Minnesota Vikings: Studs and duds vs. Packers in Week 16

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images /
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Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images /

Stud: Kendricks, Vikings defense

In the opening half of the game, Erik Kendricks paced the way for the Minnesota defensive unit while it was able to force Aaron Rodgers and company into a few turnovers in the first two quarters.

Behind Kendricks’ two fumble recoveries in the first half, the Vikings were able to force the Packers into committing three first-half turnovers while Minnesota was able to end up tallying three total turnovers on defense throughout the course of the game.

The Vikings defense was definitely a bright spot in the game, although Minnesota would have liked to ultimately take advantage of those turnovers by putting more points up on the scoreboard early on in the contest.

Dud: Minnesota’s running game

One of the biggest flaws for the Vikings in Minneapolis was their inability to make an impact on the ground in the game, which has been an area that they have usually been able to thrive in leading up to the Week 16 matchup on Monday.

Minnesota was without star running back Dalvin Cook, as well as backup running back Alexander Mattison, who is also recovering from his own injury issues. The absence of those two running backs were felt throughout the loss for the Vikings, as they weren’t able to really to anything on the ground in the game.

Backup running back Mike Boone ended up with 11 total carries for 28 yards, while Ameer Abdullah added 27 yards on the ground on four rush attempts. Overall, the Vikings finished with just 57 rushing yards in the loss.