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 /
4 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Sammy Watkins /

Sammy Watkins will have another Week 1 explosion

After trading Davante Adams and losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling to free agency, the Packers have 224 targets available from last season. While he may not be the receiver that fills this void throughout the entire season, Sammy Watkins could get the job done against the Vikings.

Watkins has struggled to stay on the field in his career, but he’s always been a fast starter. In no place has that been more prevalent than Week 1 where a healthy Watkins has burned the competition.

In 2019, Watkins erupted for nine receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns in the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Watkins repeated that performance in 2020, collecting seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in a season-opening win against the Houston Texans. Watkins continued his Week 1 success last year, catching four passes for 96 yards to help the Baltimore Ravens beat the Las Vegas Raiders.

If you’re counting at home, that gives Watkins 20 catches for 376 yards and four touchdowns over his past three Week 1 matchups. Even worse is that the Vikings could be susceptible to having that happen again.

Minnesota enters the season opener with major questions in the secondary. Patrick Peterson is a steady veteran but might be approaching the end of his career. Cameron Dantzler is a popular breakout candidate but has had lapses toward the end of games. Chandon Sullivan had a rough preseason and the group of Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr., and Kris Boyd isn’t ready for a major role.

We’ve seen Rodgers pick on a questionable secondary before and that could be no different this Sunday. With Allen Lazard out of practice and a slew of rookies behind him, Watkins could wind up being his top target if only for a week.