Packers and Vikings meet in season opener

Packers will begin the regular season this Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings

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WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

After a training camp unlike any experienced in recent time, the Packers will begin the regular season this Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings.

  • This marks the third time Green Bay will enter the regular season without playing a preseason or non-league game before the start of the regular season. It happened in 1931, a team that went on to finish No. 1 in the National Football League with a 12-2 record, and in 1933, when the Packers went on to finish 5-7-1.  
  • The Packers open the season at the Vikings for the first time in team history, marking the third straight year that Green Bay will face a divisional foe in Week 1, which last happened in 1996-98 when the Packers were in the NFC Central. 
  • Since the NFL went to a divisional format in 1967, it marks the first time the Packers have played a road divisional game in the opener in back-to-back seasons.
  • The last time the two teams met in Week 1 was in 2008 on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field.
  • Of the past 35 regular-season meetings between the teams, 23 of those games have been decided by seven points or less.
  • The Packers have a 29-29 record in away games against the Vikings, including a 23-10 win at Minnesota last season.
  • Through 119 meetings, which includes two postseason contests (1-1), the Packers hold a 62-54-3 edge over the Vikings in the all-time series.
  • Of the past 35 regular-season meetings between the teams, 23 of those games have been decided by seven points or less, including a 21-16 victory by Green Bay last season in Week 2.
  • In 2019, Green Bay swept the regular-season series with Minnesota for the sixth time since 2002 (2011, 2010, 2007, 2006, 2004).
  • Green Bay (six) and Minnesota (four) have won 10 of the last 12 NFC North titles (2008-19). 
  • The Packers stay in the division in Week 2, welcoming the Detroit Lions to Lambeau Field. It marks the third consecutive year that the Packers will open the season with two NFC North games.

RODGERS AND THE VIKINGS

  • Including the postseason, Green Bay is 14-8-1 against Minnesota with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback. 
  • In 23 games as the starter against the Vikings (including playoffs), Rodgers has completed 497 of 734 passes (67.7 percent) for 5,732 yards, 44 TDs and seven INTs with a passer rating of 107.1. His passer rating is the highest of any opposing starting quarterback (min. 200 att.) vs. Minnesota (Drew Brees, 102.3 / Jay Cutler, 92.4), according to pro-football-reference.com.
  • Rodgers has recorded a 100-plus passer rating in 13 of his 23 starts against the Vikings (including the postseason) and a rating of 94-plus in 16 contests.
  • In the last 16 games versus Minnesota (including playoffs), Rodgers has thrown 22 touchdowns and four interceptions.
  • Rodgers is the only player to have four games with four-plus touchdown passes with zero interceptions against the Vikings. No other quarterback has more than two.

WITH THE CALL

FOX Sports, now in its 27th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game.

  • Play-by-play man Chris Myers joins analysts Greg Jennings and Brock Huard, and sideline reporter Jen Hale.
  • Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in four states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play), two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) will call the action. McCarren first joined the team's broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 25th season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 21st season of broadcasts together. They surpassed Jim Irwin and Max McGee for the most regular-season and postseason games broadcast for the Packers with 313 at the 2018 season opener against Chicago.
  • The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).
  • ESPN Radio will be broadcasting to a national audience with Sean Kelley (play-by-play) and Ben Hartsock (analyst) on the call.
  • DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on Channel 712.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:

Packers vs. Vikings:

  • Regular season, all-time: 61-53-3
  • All-time, postseason: 1-1
  • All-time, at Minnesota: 29-29 (1-3 at U.S. Bank Stadium)
  • Streaks: The Packers are 6-4 in the previous 10 games played in Minnesota. 
  • Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 23, 2019, U.S. Bank Stadium, Packers won, 23-10

COACHES CAPSULES

  • Matt LaFleur: 13-3-0, .813; (1-1 postseason); 2nd NFL season
  • Mike Zimmer: 57-38-1, .599 (2-3 postseason); 7th NFL season
  • Head to Head: LaFleur 2-0 vs. Zimmer
  • vs. Opponent: LaFleur 2-0 vs. Vikings; Zimmer 5-6-1 vs. Packers

MATT LaFLEUR…In his second season as the Packers' 15th head coach.

  • Entering his 12th season in the NFL, having previously served as an offensive coordinator for two seasons (Los Angeles Rams, 2017; Tennessee Titans, 2018), a quarterbacks coach for six seasons (Washington Redskins, 2010-13; Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16), and an offensive assistant for two seasons (Houston Texans, 2008-09).
  • In his first season leading the Packers in 2019, became the first coach in club history to lead the team to the playoffs in his debut season. Also led the largest one-year win improvement in team history (plus-seven wins).
  • Became only the fifth coach in NFL history to win 13-plus regular-season games in his first season as a head coach (Jim Caldwell, George Seifert, Jim Harbaugh, Steve Mariucci).
  • Guided the Titans' offense in 2018 to a No. 7 league ranking in rushing (126.4 ypg) as Tennessee registered 11 games with 100-plus rushing yards, tied for No. 2 in the NFL.
  • Helped the Rams lead the league in scoring with an average of 29.9 points per game in 2017, more than doubling their average from 2016 (14.0 ppg).
  • Tutored QB Matt Ryan, who led the league in passer rating (117.1) in 2016 on his way to being named NFL Most Valuable Player by The Associated Press, and QB Robert Griffin III, who became the first QB in Washington franchise history to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012.

MIKE ZIMMER…In his seventh year as the Vikings' ninth head coach. 

