NFL Week 6 Preview: Packers at Vikings
The Green Bay Packers visit the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
Coverage by: Sam McGaw
Matchup: Green Bay Packers offense vs. Minnesota Vikings defense
- WR Jordy Nelson vs. Xavier Rhodes – Nelson is expected to play Sunday after missing the final drive of Green Bay’s comeback win against Dallas with a minor back injury. He enters Sunday with a PFF overall grade of 81.6, which ranks 11th for his position. He averages 1.46 receiving yards per route run, and his wide receiver rating of 117.6 ranks second among Packers that have seen a minimum of 15 targets. Nelson will likely be shadowed by Rhodes this week. Quarterbacks throwing at Rhodes have averaged a passer rating of 65.6 this season. He’s allowing 0.82 receiving yards per coverage snap. One way the Packers can help Nelson avoid Rhodes is by sending him to the slot, where he’s run 26.9 percent of his routes this season. Rhodes has only 16 coverage snaps out of the slot since last season.
- T Lane Taylor vs. Edge Everson Griffen – Since moving from left guard to left tackle in Week 4, Taylor has registered a pass-blocking efficiency of 92.8, which ranks 41st among tackles over the past two weeks. He had a 95.1 pass-blocking efficiency at left guard through the first three weeks of the season. On Sunday, he will have to deal with Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who’s ranked 16th among edge defenders with a pass-rushing productivity of 11.3. Nineteen of his 22 total pressures came from the defense’s right edge.
- HB Ty Montgomery vs. LB Eric Kendricks – Montgomery will likely return to action Sunday after being held out against the Cowboys. He enters the battle with an elusive rating of 26.9, which ranks 35th for his position. Additionally, his 1.17 receiving yards per route run is 30th. He’ll often be met by Kendricks on Sunday. Kendricks’ run-defense grade of 37.3 ranks 78th out of 87 qualified linebackers. He’s missed eight tackles, which is tied for the most at his position. Against the pass, Kendricks is allowing 0.73 receiving yards per coverage snap, good for the 11th-lowest rate for a linebacker.
Coverage by: Elliott Rooney
Matchup: Minnesota Vikings offense vs. Green Bay Packers defense
- C Pat Elflein vs. DI Mike Daniels – So far this season the rookie center has struggled in pass protection. His pass-blocking grade of 40.4 ranks 30th among 34 centers this season. His pass-blocking efficiency (PBE) isn’t much better either, his rating of 95.1 is the fourth lowest among centers as he has allowed 11 total pressures on his 177 pass-block snaps. Whilst Daniels is a better run defender than pass-rusher, he is still capable of causing Elflien problems, his pass-rush grade of 75.9 ranks 32nd among interior defenders in 2017. Daniels has recorded five total pressures this season on just 53 pass-rushing snaps for a pass-rush productivity (PRP) of 8.0 which ranks 22nd among 111 interior defenders (PBE/PRP measures pressure created/allowed on a per snap basis with weighting towards sacks).
- G Nick Easton vs. LB Blake Martinez – Easton will face off with one of the best run stopping linebackers so far this season when he face Martinez on Sunday. Easton has been the biggest weakness on the Vikings offensive line this season, as he sports the lowest overall PFF grade among the five starting lineman, particularly in the run game where his run-block grade of 34.3 ranks 64th among 71 guards this season. Martinez has been outstanding in run defense, his 16 stops in run defense leads the NFL and his run-stop percentage of 14 percent ranks fifth (a run stop is a tackle made in run defense that results in a “WIN” for the defense).
- WR Adam Thielen vs. CB Quinten Rollins – Thielen has been one of the best slot receivers this season, his 18 receptions rank fifth and his 227 receiving yards in the slot are the sixth most. Thielen could really dominate in the slot when lined up against Rollins a corner who has given up a passer rating of 133.3 when targeted in the slot, the fifth highest among 57 qualifying cornerbacks. Rollins has allowed all 15 of his targets to be caught from the slot this season for 160 yards and a touchdown, his 2.86 yards per cover snap are the third highest.