MNF preview: Will Vikings’ playoff clinching affect game plan?

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The final Monday Evening Soccer sport of the 2019 NFL time ostensibly is a fight for the NFC North division crown.

But not truly.

When the initially-position, 11-3 Environmentally friendly Bay Packers stop by the 2nd-place, 10-4 Minnesota Vikings (8:15 p.m. EST, TSN via ESPN), all the Pack desires to do to clinch their initial NFC North title given that 2016 is acquire or tie — either this week or following.

The Vikings, even so, not only require to win this game to seize the NFC North crown, but defeat Chicago at home subsequent Sunday and, in addition, have Environmentally friendly Bay reduce at Detroit next Sunday. Yeah, which is possibly not happening.

The thing is, on Saturday evening Minnesota was gifted with a playoff berth, when the Los Angeles Rams were being eradicated from put up-season contention by losing at game’s conclude at San Francisco, 34-31.

So, in all chance, the Vikings will land the sixth and closing NFC playoff berth, the next of two wild cards — then almost certainly participate in at both Green Bay or New Orleans on Jan. 4 or 5.

Provided that chance, speculation now is that the Vikings won’t get any chances Monday night by playing anybody whose health is uncertain.

Exactly where that probably impacts this match the most is at the running back posture. Minnesota’s leading performer there, and the league’s seventh-major rusher, is Dalvin Prepare dinner. He has run for 1,135 yards this season but is officially out with a shoulder injury, which could possibly be far more really serious than the staff has enable on.

Never hope Cook’s backup, Alexander Mattison, to enjoy possibly. He has rushed for 462 yards on 100 carries, but on Saturday was officially listed as questionable with an ankle injuries.

If the division title were definitely up for grabs, Mattison could play. Really don’t be expecting him to now.

That would leave 3rd-stringer Mike Boone to take the bulk of carries for Minnesota versus Environmentally friendly Bay. On the season Boone has acquired 97 yards on 21 carries, for two touchdowns.

“Mike’s a superior runner,” Vikings head mentor Mike Zimmer stated Saturday. “He’s obtained excellent acceleration, runs physical. He’s rough.”

In any party, if the Vikings are intent on winning this game, additional of the offensive load would slide on quarterback Kirk Cousins, who, right after a tough very first thirty day period, has elevated his match to an elite degree — commensurate with the entirely assured $28 million he is earning in 2019 (as properly as final year and following).

Cousins ranks fourth in the NFL with a 111.1 passer rating. Against division opponents the previous two seasons Cousins as a Viking has thrown 20 touchdowns, against just six picks.

His counterpart, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, has received his final five Monday game titles, obtaining thrown 14 TDs in opposition to a person interception for a 114.1 passer rating.

Offered the dislike the Vikings and their admirers hold for Rodgers and the Pack, really don’t hope Minnesota to mail it in on Monday. Zimmer was requested Saturday how a Rams loss to the 49ers that night could influence his team’s sport system, and mentality, in opposition to the Packers.

“It won’t change a lot,” Zimmer stated. “We like to acquire all over in this article, so let us go win.”

JoKryk@postmedia.com

@JohnKryk

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