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Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 22 November 2015
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 3:25 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
DirecTV Ch 713
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 82
Sirius Ch 82
TV Announcers: Joe Buck
Troy Aikman
Know Thy Foe: Acme Packing Company
Weather: 34 degrees, winds from the SW at 10-15 MPH, 0% chance of rain
Line: Pick 'Em, Over/Under 44 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds Page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 27, Packers 17
Final Score: Packers 30, Vikings 13

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-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

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-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we are. . .the Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers this afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium in the first of their two match-ups this season. A win for the Vikings would, essentially, give them a three-game lead in the NFC North (with tiebreakers thrown in) and a virtual stranglehold on their first NFC North division title since 2009. A Minnesota loss would put the Vikings back in second place in the division (again, because of tiebreakers) and make the rest of the season a dogfight for the division crown.

So, what does our favorite football team have to do in order to ensure they win their sixth consecutive game this afternoon?

1) Disrupt the Green Bay offense - The Packers' offense has been in disarray for the past couple of weeks. Aaron Rodgers has had accuracy issues (owing in part, apparently, to an issue with his throwing shoulder), and Green Bay's receivers haven't been getting open. The Vikings need to continue doing what they've done all season. . .get pressure on the quarterback and make him get rid of the ball before he wants to. Without Jordy Nelson, the Packers' offense has been relying on their receivers to win one-on-one battles in the secondary. So far this season, Xavier Rhodes, Terence Newman, and Captain Munnerlyn have been winning more battles than they've been losing. Those things, combined with the injury issues the Packers are having on the offensive front, should allow the Vikings to dictate things when their defense is on the field.

2) Establish the run early - This is a pretty simple one. . .Adrian Peterson has been on fire the past few weeks, including a 200-yard performance last week in Oakland. The Packers have struggled to stop the run all season long. And Peterson loves to play against the Packers. . .he has better numbers against them than against any other team in his career. If the Vikings can get Peterson going early, the Packers are going to be forced to move players up to stop him, and that should open things up for Teddy Bridgewater and the passing game. The main concern is that, with the colder conditions that are expected in the Twin Cities today, the ball might be a little slick, meaning that Peterson absolutely must hold on to the football. A lot of people are expecting a big game out of #28 today. . .I have a feeling that he won't disappoint.

3) Keep an even keel - This is the most important game that the Minnesota Vikings have played in quite some time. . .probably since the 2012 season finale against the Packers at the Metrodome with a playoff spot on the line. There's a lot riding on this game, and there's no doubt that the team knows that. They can't allow their emotions to overtake them and prevent them from doing what's gotten them into this position. Mike Zimmer has been doing a pretty good job of keeping this team grounded this season, and that means that the Vikings shouldn't be too jacked up going into this one. Playing with emotion is one thing. . .playing crazy is another. My guess is that Zimmer isn't going to let this team get too crazy.

We're less than an hour away from kickoff at TCF Bank Stadium, ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully, in about three hours or so, we'll all be celebrating the Vikings' sixth consecutive victory and the march towards the NFL post-season. Let's do it, folks.