5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers – Week 1

(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith
(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Za’Darius Smith #55 and Danielle Hunter #99 /

Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter will have at least one sack each

One of the biggest changes from last season is the addition of Za’Darius Smith. The former Packer tormented the Vikings during his three seasons in Green Bay but jumped across the river after signing a three-year contract this offseason.

Smith initially downplayed the narrative of facing his former team, but in an interview with Go Long’s Ty Dunne, he revealed he actually signed with the Vikings so he could play the Packers twice.

"“I played one year of high school football. For me to be where I’m at today, that’s how you know I love the game. I put my all into it. That’s why I felt the way I did with Green Bay, I gave that s—my all. I put my blood, sweat…I put my back on the f—ing line. I put everything. And that Year 3, I was treated bad. That’s why I’m here now. So I can play them twice a year.”"

This sounds like a man determined to slam Aaron Rodgers into the turf and he may not be alone.

Danielle Hunter has missed 26 games over the past two seasons due to season-ending injuries. The Vikings guaranteed an $18 million roster bonus this offseason but his future in Minnesota is in doubt beyond 2022.

With Smith playing for revenge and Hunter playing for a new contract, it makes sense that both of them will come out of the gates on fire this season. Luckily for them, they’ll also be preying on a wounded unit.

The Packers are currently reeling along the offensive line as David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins work their way through injuries. Although both are likely to play on Sunday, they may not be 100 percent, which could play into the hands of the Vikings.

Add in a new scheme that has both players moving around the formation and there are going to be some mismatches. There’s a good chance that both players will take advantage and get off to a strong start.