Five days from now, I, along with many other of my fellow Vikings fans, will be pumped for what is to come on Monday Night Football that night. The Minnesota Vikings (2-6) are traveling to Lambeau Field to try to contain the high-powered and undefeated Green Bay Packers (8-0). The Vikings-Packers rivalry will be renewed after just a three week break. The Packers prevailed in the last meeting 33-27 in Christian Ponder's first NFL start. On Monday, Ponder will be making his third NFL start and he will need to be mistake-free for the Vikes to have a chance at stealing one from Green Bay. This is just one of my keys to the game.
Ball Control: The time of possession battle will be huge for the Vikings on Monday. Anything to keep Rodgers on the sidelines would be nice. This means we need to be able to run the ball effectively. We have this running back named Adrian Peterson who isn't that bad I guess. He ran for 175 yards on 24 carries against the Packers in the October 23rd game, and another performance like that would really help. Converting third downs will also play a big factor in deciding the game. Ponder has been pretty good so far on third downs. Against Carolina he made some big plays and big throws on third down and we ultimately got the win. Ponder will need to be calm and have poise on third downs and make some big throws to keep our defense and the Packers' offense on the sideline.
Score a Bunch of Points: This is pretty obvious. After what I saw Sunday from Green Bay, the Vikings might need to score 50 points to beat the Packers. The Vikings were within one touchdown drive from Ponder away from stealing one from the Packers last time, which tells me that we can beat the Packers. Ponder will need to sustain quite a bit of long, methodical drives that result in touchdowns and not field goals. The offense will have to be clicking to keep up with the Packers.
Win the Turnover Battle: This is one of the toughest things to do against the Packers. At the dome, Ponder threw two interceptions to Charles Woodson that resulted in points for them. Ponder will need to limit his turnovers and Peterson will need to protect the ball so we don't make any costly turnovers. On defense, we need Jared Allen and Brian Robison to apply pressure on Rodgers and possibly force a bad throw or knock the ball loose.
Prediction: I know this is a Vikings blog, but I need to predict that the Packers will win this game. I am as much of a Viking fan as anyone who writes on DN, but the Packers are just too freaking good. The Vikings will keep it close, however, and it will come down to a big play late in the 4th quarter. The Packers will prevail at home in the end, 31-24.
That is all from me. On Monday Night, I will be sitting on my couch in front of the TV in anticipation for a great football game. I will be pulling for my Vikings to steal a game from the hated but undefeated Green Bay Packers, as will many of you reading this (if not all of you). Until then, I have two more words: Skol Vikings!