The Green Bay Packers can take control of the NFC North over the next two weeks with wins over the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. It starts tonight in the what will be the Packers’ last trip to the House of Horrors that is the Minneapolis Metrodome.
The shorthanded Packers will need to rely on their improved defense and running game to defeat the Vikings. Last year the Packers gave up 409 yards rushing to the Adrian Peterson in two regular season games before holding him under 100 yards in the playoffs. The Packers will need that type of performance again if they are to beat the Vikings.
The Packers’ defense has been excellent against the run so far this year, giving up only 79 yards a game on average. The only way the Vikings could possibly win is if Peterson runs wild and even that is no guarantee. Peterson had 210 yards in Green Bay last year but the Vikings still lost the game due to two classic Christian Ponder interceptions.
Ponder will again be the quarterback after getting hurt and then benched in favor of Matt Cassel first and then Josh Freeman. Pressure is certainly on Ponder to perform well if he wants any chance to remain the starter. However, the Vikings’ offensive line has been manhandled so far this year so it will be a tough task against what is becoming a blitz-happy Packers’ defense.
I think the Packers will try to get running back Eddie Lacy lathered up early to hopefully lead some long drives and help out the injured defense and wide receiver corps. The Vikings defense ranks 27th so the Packers should be able to move the ball with relative ease.
I think the Packers will show the national TV audience that they are not just Aaron Rodgers. The Packers will ground and pound and win 30-14.