4 keys to victory for the Vikings against the Packers

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings /

Make play-action count

One of the big factors on offense for the Minnesota Vikings in 2019 was their ability to generate significant yardage from play-action. This was down to the deep-ball accuracy of quarterback Kirk Cousins and the amount of attention opposing defenses put on stopping dual-threat weapon, Dalvin Cook.

This is a trend that needs to continue throughout the 2020 season. The Vikings might have lost their primary wide receiver down the field after trading Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills. But there is nothing to suggest they cannot be equally as successful when play-action is called.

Cousins has proven adept as reading defenses quickly once faking the handoff to Cook. The likes of Adam Thielen, Bis Johnson, and Justin Jefferson might not have the exceptional downfield nous of Diggs. But they specialize in supreme route-running that enables them to get open quickly.

The Green Bay Packers will be more than aware of this type of threat. Their front seven will need to have their eye on the ball at all times to restrict what the Vikings can do when Gary Kubiak calls this sort of play. But constructing a gameplan and putting it together when it matters most are completely different things.

Much will depend on how the Vikings’ protection holds out, particularly on the interior, and they will need to be at the top of their game in a key area of the Week 1 contest.