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As a resident "who the fuck is this guy?" Barstool blogger, I gotta roll with my WTFITG team and lay down some bank on Mike Boone tonight. Everything I spent on Christmas this year has been bundled into a bet on this undrafted free agent from the University of Cincinnati who has totaled 97 yards this season.
Just a sound life decision.
Packers (11-3) @ Vikings (10-4); 7:15pm CT
Pick: Mike Boone Over 68 rushing yards
Mike Zimmer stacked this roster with three starting-NFL-quality running backs for this exact scenario. Under no circumstances did he want an RB injury to swing the dynamic of his team and force the offense to run through Kirk Cousins. Zimmer wants to run the ball, play defense, and control the game.
Mike Boone is unarguably a downgrade from Dalvin Cook, but there's a reason why Cook has called Boone his clone:
We don't have time to explain the factors of a SPARQ score... just know that this means Mike Boone is athletic as fucking shit. He's undersized and his team would usually want to control his workload because of that, but with Mattison and Cook quickly returning from injury in ensuing weeks, the Vikings have no reason not to turn Boone loose.
Aside from Boone's individual athleticism, this is a system that favors RB play. Vikings assistant head coach Gary Kubiak brought his zone-blocking scheme to Minnesota this year, and it is working for whoever lines up in the backfield. Kubiak does two things: fakes heart attacks and makes 1,000-yard rushers. Wanting to keep the ball out of Rodgers' hands tonight, there's no mystery that Kubiak and the Vikings will look to run it down Green Bay's throat.
Switching to the Green Bay D, I'll save myself some time and quote my Week 14 blog when I took the Skins +13 in Lambeau (winner):
The Packers defense is weak, but it's opportunistic (i.e. they blitz and jump routes). If they face a reckless QB dropping back to pass 35+ times as they did in Daniel Jones last week, they thrive. If they face a conservative, run-heavy attack, they struggle to turn the ball over and simply get pushed around (28th in yards/rush allowed).
We'll see the latter tonight. The Vikings should get some explosive passes off of play-action, but make no mistake that everything will start and end with Mike Boone. Buddy, my Christmas is in your hands.
And knowing that Aaron won't be doing this, allow me to wish the Rodgers family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I think you guys are really great and I'd definitely give you a call if you were surrounded by fires.