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Minnesota Vikings At Green Bay Packers: First Quarter Open Thread

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport


Date: 24 November 2013
Location: Green Bay, WI
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Lambeau Field
DirecTV Ch 709
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 231 (GB)
Sirius Ch 137
TV Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt
John Lynch
Know Thy Foe: Acme Packing Company
Line: Green Bay -4.5, O/U 43.5 (thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Packers 24, Vikings 20
Final Score:

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The Green Bay Packers are fighting for the last spot in the NFC playoff picture. The Minnesota Vikings are fighting for the top overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. What needs to happen on Sunday to throw a wrench into both of those plans?

1) Actually accomplish something in the passing game - In two of the last three meetings between these teams, Christian Ponder. . .who will start at quarterback for the Vikings again today. . .has struggled to get the ball to his wide receivers, and with no Kyle Rudolph in the lineup for this one, making that happen will be even tougher today. But if the Vikings want to open things up at all, they need to get the ball to Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, and Cordarrelle Patterson. Otherwise, the Packers will be able to crowd the line of scrimmage to slow down the running game and negate any potential play-action opportunities.

2) Take care of the football - In a significant departure from the past few seasons, only four teams in the NFL have created fewer takeaways than the Packers have this season, and they have the lowest interception total in the NFL with 4. As is the case every week, the Vikings can't afford to give their opponents more opportunities with the football, and they need to avoid turnovers in this one as well.

3) Don't make Scott Tolzien a superstar - The Vikings have a long history of making quarterbacks that aren't top-notch signal callers look much better than they actually are. Tolzien hasn't been terrible for the Packers since taking over, but he has had a problem with interceptions, and the Packers' offensive output has been halved with him behind center. The Vikings need to get after Tolzien and force him into mistakes in order to create opportunities and get the defense off the field.

This season has gone poorly for the Minnesota Vikings. We know that. But it would be nice if they could pull out a victory at a place where they haven't won since 2009, regardless of the circumstances.

We're about an hour and fifteen minutes from kickoff here, folks. Enjoy today's game!