4 takeaways from the Vikings loss to the Packers in Week 1

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
2 of 5
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Harrison Smith and Mike Hughes /

Minnesota’s starting defense is far from final

Thanks to there not being a preseason this year, Sunday was the first time we got to see the Vikings’ new-look defense in action. With Danielle Hunter out, seven of Minnesota’s 11 defensive starters against the Packers were not a part of the 2019 starting defense (counting Shamar Stephen, who switched over to nose tackle this year).

With this many guys in unfamiliar territory, the results were not pretty for the Vikings. Green Bay gashed Minnesota for 522 total yards on Sunday, the second-most a Vikings defense has allowed since Mike Zimmer became the team’s head coach in 2014.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took full advantage of Minnesota’s inexperienced corners and he finished with 364 passing yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers has never thrown for that many yards against a Vikings defense since Zimmer was hired.

It doesn’t seem too crazy to think that Minnesota and their head coach are going to be doing a lot of experimenting with different lineups on the defensive side of the ball during the next few weeks. They certainly can’t roll into Week 2 with the same game plan that they had against the Packers on Sunday.

The good news is that Zimmer has shown in the past that he’s capable of fixing the Vikings defense when adjustments are needed.

Back in 2018 when Minnesota gave up more than 385 passing yards in two of their first four games, the necessary adjustments were made and the Vikings’ defense only allowed two of their final 12 opponents to throw for 300 yards or more.

Minnesota’s played about as poorly as possible on Sunday, but don’t expect this to be the norm from this unit just yet.