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Week 2 Game Recap: Minnesota Vikings 16, Green Bay Packers 21


What you need to know

Minnesota Vikings

There was no sense of panic in Minnesota when Kirk Cousins did not look great in a week 1 win. Everyone thought the with how effective the running game was he just did not have to throw the ball. That all fell apart this week when Cousins was the sole reason the team lost to the Packers. Dalvin Cook did his part on the ground and currently leads the NFL in rushing yards. The defense battled the Cousins turnovers and shut out the Packers after they scored a touchdown at the start of the 2nd quarter. The offense had every chance to get back into the game and take a lead, but Cousins squandered every opportunity, including a red zone interception and several over thrown balls on what should have been easy completions. The Packers also helped bail him out when 2 easy interceptions bounced off the hands of a defender. It was a disastrous day for Cousins and the Vikings offense. They are going to have to figure something out on offense before the Raiders come to town next week with their new look offense.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Jones looks extremely comfortable finding the cutback lanes and getting downhill in this running game and he was very polished as a receiver. Aaron Rodgers is taking shots downfield off of play action but was conservative once the team built a 21-0 lead. The VIkings strong plays on the ball in the air and tackling kept Rodgers from a bigger day. Davante Adams was the ace in the hole on key conversions and he is gliding around the field in top form. No other pass catcher was targeted enough to make a fantasy impact in a low volume passing game.

Minnesota Vikings

QB Kirk Cousins, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 32 - 230 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 17 - 0
Everyone thought last week was just an outlier and that Cousins could merely manage a game when Dalvin Cook takes over. This week the Vikings dug themselves a 21-0 hole and Cousins did everything possible to not climb out of it. His lone job saving play was a perfectly thrown 45-yard pass to Diggs for a touchdown. The ball landed just over his outside shoulder in stride for the touchdown. Diggs proceeded to take off his helmet and was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty that pushed the extra point back and Dan Bailey proceeded to miss the kick. Cousins also had a 3-yard touchdown to Diggs nullified by an offensive pass interference call on Dalvin Cook that he proceeded to turn into a field goal. There were a few other big plays, including a 61-yard catch and run by Chad Beebe and a 30-yard catch by Thielen. There were also the 2 interceptions thrown. The first he tried to force a ball across the middle to Diggs in a crowd of Packers defenders and the ball was tipped and intercepted. The second was the worst play of the game where Cousins fled a collapsing pocket, back pedaled away from the goal line, and threw up a lame duck that was an easy interception in the corner of the end zone. Rather than throw the ball away and have another red zone try, he forced the ball towards the end zone and came away with no points. The Vikings paid Cousins a lot of money and are unlikely to move off of him after 2 bad games, but if this trend continues this season the Vikings may want to think about drafting the quarterback of the future in Minnesota.

RB Dalvin Cook, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 154 - 1, Rec: 3 - 37 - 0 (3 targets)
There is only so much a single player can do for a team each week. Cook currently leads the NFL in rushing yards and looks fully healthy for the first time in his NFL career. He has been rewarded by terrible quarterback play and the Vikings currently sit at 1-1 on the season. Cook had nearly 200 all purpose yards this week, including a 75-yard touchdown run when the Vikings were down 21-0. Cook burst off the right tackle and sprinted all the way to the end zone for a play that should have energized the entire offense. Unfortunately, the next 3 drives for the Vikings went punt, punt, and interception. Cook chipped in 3 catches on 3 targets and did everything he could in the 4th quarter to give Cousins a chance to take the lead. The one lapse for Cook was an offensive pass interference call that came on a 3-yard Diggs touchdown catch. The play was challenged, reviewed, and the offensive pass interference call was added after the original play was called a touchdown. Cook averaged 7.7 yards per carry on 20 touches and is not threatened by Mattison behind him at all. With the struggles of Cousins under center, look for the Vikings to run the ball early and often next week against the Raiders.

RB Alexander Mattison, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 25 - 0
Cook was not the only one to have success on the ground, Mattison chipped in 25 yards of his own on only 4 carries. He had another first down run nullified by a penalty but has shown that he is the clear number 2 in Minnesota right now. Ameer Abdullah was given a single carry, but Mattison is not in any jeopardy of losing his backup role. Mattison did not have a single target in the passing game, but Cousins would have probably over thrown him like he did almost all of his other receivers anyway. The Vikings are rising Cook hard early this season and we should see more carries for Mattison in the coming weeks as they try to manage his workload. The offensive line is doing a great job run blocking and Mattison should have several holes to run through when given the chance.

WR Adam Thielen, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 75 - 0 (8 targets)
It is hard being a receiver when your quarterback cannot seem to hit the broad side of a barn. Thielen made the best of his situation this week and caught 5 of his 8 targets. Every catch seemed to be contested or thrown just a little behind or too far in front of him this week. Thielen had a single big play with a 30-yard catch and run down the sideline, but he also had to make a play on an overthrown ball by Cousins that was almost intercepted. Thielen is not enjoying the same success that he had the beginning of last season and did not continue the streak of 100 yards and a touchdown against the Packers he had in both games last season. Thielen continues to stress that he is not worried about personal numbers as long as the team is winning, but that may change if Cousins continues to struggle under center.

