Packers XLV

Can Pack Stay Hot? Take It to the Bank.

Posted November 21st, 2014 @ 04:11pm

It's Vikings week, where we in Minnesota always have a little extra at stake. In the 20 years I've lived here, I've taken many the hard climb up the steps from the lower section at the Metrodome, listening to the jeering of Vikings fans after another Favre-era loss.

Lately, there hasn't been much jeering. Outside of the meaningless 2012 Ponder-led finale, the Pack has been in solid control in this series and they come into this game riding a wave unlike any we've ever seen.

But one thing we know about the NFL: you can't take any game for granted--especially division games (are you listening Kansas City?). While the Vikings are going nowhere this season, they still feel the burn of last month's 42-10 prime time shellacking and will be focused and ready to show the gap between the teams isn't that wide.

But the startling lack of offensive firepower for the Purple makes it hard to believe they'll be able to keep up with the Pack, meaning they'll likely need some help from special teams or the rare Packer turnover. They have no healthy running backs, except for Ben Tate, who they claimed on waivers a couple of days ago. He may be forced to play, with Matt Asiata out and Jerick McKinnon banged up. He's shown ability when filling in for Arian Foster in Houston the last couple of years ago. But is he ready to handle pass protection duties against Dom Capers' unpredictable looks?

Teddy Bridgewater makes his first start against the Pack and to give you an idea of who he has to throw to, former Packer Charles Johnson may start. Greg Jennings has been out all week with a rib injury and Jarius Wright (hamstring) is out as well. Cordarelle Patterson has been a non-factor in the passing game, but expect Norv to try to find ways to get the ball in his hands somehow. I mean, who else is there? Tight end Kyle Rudolph returned against the Bears, but his snaps were limited and he doesn't appear anywhere near 100%.

The Packers defense appears to have the clear upper hand in this matchup. If Clay Matthews' groin tightens up and Nick Perry doesn't play, it will force others to step up, but on a cold day with an inexperienced QB, I don't see the Vikings marching up and down the field very often. The pass rush should disrupt Teddy all day and force him to check down, and with the team's inability to stretch the field, the safeties will set up camp within ten yards of the line of scrimmage and look to wreak some havoc.

Offensively, the Pack has been the London Philharmonic lately. You may remember it took a while to get going in the first matchup, with five three and outs. In that game, one big play to Jordy Nelson and then a couple of quick picks allowed the Packers to downshift and coast to an easy victory. Aaron Rodgers passed for 150ish yards in that one. I'm guessing he eclipses that total on Sunday. The Vikes will try to take Nelson away with a safety shading his way. That will open up opportunities for Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. Whoever is lucky enough to see Josh Robinson across the line will be smiling like Rodgers was last weekend.

The running game should also have its way--the Vikings are in the lower third in run defense and will be forced to try to slow the Lacy-Starks combo without the benefit of having eight guys in the box.

I'm interested to see the split of Vikings-Packer fans at the Bank. Wouldn't surprise me to see/hear a near 50-50 split. If the Pack figures out its special teams errors of a week ago and takes care of the ball, I don't see how the Vikings make it interesting. Chances are, a few bounces will go their way, which may keep Wayne Larrivee from giving the dagger until the 2:00 hour.

Packers 27  Vikings 13

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Comments (4):

Dave--Looking forward to Packer Preview on Sunday morning as always. I have a bumper music request: How about playing "We're The Minnesota Vikings" . You always play "The Bears Still Suck". How about some love for the queenies this Sunday.

on November 21st, 2014 at 10:58am

The Packers are playing their first outdoor game in Minnesota in 33 years; since the days at the old Metroplitan Stadium, where the Vikings played their home games from 1961-81. Lombardi's teams never lost a game there and even after the status of the two clubs switched in the '70's the Pack still did well there. When they beat the Vikes 35-23 in their last appearance there Nov.29,1981 if left them with an all-time record of 11-10 but with half those losses by a td or less it could have been much better. Unless the Packers go totally asleep tomorrow the only real questions about this one are how big will the win be and can the Pack notch a third straight 50 pt. game. The Vikqueens are not a good football team. They've padded their record with some mediocrities on a last place schedule but their reality is actually 2-8. Tampa Bay and Washington gave wins to them by their own ineptitudes and the only reason Chicago didn't put 40 on them last week was due to the Bears' own incompetence. Even a complacent Packer team is at least 20 pts. better than this outfit at its best. A loss here would register on seismographs around the country. The Queens may be pesky on a return or two. The Packers will have to be on guard for some trickery, like that fake punt they ran on the Bears last week, as the home team desperately tries anything to stay in it. But otherwise if this one isn't over by the half it will still be for Aaron Rodgers to spend the fourth period smiling from the bench. Unless Mike McCarthy lets him go for the single game td passing record (7 to tie, 8 to break.)

on November 22nd, 2014 at 06:40am

I don't mind expecting to win or believing we have a good chance in a game. This expectation of domination I'm hearing this week has me nervous. On the other hand, I see where its coming from and the whole five three and outs from the first meeting, you know that stat. That stat has no bearing on this game what so ever. That being said, I expect the game plan to be fairly conservative for the Packers. Lacy will get plenty of work, maybe Starks too. If this game is going to turn into the laugh-er most are predicting, its going to have to be because of defensive break downs by the Vikings. If the Vikes stay solid I still expect we can win, but around that 30 point total. The real way that this game because noncompetitive is our defense. If they score or hold Minnesota to 0 in the first half, That will be something to hang our hats on. It's up to McCarthy to keep this teams mind in the right place and with that New Orleans' loss in his back pocket, I think he can do. Pack wins. Vikes lose. That's all that matters. The numbers won't mean much. People will argue the numbers. Go Pack!

on November 22nd, 2014 at 08:21am

here we go again, the vikings super bowl. I have been asking some of my viking friends this week and they all said. they would rather beat the packers and lose the rest. then lose this week and win the rest. can u believe that?? I do. they just envy and hate us so much, I was thinking like Lynndickeyfan too about losing to a sky high team that always plays there best game against us at home. the vikings d is better then we think. I said 38-17 last week, figuring a d score and 2 int's from ted. I am not calling a grown man Teddy, will not do it. makes me sick listening to the rubes and media saying it. why I say 38-17 though, is the weather is going to be warmer then normal, so I do think 12 will play well because of that. watch for Lacy and starks to not run well, but a lot of screen passes that slow that d line down that loves to rush the passer. If we play well, we win 38-17

on November 22nd, 2014 at 10:31am

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