There’s no place to have a playoff game in January quite like Lambeau Field. The conditions are far from perfect and certainly not ideal, but it’s old-school football at its finest. The Minnesota Vikings head to Wisconsin to take on the rival Green Bay Packers Saturday night, in what will be a game heavily impacted by the weather.
Now the forecast isn’t calling for Ice Bowl-like conditions, but it’s not exactly going to be nice either. Game-time temperatures figure to be in the teens, and while there’s no snow predicted, it’s never surprising to see some flurries at Lambeau.
Packers’ wide receiver Greg Jennings spoke out recently saying that the conditions in Green Bay don’t exactly give his team a home-field advantage. I think he’s right to an extent, but playing at home is never a bad thing.
However, if cold weather favors a team in this matchup, I think it’s the Vikings.
Minnesota is a team that I would say is normally better indoors than out, but in the playoffs, you can throw all the norms out the window. Especially when you have players like Adrian Peterson on your team. Peterson is not going to be slowed down by a little cold weather. He’s as locked in as any player in the league right now and it will take more than mother nature to limit his yards on the ground in this one.
On the other side, Aaron Rodgers and the passing game is the best thing the Packers have going. It took Rodgers basically carrying the team on his back last weekend for the Packers to even be in the game. He threw it all over the field in the second half and got his team back in contention, and nearly into overtime.
But given the probable conditions Saturday night, Rodgers isn’t likely to be able to replicate his numbers from a week ago from inside the Metrodome.
When you look at the strengths of both teams, Minnesota clearly has the better ground game and defense. Green Bay is far superior passing the ball, but I predict this game will be won on the ground and not in the air.
If the Vikings can control the clock while not turning it over, they will have a good chance of winning this football game. But if Rodgers is able to rise above the conditions and hit a couple big plays through the air, it could be the Packers heading on to the next round.