The 2023 season looked to be toast for the Minnesota Vikings after their Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only did they lose to drop their record to 1-4, but star wide receiver Justin Jefferson injured his hamstring and was subsequently placed on injured reserve.
Without the best player on their team, many speculated whether or not the Vikings would become sellers ahead of the deadline. But, the team has responded to the adversity, winning both games without him in the lineup.
In Week 6, the Vikings went on the road and defeated the Chicago Bears before pulling off a major upset, beating the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7 on Monday Night Football. In Week 8, Minnesota has a chance to climb all the way back to .500 as they face off with their NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers.
As the Vikings have been ascending the standings, the Packers have been sliding down them. They are riding a three-game losing streak as unproductive play from the offense has derailed their promising 2-1 start.
A big reason for their drop in success has been the performance of quarterback Jordan Love. Love came out of the gates hot, throwing six touchdowns compared to zero interceptions in the first two games of the season. But, he has thrown at least one interception in four straight games as the turnovers have been crippling.
If the Vikings are going to win their fourth straight game and keep those struggles going for Love, they have to put pressure on him. Exploiting that weakness is their easiest path to victory in Week 8.
Per Matt Schniedman of The Athletic, Love ranks 29th among qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage when blitzed. Minnesota has blitzed more than any team in the NFL, making this matchup a recipe for success.
Love has also struggled when attempting passes deeper than five yards, as his accuracy has been shaky. Expect the Vikings to do everything in their power to make Love as uncomfortable as possible as it will be the easiest way for them to defeat their divisional foes.