Packers vs. Vikings NFL Week 17 Preview

Jeff Hanlsch-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend will mark the rekindling of the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings black and blue rivalry. These two teams will meet with something important on the line for both. This will be the biggest match up between the two teams since 2009, when former Packer legend Brett Favre suited up for the Vikings.

Last weekend, the Packers rolled, 55-7,  against the Tennessee Titans. The game was never in doubt as the Packers controlled the game throughout. It was an important game for momentum building. The defense racked up 7 sacks, while intercepting Titans QB Jake Locker twice. QB Aaron Rodgers had another stellar performance, throwing for 342 yards, 3 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown. Receiver James Jones continued his stellar season, gaining 100 yards on 7 receptions and 1 touchdown. Ryan Grant kept the run game going, rushing for 80 yards on 20 carries accompanied with 2 touchdowns. The only set back for the Packers during the game was the injury to WR Randall Cobb. He suffered an apparent knee and ankle injury on a punt return in the third quarter. His status for Sunday is unclear. Minnesota has momentum building as well.

The Vikings are coming off of a win against the Houston Texans who are currently the number one seed in the AFC.  The most proving thing about the win was that the Vikings didn’t need to ride RB Adrian Peterson to victory. Peterson rushed for 86 yards, while QB Christian Ponder managed the game great throwing for 174 yds and 1 touchdown. The Vikings defense was the story of the game holding the potent Texans offense out of the end zone. It marked the first time the Texans had failed to score a touchdown since 2006. The Vikings win allowed them to keep their playoff hopes alive for one more week.

The Packers will also have a lot on the line Sunday, playing for the second seed in the playoffs. Getting a bye would mean so much to the Packers who have dealt with their fair share of adversity this season. It will also give the Packers offense a chance to stay in rhythm leading into the Playoffs. Historically, the Packers have always had a tough time playing in the Metrodome. However, Rodgers loves playing in Minnesota, throwing for 9 touchdowns and 1 interception in four games there.

It will all boil down to how the Packers young defense responds to the Vikings aggressive run attack. The play calling will be focused on Peterson, and getting him the rushing record. Feeding Peterson is also a good equation for a win. It will be interesting to see whether Ponder can lead the team down the field for a late score.

Look for the Packers to get the run game in a rhythm like they have the last few weeks. They will be looking to control the game and keep the ball out of Peterson’s hands. Securing a bye would set this team up for a great playoff run. If the Packers lose this will be a preview of Wild-card weekend.

In this game you have to go with the experienced veteran team in a big win situation.

Prediction: Packers 24 Vikings 20

 


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