Before each game, our Vikings coverage team makes predictions graded on a 1-10 scale of difficulty. Leader at the end of the season covers the Christmas Eve game in Green Bay … and so does the loser.
After one week, Jim Souhan is the only point-getter … his prediction was nine points of thrills and chills, but he only was awarded one point (forecasting Blair Walsh would miss an extra point). The other guys' predictions were Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson heavy, which made them WRONG.
This week's bold predictions (please hum theme to "Jaws" while reading):
MATT VENSEL, beat writer
For the first time since Mike Zimmer was hired in 2014, his Vikings defense will prevent Packers QB Aaron Rodgers from throwing a touchdown pass. Unfortunately, Eddie Lacy, his "slimmed-down" power back, will rush for a pair of scores.
Difficulty rating: That's a 3, considering Rodgers has 33 TD passes in a 13-game streak against the Vikings with at least one scoring toss.
MARK CRAIG, On The NFL insider
Well, no one told me these things were weighted on degree of difficulty. In that case … Little green men from outer space descend upon U.S. Bank Stadium chanting "Zwog Pog Zwog!" — or "Go Pack Go!" In their language. But they make a rookie mistake by getting between a giant flock of birds and the crystal clear glass of U.S. Bank Stadium and … well, let's just say there will be no survivors. In other news, the Vikings upset the Packers 23-21 and 53 players tell 1,753 reporters in the locker room that "y'all doubted us!"
Difficulty rating: The first part is a 10, and the last part is 1, so let's settle on 5 … and remind Mark that most people wait until at least four hours before game time before drinking.
JIM SOUHAN, columnist
Sam Bradford breaks in U.S. Bank Stadium by leading a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. His final pass hangs in the air, seemingly en route to nobody, until Eric Guliford rappels from the ceiling again, and again makes a catch that beats the Packers. Blair Walsh makes four 50-yard field goals, and misses an extra point. Vikings 25, Packers 22.
Difficulty rating: 3, just because he'll make people google Guliford.
CHIP SCOGGINS, columnist
The Vikings pull out all the stops to create a home-field advantage in their first game at U.S. Bank Stadium. They recruit Brett Favre to blow the Gjallarhorn and cuff anyone wearing cheese on their head. They pipe in Prince songs every time the Packers take the field. And they open the five, giant pivoting doors whenever the Packers offense is on the field to create wind conditions to affect Aaron Rodgers' passing.
Difficulty rating: Maybe a 4, just for the Favre part. But after watching 14 hours of college football on Saturday, I'm surprised Chip could spell Gjallarhorn.
ANDREW KRAMMER, Vikings digital reporter
Sam Bradford starts and completes six consecutive passes in a fourth-quarter drive setting up a game-tying field goal that is never taken because Mike Zimmer goes for it on fourth-and-1 from the 37-yard line. Adrian Peterson is then stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain.
Difficulty rating: I like it, but only a 2 because it seems like the most Vikings thing ever, even though Childress is no longer coaching.
MICHAEL RAND, digital sports editor
The Metrodome used to be a house of horrors for Brett Favre during his days with the Packers, and U.S. Bank Stadium will quickly become just that for Aaron Rodgers. Communication issues will plague him all night, the Vikings will sack him at least six times and Minnesota will carry a three-TD lead into the fourth quarter before coasting to a win.
Difficulty rating: 1. Sorry Mike, I still love you, text me when they open the media dining room.