After their win last week and the 49ers’ loss, the Green Bay Packers are now in possession of the NFC’s second playoff spot. To hold on to this spot, the Packers just need to win this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. If the Packers were to lose they would need both the 49ers and the Seahawks to lose to hold on to their number two seed.
But the Packers can make it easy on themselves by just winning Sunday in Minnesota.
The last time these two teams faced off, the Packers won a close game against Minnesota in Green Bay. In that game the Packers defense held off the Vikings by picking off Christian Ponder twice in the second half and containing Adrian Peterson the best they could in the second half, even though he did end up with 210 yards.
This time the Packers will have to do much of the same. With Clay Matthews in the game, the Vikings shouldn’t be able to run the ball as easily as they did last time but everybody that watches football knows what AP is capable of and he is chasing the single season rushing yards record, so stopping him is much easier said than done.
Green Bay should have no trouble holding Ponder again, the Packers pass defense has been much improved this season, in fact they are currently ranked 12th in the league in pass defense. While they picked off Ponder twice, the Packers never sacked him. This is another area the Packers will improve on with the return of Matthews.
The Packers goals on offense are going to be what they have been all season. Get a running game going and keep Rodgers upright.
Last game against the Vikings the Packers rushed for 152 yards as a team and Rodgers was only sacked twice.
Ryan Grant seems to have taken over as the lead running back after his performance last week, so hopefully he, along with the other backs can maintain the success they have had the past couple of weeks. Rodgers should have no trouble getting his stats, especially with the momentum he should have after his dominating performance against Tennessee.
This should be a good game, as both teams have a lot to play for. The Packers are looking to hang on to that second seed, while the Vikings are looking to make the playoffs after a 3-13 season last year. The Vikings fans will be fired up as Adrian Peterson is still chasing the rushing record as well, not to mention the rivalry these two teams share.
Green Bay is still the better team and with most of their players healthy now, the Packers will take this one 31-24 and secure their bye in the playoffs.
The Keys to Victory
- Stop Adrian Peterson – Seriously. This is the whole key to the game.
- Don’t let Christian Ponder beat you – If the Packers are able to slow down AP then they will have to make sure that Ponder doesn’t beat them instead. The defense did a good job against Ponder last game and a repeat of that success would only boost the team’s chance of victory.
- Continue the rushing success – The past couple of games the Packers have had some solid success running the ball and having that success continue into this game will greatly help out the team and Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings pass rush will be coming after Rodgers and any possible way the Packers can take that pressure off him will be very beneficial.