The Green Bay Packers have a road divisional game this upcoming Sunday night, as they travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings. It is a rivalry that has dated back to 1961 and is always a fun game for fans of both teams. It is assumed that both teams should have the blueprint on how to stop one another, however, the Packers’ blueprint may not come from history, but rather from the New York Giants.
One problem the Packers have had over the last few seasons is trying to slow down Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. In their last 10 regular season meetings, Peterson has rushed for a remarkable 1,285 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season, he had back-to-back regular season games against the Packers where he rushed for 210 yards and 199 respectively. The Packers were able to slow him down for 99 yards in the playoff victory over the Vikings. Needless to say, Peterson runs very well against the Packers.
You can bet defensive coordinator Dom Capers will watch some of the action from last season’s playoff game to see how they slowed down Peterson. Capers should also watch the highlights from the Giants and Vikings game from this past Monday, when the Giants did what very few teams could do to Peterson — take him completely out of the game.
Peterson rushed for only 28 yards and did not even sniff the end zone. The Giants stuffed the box and had eight or nine guys crowding the line of scrimmage on almost every play. They forced the Vikings, especially Josh Freeman, to throw the ball down the field and dared them to try and beat their one-on-one coverage. This is exactly what the Packers should do.
The Packers have some very quick, physical cornerbacks who can challenge the Vikings receivers and make Freeman beat them. With linebackers that have stepped up and played at a very high level, and a front four that has allowed only 79.0 yards a rush per game, the Packers can do exactly what the Giants did and shut down Peterson.
I expect Capers to be in the video room as we speak, and I’m sure he is licking his chops to get his defense out on the field Sunday and finally stop the beast.