This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers (5-5) and the Minnesota Vikings (2-8) will battle for the second time this year, this time at Lambeau Field. The game is scheduled to kickoff at noon CT with television coverage on FOX. The Packers enter the game on a season high three game losing streak, their longest since 2008. The Vikings have lost five of their last six games, including a 44-31 loss to the Packers a month ago.
Some things have changed since that game. The biggest is that the Packers are without Aaron Rodgers for a third straight week while he is recovering from a broken collarbone. With Rodgers out, Scott Tolzien will once again be the starter as he tries to bounce back from his three interception game last week against the New York Giants. The good news for the Packers is the Vikings rank 29th in passing defense, which will good for Tolzien, who passed for over 300 yards against the Giants.
The Vikings still have issues of their own at the quarterback position. Christian Ponder has shown some flashes of consistency since the last meeting between the two teams, including the Vikings’ victory over the Washington Redskins. But, Ponder has also shown why he might not be the answer the Vikings need for their future. Last week against the Seattle Seahawks, Ponder went 13 for 22, but threw two interceptions, including a pick six to put the game totally out of reach.
This Sunday will also mark Greg Jennings’ first trip back to Green Bay after he signed with the Vikings during the offseason. Before the season started, Jennings took shots at Aaron Rodgers saying that he wasn’t a team player and only cared about his stats. In the first meeting between the two teams, Rodgers threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, while Jennings only caught one pass for nine yards. While Rodgers won’t be on the field Sunday, Jennings will have a chance to redeem himself after his dismal performance a month ago.
If the Packers want any shot at winning the division title or making the playoffs, they have to pull out a victory Sunday at Lambeau. A win this week would mean that at the worst, they would be one game back of the Lions as the two face each other on Thanksgiving Day. Who knows, maybe the Packers will see an old face return the field. But, before you look ahead, you have to look in the present. The Vikings will be trying to ruin the Packers playoff chances. The Packers have to make sure it doesn’t happen.
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