  • Since he took over head-coaching duties prior to the 2014 season, Minnesota has compiled 57 regular-season victories, good for seventh most in the NFL during that span.
  • Guided the Vikings to a 10-6 regular-season mark, a playoff berth and a Wild Card win at New Orleans during the 2019 season. Minnesota has advanced to the postseason in three of his six seasons at the helm, including two NFC North titles (2015 and 2017).
  • Led Minnesota to a record-setting 2017 campaign that saw the Vikings go 13-3, win the NFC North title and advance to the NFC Championship Game. 
  • After inheriting the No. 31 defense in the league in 2014, guided the Minnesota defense to the top ranking in both yards allowed and points allowed in 2017.
  • A longtime defensive coordinator prior to taking the Minnesota job, coached four top-10 defensive units in Cincinnati (2009, 2011-13), three in Dallas (2001, 2003, 2005) and three as head coach of the Vikings (2016-18).

THE PACKERS-VIKINGS SERIES

  • The Packers began the series with six straight wins before Minnesota rattled off 22 victories in 32 contests from 1964-79.
  • Green Bay started a run of its own in 1979 that generated 16 wins over 21 games and lasted until 1990.
  • Since 2000, the Packers are 24-14-2 (.625) in regular-season contests versus the Vikings.
  • In the two Wild Card playoff contests between the franchises, Green Bay and Minnesota have each scored 41 total points and won a game by 14 points.
  • The 29-29 tie in the 2018 Week 2 matchup between these clubs was the eighth OT contest in the series. The Vikings hold a 4-1-3 advantage in OT games.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers G/T Billy Turner is from Shoreview, Minn. and attended Mounds View High School outside of Minneapolis…Turner's father, Maurice, was a 12th-round draft choice by the Vikings in 1983…Vikings coaches Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison, Klint Kubiak and Brian Pariani were all on the Denver coaching staff in 2016 while Turner played for the Broncos…Packers LB Kamal Martin is from Burnsville, Minn., attended Burnsville High School outside of Minneapolis and played collegiately at the University of Minnesota…Vikings senior defensive assistant Dom Capers was the defensive coordinator for the Packers from 2009-17...Vikings LB Ryan Connelly played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin…Packers defensive backs coach Jerry Gray held the same position for the Vikings from 2014-19…Packers executive vice president/ director of football operations Russ Ball served as the senior football administrator for the Vikings from 1999-2000…Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst's father, John, served as the head coach of the University of Minnesota from 1985-91. The younger Gutekunst attended high school at Robbinsdale Armstrong in Bloomington, Minn. and Totino-Grace in Fridley, Minn…Packers outside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti's father, Tom, coached for the Minnesota Vikings from 1996-99…Packers senior analyst Butch Barry coached at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minn., from 2004-05…Barry also served as Central Michigan's offensive line coach in 2014 when Vikings TE Tyler Conklin was on the roster…Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was Vikings QB Kirk Cousins' position coach in Washington for two seasons (2012-13)…Vikings QB Sean Mannion was on the Los Angeles Rams' roster when LaFleur served as offensive coordinator in 2017…LaFleur coached on Kubiak's staff in Houston in 2008-09...LaFleur also coached Vikings WR Tajae Sharpe while serving as offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans in 2018…Cousins and Packers DL Preston Smith played together for Washington over the course of three seasons (2015-17)…Vikings assistant strength and conditioning coach Derik Keyes served in the same role with Cleveland while Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was head coach…Packers RB Aaron Jones was coached by Vikings offensive quality control coach AC Patterson during his freshman season at Texas-El Paso…Vikings offensive quality control coach Christian Jones played with Packers DL Tyler Lancaster and DL Dean Lowry at Northwestern and was coached by Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten at Westfield HS (Houston, Texas), where Outten was the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at the time...Minnesota running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu coached in Jacksonville for four years (2006-09) during Green Bay TE Marcedes Lewis' time with the Jaguars...Lewis and Vikings T Rashod Hill played together for Jacksonville in 2016…Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett held the same position for Jacksonville when Lewis and Hill were on the roster…Lewis spent two seasons (2004-05) with Vikings assistant special teams coach Ryan Ficken at UCLA...Polamalu coached at UCLA while Green Bay DL Kenny Clark played for the Bruins (2014-15)...Vikings special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf and Pettine were on the Baltimore Ravens' coaching staff together in 2008… Packers T Rick Wagner and Vikings RB Ameer Abdullah played together for the Lions for parts of two seasons (2017-18)…Packers TE Robert Tonyan also played with Wagner and Abdullah as a member of the Lions roster during the 2017 preseason…Packers LB Christian Kirksey and Vikings P Britton Colquitt played together for the Browns from 2016-18…Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga also coached Colquitt and Kirksey while serving as a special teams assistant for the Browns from 2016-17…Vikings WR Chad Beebe's father, Don, played for the Packers from 1996-97 and was a member of the Super Bowl XXXI champion team…Former college teammates include: Packers P JK Scott and Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama); Packers LB Randy Ramsey and Vikings DT Armon Watts (Arkansas); Packers TE Josiah Deguara, Vikings RB Mike Boone and LB Eric Wilson (Cincinnati); Packers CB Josh Jackson, LB Christian Kirksey, Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson and T Riley Reiff (Iowa); Packers LB Jonathan Garvin and Vikings WR K.J. Osborn (Miami); Packers LB Rashan Gary, G Jon Runyan and Vikings LB Ben Gedeon (Michigan); Packers LS Hunter Bradley, G Elgton Jenkins and Vikings CB Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State); Packers C Corey Linsley and Vikings G Pat Elflein (Ohio State); Packers G Lane Taylor and Vikings K Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State); Packers DL Kenny Clark, Vikings LB Anthony Barr and LB Eric Kendricks (UCLA).

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