|MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-3)||GAME #6||GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-3)|
|Date:||24 October 2010||Location:||Green Bay, WI|
|Time:||7:30 P.M. CST||Stadium:||Corrugated Tin Shack Field|
|TV:||NBC||Know Thy Enemy:||Acme Packing Company|
|Gonzo's Prediction:||Vikings 24, Packers 21|
|Final Score:||Packers 28, Vikings 24|
Yes, another long wait to see the Beloved Purple in action is nearly over, as the Vikings will make the trip to the other side of the river to take on the already-crowned Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers. What an honor it is for the Vikings to be allowed into the presence of the first team in NFL history to be handed a Super Bowl championship before anyone had actually played a game in the regular season. . .or in the pre-season, for that matter.
So, if the Vikings are to have any real chance against the almighty ones this evening, what are they going to have to do?
1) Get to Aaron Rodgers - Let's state the obvious right off the bat. . .Aaron Rodgers is the Packer offense. They have no running game without Ryan Grant. . .didn't have much with him, either. . .and Mike McCarthy really like to go with a lot of empty backfield formations and other sets that say "WE ARE PASSING THE FOOTBALL." Now, despite having played a few really good passing offenses already, the Vikings' pass defense has been a strength, currently sitting at sixth in the league in terms of yards per game allowed going into the weekend. The fact that the Vikings have done this while being mostly shorthanded in the defensive backfield makes that number even more impressive. Rookie cornerback Chris Cook is rumored to be coming back for tonight's game, and his presence will certainly help against the likes of Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. But this match-up starts up front. . .and if there was ever a game for Jared Allen and Ray Edwards to get off the proverbial schnide, it's tonight against a couple of Green Bay tackles in Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher who have been pretty bad in protection this year.
2) More Adrian Peterson, please - Yes, we know that this is Brett Favre going back to Green Bay and all that other fun stuff. But the Vikings offense tonight, more than most others, needs to be run through Adrian Peterson. The Green Bay rush defense is currently ranked twenty-first in the NFL, and has been giving up a healthy 4.5 yards/carry. AP is re-establishing himself as one of the NFL's best running backs, averaging 110 yards/game to start this season at a clip of nearly five yards per carry. The Vikings can, and should, run all night long on this Packers defense, and doing so will shorten the game and keep the Green Bay offense off of the field.
3) Win the turnover battle - The two quarterbacks in tonight's game combined to throw a total of 14 interceptions in 32 combined starts in 2009. This year, in their 11 combined starts, they've already racked up that many, with each of them already being at seven for the year (Favre having played one less game than Rodgers). Adrian Peterson appears to have his issues with securing the ball under control, and that definitely needs to continue tonight. Favre's performance against the Cowboys wasn't eye-popping or anything, but it was efficient (14/19, 118 yards and a touchdown). Tonight's game may require a little more out of Number Four than that, but he should be able to again be efficient with the football.
Tonight's game is a big one for the Vikings, folks. . .with Chicago already having lost to the Washington Redskins, a win tonight will put the Vikings in sole possession of second place in the division, and they'll be just a half game behind Chicago for the top spot in the North. The Favre-to-Moss connection has gotten even more time to solidify and, hey, it's a game in Green Bay. . .I have a feeling that the Freak is going to come out tonight.
Kickoff is in about two hours or so. . .let's watch the Beloved Purple get themselves a win and establish some positive momentum in a conference that is there for the taking.