Vikings at Packers -9.5
What a difference a week can make. The Minnesota Vikings have flown into Green Bay as this weekends biggest Wildcard underdog, after beating the Packers no more than 6 days ago. Adrian Peterson had a monster performance as usual, falling just 9 yards short of the rushing record, ending his amazing season with 2097 yards. Missing out on the record didn’t seem to bum the NFL rushing leader much though, as Minnesota got the “W” and punched a ticket to play in the postseason. Unfortunately (or luckily, depending on how you feel about this match-up) the Vikings get to face off against the Packers yet again. Only this time, instead of the warm cozy dome filled with purple screaming Viking fans, they will be freezing their butts off in one of the toughest places to win a road game in the NFL.
Packers High/ Vikings Low: Aaron Rodgers played some of his best football of the season in the month of December. After Rodger’s broke the hearts of many fantasy owners who suffered through the first half of the season with sub-par fantasy numbers, the Packers gunslinger has lit up the scoreboard with 10 TD’s in the last 3 games. Rodgers also hasn’t thrown an INT since week 13, in ironically a home game against the Vikings.
The Packers receiving corp is stronger than any other unit in the NFL. Green Bay has four sure-handed studs that are all nearing 100% after a season of nagging injuries. Jermichael Finley is also looking to contribute and impress his coaches after another disappointing season. Except for the Vikings pestering pass rush, the Packers redzone % was perfect last week and the passing game looked strong and very efficient.
- Green Bay is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Minnesota
- The Vikings haven’t won in Green Bay since 2009
Vikings High/Packers Low: Defensive confidence may be all talk this weekend for the Packers; Adrian Peterson thrashed the defensive unit for 199 rushing yards last Sunday. AP’s longest run was 28 yards, proving his stats were not skewed from one or two long runs. He churned out excellent yardage with every touch, making Christian Ponder’s job easy and stress free. The Vikings may be entering this game as 9 point underdogs, but after just beating the Packers and feeling loose and confident, it’s hard not to want to pick the spoiler Saturday night.
My Two Cents: Currently, Christian Ponder is listed as questionable for this NFC North Playoff battle. We all know he is going to start, but being banged up even slightly isn’t sitting well with Vikings fans. This game, in my opinion, boils down to Christian Ponder’s efficiency. We all know the Vikings can run the ball, rush the passer, and have the leagues best kicker, but in a game against arguably the NFL’s most lethal passing attack, Ponder will need to be sharp. In fact, the Vikings need to take advantage of some of the defensive formations that will be solely eye-balling the run. Clever play-action passes and quick strikes down the field will speak volumes in a game that should be high scoring. Overall, I can’t pick against the Pack, although I do think this game will be a lot closer than the 9 point spread listed.
My Pick: Packers 30-27