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Packers vs. Vikings Q&A: Minnesota has underwhelmed despite improved talent

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Ted Glover of SB Nation’s Minnesota Vikings blog Daily Norseman answers our questions about the team falling short of its preseason expectations.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers can either pump new life into their season or effectively end it when they take on the Minnesota Vikings. The two teams faced off in Week 2, a game which resulted in an overtime tie and set up this week’s do-or-die contest.

With the rematch holding such importance to both teams, we have expanded our weekly Q&A exchange to dive into Sunday’s game in greater detail. Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman kindly answers our questions and provided insight into the Vikings’ strengths and weaknesses.

APC: The Vikings lost a mostly one-sided affair with the Bears this past weekend and now stand at 5-4-1. Given that the Vikings entered the year as front-runners to win the Super Bowl, how do you reconcile their preseason expectations with their underwhelming performance to date?

On paper, the Vikings either stayed the same or got better at each position in the off-season. They swapped out Case Keenum with Kirk Cousins. They had their entire defense coming back, save DT Tom Johnson, and the Vikings signed Sheldon Richardson to replace him. Heck, they even re-signed Tom Johnsons after Seattle inexplicably cut him early in the season. They brought in a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo, but it looked like the Vikings had something going on offense early this season and it didn’t seem like an issue. Yet, both sides of the ball have issues with consistency. The defense is the closest of the two to their 2017 form, and outside of two early season embarrassments to the Bills and Rams, they’ve been a pretty solid unit.

On offense it’s been a different story. They have too many three and out possessions, which means they have a hard time staying on the field and getting into a rhythm. They have more turnovers than in recent seasons, and that’s contributed to more early deficits, forcing the Vikings into becoming more one dimensional. The play calling has been suspect at times as well, contributing to the stalled drives, or inability to get one going.

Finally, the Vikings aren’t playing complementary football. Last year, when the defense needed to get off the field and get the ball to the offense, they did. When the offense got the ball back and they needed a score, or a time consuming drive, they got it. That’s not happening with any consistency or regularity this year, and that’s probably been the most frustrating thing to watch this year.

We’d like to thank Ted for providing insight into the Packers’ upcoming opponent. Acme Packing Company will publish the rest of the Q&A exchange over the course of the week. Make sure to also check out all the Daily Norseman’s Vikings coverage leading up to Sunday’s tilt.