What We Saw: Week 8

The What We Saw Team recaps all of the Sunday action from Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season

Vikings @ Packers

Final Score: Vikings 24, Packers 10

Writer: Brennan Rampe (@phdinnfl on Twitter)


The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers met for the first time this season at Lambeau Field for the latest matchup in this classic rivalry. Minnesota dominated from start to finish, as the offense was efficient and the defense stifled Green Bay’s offense all game long. After an 0-3 start, the Vikings are now 4-4. However, the victory came at the ultimate cost: Kirk Cousins is feared to have suffered a torn Achilles, according to head coach Kevin O’Connell. It looked as if Minnesota was about to work their way into playoff contention, but now the season outlook is unclear, as is the future of the franchise.

Two Up

  • Kirk Cousins – He played great before his injury and played turnover-free football. Hopefully, his season didn’t end on this high note.
  • Vikings defense – They only allowed 10 points and closed out the game at the end. This unit has really turned it around under Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores.

Two Down

  • Jordan Love – Love was kept in check all day long and he struggled with the deep ball. His accuracy issues persist, as well.
  • Jaire Alexander – He was getting beat all day long by Jordan Addison and gave up a touchdown pass that went to Addison. Not a good day for one of the league’s highest-paid cornerbacks.


Minnesota Vikings




Kirk Cousins: 23/31, 274 Yards, 2 TD | 2 Carries, 9 Yards

The Vikings are undefeated without Justin Jefferson. Go figure. I thought that Kirk Cousins would struggle without his top weapon, but he did no wrong today. He had two passing touchdowns and didn’t turn it over. Similar to last week’s game against the 49ers, he was very effective on third down. The offensive line was fantastic yet again and gave him a lot of time to throw. However, he left the game in the fourth quarter with a non-contact injury. Immediately after the game, initial signs pointed to a torn Achilles. As a Vikings fan, I’m heartbroken. I started watching the NFL from start to finish since 2018, and he’s the only quarterback I’ve seen under center for the Vikings. He was already in the final year of his contract, but his age and injury make a return to Minnesota less likely. The franchise seems likely to draft a quarterback in the first round in what looks to be a deep quarterback class. If this was it for Cousins in Minnesota, I’m thankful for the great memories over the last six years.



Jaren Hall: 3/4, 23 Yards | 2 Carries, -1 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)

Jaren Hall came in after Cousins was injured and mostly handed off the ball to take time off the clock. He did throw a little bit and only had one incompletion, but also lost a fumble inside Green Bay territory. Thankfully, the defense bailed him out. It’s unclear whether the rookie out of BYU will be the starter the rest of the way. If he is, he’ll need to play like Brock Purdy did last year in order to keep a starting role.


Running Back


Alexander Mattison: 16 Carries, 31 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 2 Yards

It was an average day for Alexander Mattison. He’s still the lead running back, but couldn’t get going against a weak Packers run defense. A change in quarterback will only make things worse for his fantasy potential.


Cam Akers: 9 Carries, 19 Yards, TD | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards

The Vikings didn’t have a rushing touchdown through the first seven weeks entering this game, but Cam Akers changed that today. His score put Minnesota up 7-0, and they would never trail again. He’s a nice change of pace from Mattison and has brought good vibes to the offense ever since arriving via trade.


C.J. Ham: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 2 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jordan Addison: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 8 Targets, 7 Receptions, 82 Yards, TD

The rookie first-rounder out of USC continues to impress. He caught almost everything thrown his way and scored a touchdown immediately after an interception by Jordan Love. It was his seventh receiving touchdown of the year and he beat Jaire Alexander on the play. He’s a legitimate candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Whoever’s quarterbacking the Vikings next year will be very lucky to have Jefferson and Addison to throw to.



K.J. Osborn: 10 Targets, 8 Receptions, 99 Yards

K.J. Osborn has been a forgotten man in the offense this year because of Jefferson, Addison, and Hockenson. He was one yard short of 100 receiving yards, and he was lethal on third down. He appeared to sustain an injury at one point but came back into the game.


Brandon Powell: 1 Carry, 2 Yards | 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 10 Yards


T.J. Hockenson: 9 Targets, 6 Receptions, 88 Yards, TD

T.J. Hockenson had a nice day, as he scored a touchdown and was mostly sure-handed. He enjoyed a 26.5 percent target share in this one and continues to pay dividends after being acquired by the trade deadline last year from the Lions. He has made every Vikings fan forget about Irv Smith, Jr., for sure.


Johnny Mundt: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 8 Yards


Green Bay Packers




Jordan Love: 24/41, 229 Yards, TD, INT | 4 Carries, 34 Yards

It was a rough day for Jordan Love and the offense as a whole. The offense didn’t pick up a first down until the end of the second quarter, and they struggled to move the ball and score points throughout. Love was under pressure frequently and didn’t have much chemistry with his wide receivers. His one turnover was costly, as the interception led to a touchdown by Jordan Addison on the play right afterward. The offensive line hasn’t been great and the team could use another wide receiver. Love signed a one-year extension, so he’ll be around next year, too. Packers fans need to be patient: Aaron Rodgers threw 28 touchdowns in his first season as a starter in 2008 but also threw 13 interceptions, which is still the most he’s ever thrown in a season. The team finished 6-10 that year but they didn’t give up on Rodgers immediately. That would have been foolish! There will be better days ahead for Love.


  • Love struggled on deep passes. That’s been a recurring issue for him this year.
  • He was the team’s leading rusher (4-34-0) despite seeing fewer than a quarter of the carries.

Missed Opportunities

  • There were a ton of trips to the end zone that came up scoreless. It feels like the Packers could have won this game if they had managed to punch it in more than once.



Running Back


Aaron Jones: 7 Carries, 29 Yards | 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 17 Yards

It was an unimpressive day for Aaron Jones and his running mate, A.J. Dillon. Jones didn’t look explosive and struggled to find much room, so he failed to get his disappointing season on track. He caught all but one of his targets, but the one miss was a catchable ball that would have gotten a first down. Green Bay was forced to punt.


A.J Dillon: 6 Carries, 11 Yards | 5 Targets, 5 Receptions, 41 Yards

A.J. Dillon wasn’t all that great, either. I still believe Jones and Dillon have the potential to form one of the better running back duos in the league, but neither had a highlight-worthy play today.



Wide Receiver/Tight End



Christian Watson: 8 Targets, 3 Receptions, 33 Yards


Christian Watson didn’t do anything impressive today. He had a great rookie season with Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball to him. There just hasn’t been enough chemistry established with Jordan Love yet, but to be fair, he spent much of the season to date in street clothes nursing a hamstring injury. Better days lie ahead, but the second-year player’s boom-or-bust outlook is sure to frustrate fantasy managers who were expecting the 2022 version of Watson.


Jayden Reed: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 83 Yards

The second-round pick out of Michigan State was the leading receiver for Green Bay. He has shown promise to start the year and seems to excel as a deep threat in the offense. He caught a deep ball that showed his speed on the one and only touchdown drive the Packers had.


Romeo Doubs: 9 Targets, 4 Receptions, 18 Yards, TD

Romeo Doubs didn’t put up great numbers in this game, but he did catch the only touchdown for the Packers. It came in a high-pressure, 4th-and-goal situation:



Dontayvion Wicks: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 28 Yards

Luke Musgrave: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 9 Yards

The rookie tight end was basically nowhere to be seen. Many scouts and analysts were excited about his potential coming out of college, which he flashed as the recipient of meaningful volume before sustaining a concussion. He has yet to get on track since, and Love’s accuracy woes haven’t helped his cause.


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