5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers – Week 17

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Mannion /

Mannion will still be looking for his first career touchdown pass

The Vikings’ game plan was altered drastically when Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. With Cousins now forced to sit out Sunday’s matchup in Green Bay, Minnesota will turn to backup Sean Mannion, who has yet to throw a touchdown in seven NFL seasons.

Perhaps the bright lights will bring out another gear in Mannion. But with the way the Packers defense has played, it’s unlikely the Minnesota backup signal-caller will find the elusive score on Sunday night.

Especially since he’ll be going up against a Green Bay secondary that has improved since their last meeting. Rasul Douglas has an interception in each of his last three games at Lambeau Field. Eric Stokes’s Pro Football Focus grade is 12th among qualifying corners. Even Chandon Sullivan has allowed a 75.3 passer rating when targeted in the slot.

The Vikings will catch a break as Jaire Alexander will need a conditioning period after being activated from injured reserve, but the Packers don’t need him to win this game. With an improved secondary, Green Bay should be able to take advantage of its opportunities.