PFF Preview: Vikings @ Packers, Week 5
The Minnesota Vikings (2-2) are coming off a victory in Teddy Bridgewater’s first career start, but they are unsure if their rookie quarterback will be available on Thursday night when they travel to Lambeau Field to take on NFC North rival, the Green Bay Packers (2-2).
Jordy Nelson of the Packers is the league’s top overall wide receiver (+8.7) through four games this season. His 170 yards after the catch and six forced missed tackles rank him second and third, respectively, in those categories. Randall Cobb has also played well and leads the league in touchdowns by a wide receiver with five. The two receivers have made it difficult for defenses to focus on stopping either of them.
The Vikings’ secondary has played well in pass coverage thus far this year, and even more so considering they have already faced Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees. In the first four games this year, Brady has been the only quarterback to notch an overall grade above +0.6 against them. Safety Harrison Smith leads the team in coverage with a +6.1 grade, and an overall grade of +9.1, which ranks him as the top safety in the league. When quarterbacks throw into Smith coverage their NFL QB Rating is a 53.8.
Xavier Rhodes – Rhodes was in charge of covering Julio Jones in Week 4 when he netted the second best rating of his career (+3.8) and held Jones to two receptions on four targets for 27 yards. Rhodes’ best game came last year against the Packers in Green Bay (+4.2).
Jarius Wright – Wright broke out in Week 4 with the best overall game of his career (+2.7) and led the league with 100 yards after catch.
Josh Robinson – The Vikings’ corner struggled in his first two years in the league (unable to finish a season with a grade better than -8.6), but so far this year he is sitting as the fourth-best cornerback overall (+5.4) while allowing only three yards after catch on six receptions.
Green Bay Packers
TJ Lang – Lang had a rough start to the season against the Seahawks, but put together a solid outing in run blocking against the Bears last week (+1.7) — third best in the league for right guards.
Mike Daniels – The Packers’ defensive line has not played well against the run outside of Daniels who ranks fourth in the league in both run defense (+5.4), and defensive stops.
Julius Peppers – The transition to outside linebacker has seen Peppers find some joy rushing the quarterback — he ranks as the league’s top 3-4 outside linebacker, accumulating nine hurries, four hits, a sack, and a pass rush grade of +8.5.
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