With the Minnesota Vikings season likely over the team takes on the Green Bay Packers at home. This will be the final meeting in the Metrodome ever. The Vikings are 16-14 against the Packers in the dome and hope to end their Metrodome campaign with win number 17.
The big story of the week was Greg Jennings and his first game against the team he spent seven seasons with before signing a five-year deal with the Vikings. Jennings received some criticism after he made some comments questioning Aaron Rodger’s leadership. Jennings responded this week saying, “If Aaron knows me like he’s known me the past seven years, then he knows I’m not one of those guys that wishes ill on anyone or just trues to stand out and be apart from the team.”
After Josh Freeman’s lack luster performance Monday night, he will be out this week with concussion like symptoms. Christian Ponder will get the start at quarterback. This will be a big game for Ponder’s future, whether that is in Minnesota or elsewhere. In my opinion I think this benching has lit a fire under Ponder’s butt. He has control of the offense now and has everything to prove. Like last season when Ponder realized the dire situation he got the team fired up to salvage the Vikings season and make the playoffs. I’m not saying the Vikings have a chance at making the playoffs, but I expect them to respond after a pathetic Monday night football game against a injury riddled Packer receiving core.
Aaron Rodger’s may be the best quarterback in the NFC North or perhaps the NFC, but he will be without a majority of his receiving core this week. He is without James Jones, Jermichael Finley, and Randall Cobb but will look to target Jordy Nelson and second-year receiver Jarrett Boykin in their absence. Hopefully the Vikings secondary can take advantage of that and stop the power running of Eddie Lacy. The defense had a good game last week that was unfortunately a losing effort because of the sluggish offense. This can be a chance for the defense to gain some momentum as a unit. It will be important for the Vikings offense to put some scoring drives together to help the defense stay off the field longer than usual.
I expect the offense to give Adrian Peterson a healthy dose of the rock after only giving him 10 and 13 carries against the Panthers and Giants. I also expect Kyle Rudolph to get a significant increase in targets. This is due to the shear fact Rudolph is known to be Ponder’s safety blanket in the passing game.
The Packers/Vikings rivalry is one of the best in the NFL, I think we have a good one in store.