he needed to connect with him for three touchdowns.

The Minnesota Vikings came into the game with a banged up secondary, so Adams feasting wasn’t too obscure of a prediction. But if he continues to produce at this pace, it may not matter what defensive schemes are deployed to stop him.


1. Dalvin Cook's groin injury appears to be a thing of the past

Cook’s performance made head coach Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings' training staff look brilliant on Sunday. In Week 6, the Vikings decided to hold the ailing Cook out of their game against the Atlanta Falcons, knowing they had a bye in Week 7.

Given two weeks to rest before the Green Bay game, Cook’s return to the field in Week 8 was nothing short of magnificent.

The Minnesota Vikings like to rely on their running game, but it was especially important for them to establish the run with Cousins coming off a three-interception game against the Falcons, and considering the whipping winds in Green Bay.

The Packers knew that Cook would be heavily involved on Sunday, and still couldn’t do anything to slow him down.


Edited by Amaar Burton
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