WR Chad Beebe, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 61 - 0 (2 targets)
If you are only going to get a single reception in a game, you might as well take it for 61 yards and set up a 1st and goal situation for the offense. Beebe had 2 targets this week but only had 1 catch. He made the most of his catch across the middle when he turned it up field and took it 61 yards down field to the Green Bay 3-yard line. Beebe had a good preseason but has not factored into the Viking offense in the first 2 weeks outside of this play. Look for his usage to go up until Doctson takes the field later this year.

WR Stefon Diggs, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 49 - 1 (7 targets)
The SpongeBob ‘ight imma head out’ cleats went viral before the start of the game this week and Diggs did everything he could to live up to the hype they created. He caught a beautifully thrown 45-yard touchdown pass that landed just over his outside shoulder in stride but proceeded to be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when he took his helmet off in celebration. The penalty pushed the extra point try back and Dan Bailey missed again after an earlier field goal miss. This ended up being the only catch for Diggs after he had a 3-yard touchdown catch across the middle nullified after a successful offensive pass interference challenge by Green Bay. The call came against Dalvin Cook and the Vikings had to settled for a field goal rather than a touchdown that drive. Diggs was targeted 7 times this week and only wound up with a single reception. It was a rough day for all Viking receivers with Cousins struggling under center. Diggs should see plenty of volume next week with the Vikings taking on an Oakland team that was picked apart by the Chiefs through the air.

TE Kyle Rudolph, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 9 - 0 (5 targets)
After failing to have a catch in the first game, Rudolph at least had a reception this week. He had less than 10 yards receiving on 3 catches, but that came from the ineffectiveness of Cousins this week more than anything else. We did see Irv Smith have a reception this week and if his snap count continues to increase it will be at the expense of Rudolph. The Vikings look like a team that is preparing to move off of their long-time tight end and see what Smith has to offer. Rudolph is going to have to get things clicking with Cousins and quickly if he wants to keep his starting job.


Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 34 - 209 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0
Rodgers was successful on a downfield shot to Davante Adams off of play action to open the game and stayed hot through the first quarter as the team opened up a 21 point lead. He was passing well to the backs, including an inside screen to Jamaal Williams that resulted in the first score of the game. He had time to throw on third down on the second scoring drive, hitting Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Davante Adams on third down before finishing with a touchdown that Geronimo Allison climbed the ladder to get. The offense was more conservative after the Packers opened up that lead and the Vikings pass defense was much tighter. Rodgers did get a long pass interference to Davante Adams that won't show up in the box score. He played well and should be even better against easier defenses.

RB Aaron Jones, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 116 - 1, Rec: 4 - 34 - 0 (6 targets)
Jones was a natural in the zone running game, regularly finding cutback lanes and getting yards after contact. His burst, decisiveness, and ability to make adjustments behind the line while running with urgency stood out. He was sharing with Jamaal Williams, but getting carries on many of his snaps and playing a large role in the passing game. He was very smooth bringing in the ball when it was off target and he almost had a huge gain on a wheel route were it not for a fingertip pass breakup. The game script was perfect for his workload and he was getting the drop on the Vikings consistently after they had a few stuffs early with inside penetration. Jones Week 1 was due to a flat performance by the whole offense and good Bears defense. He's hitting his stride now.

RB Jamaal Williams, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 28 - 0, Rec: 3 - 13 - 1 (4 targets)
Williams was able to score on an inside screen out of a two back set to open the scoring, but otherwise was quiet on his touches. He got a good helping of carries and targets, but was unremarkable with the ball in his hands. Williams did run efficiently and fell forward on most carries, but he is clearly the inferior runner and won't have relevance unless Jones goes down.

WR Davante Adams, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 106 - 0 (9 targets)
Adams is in midseason form, moving around the field and making plays on the ball in the air with ease. He got open downfield on the first pass of the game and was Aaron Rodgers preferred target on third down. He came up with multiple key conversions in the game and Adams last catch iced the game for the Packers. He also drew a long pass interference and another long pass took a great defensive play to break up. He's fine after a quiet Week 1.

WR Geronimo Allison, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 25 - 1 (5 targets)
Allison went up high to get a score, but was a liability on his other receptions, fumbling on one and failing to convert with passive running on another. He was a dumpoff pressure release valve on two of his catches and still isn't a key part of the pass offense.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (6 targets)
Valdes-Scantling had some downfield targets broken up and gave back yards on a wide receiver screen so his box score was underwhelming. He is still getting downfield targets and could be a better play in a more wide open high scoring game script.

WR Jake Kumerow, 6 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
Kumerow's one reception came on a third and 28 that was basically a play to set up a safer punt.

TE Jimmy Graham, 54 offensive snaps (2 targets)
Graham was called for offensive pass interference on his one reception. He doesn't appear to be a key part of the game plan.