Once again, all the guys here at Lombardiave.com come together with our weekly game predictions – this week the Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
Take a walk around the Internet and see if you can find anyone who feels the Vikings will leave Green Bay with a win today … it will be difficult.
How do we feel here? Well scroll down for our picks …
Jason Hirschhorn: The two biggest factors in determining Sunday’s matchup with Minnesota are injuries and pass protection. The former seems to be pretty well decided, as Greg Jennings is likely to make his return while Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, and Sam Shields all stand to miss another week. Jennings’ return could also play a role in pass protection. One of the possible solutions to keeping Aaron Rodgers upright is making quick throws out of spread formations. Having a fully healthy Jennings on one edge with Jordy Nelson on the other will open up a lot of holes for Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley in the middle.
With Percy Harvin likely sitting out the week, it’ll be up to Adrian Peterson to carry the load offensively for the Vikings. In the past, Peterson has rolled up big performances against Green Bay by exploiting poor tackling. That may not be the case this time around as the Packers’ tackling has shown dramatic improvement from previous seasons. That said, Dom Capers may give more snaps to sure-tackling safety Jerron McMillian just in case Peterson breaks through the first two levels of the defense.
Much like the game two weeks earlier in Detroit, Minnesota is one loss away from essentially dropping out of the playoff hunt. Expect them to keep it close through the first half with the Packers sealing it off late.
Packers 28 Vikings 23
Patrick Hughes: Despite the fact that this is a week 13 contest, the Packers versus the Vikings will be a playoff type atmosphere. The Packers, as we in Packers land know, are coming off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the New York Giants. One would have to expect that redemption is at the top of Green Bay’s agenda.
The Vikings, on the other hand, are dusting themselves off from a 28-10 defeat at Chicago. Minnesota at 6-5 needs a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The same can be said for the Green Bay Packers. This game at Lambeau Field has all the makings of a classic black and blue NFC North Division game.
I am confident that the Packers are going to bounce back from the hammering they received from the Giants and lay a little smack down on the Vikings. Look for Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley to work out their kinks and Greg Jennings to work his way back into the offense. I also sense that this might mark the return of Green Bay’s dink and dunk passing game, which in turn opens up both the running game and the deep ball. I hope I’m right.
Packers 35 Vikings 17
Bill Walton: The Packers host the Vikings in what many are calling a “bounce back” game. I think it’s going to be more than that. Having failed to set an acceptable tone for the rest of the season last week in New York, the Packers need to come out and establish their will to win this one early and then emphatically continue to assert their will to win. Until they do win.
The Vikings are a familiar opponent and really there should be few surprises in store for either team. In my pregame analysis piece I mentioned that the Packers are decimated by injuries and are still missing several key players. I don’t think they can allow that to matter. The players available will have to get the job done. They still have enough offensive weapons that they should be able to score points in bunches. Defensively they’ve had many of the current lineup in place for several weeks. It’s time they tackle, finish on takeaway opportunities, and in general execute the defensive scheme.
Wife and Christmas-crazed Deneen picks the Packers to win 23-17. John and primary Christmas budget-drainer John sees a 35-21 Packer victory. I see the Pack bouncing back Sunday with a tone-setting 33-17 victory.
We’ll be watching, tweeting updates and opinions, and generally making a nuisance of ourselves at Tailgators on FM1488 in Magnolia. Come on by and join us!
Tim Thomas: The Packers are looking to bounce back Sunday against the Vikings after the blowout loss against the Giants as the Packers’ secondary won’t have to worry about Percy Harvin as he will be out, making the Vikings one dimensional. However, the Packers will have a big battle on their hand with trying to contain Adrian Peterson. To do that, the Packers will have to load up the box.
Aaron Rodgers will want to step up after a disappointing game last week and Rodgers will have another receiver to use in his arsenal in Greg Jennings. Jennings will help make the Packers’ offense even more explosive but the Packers’ offensive line will have to do a good job containing Jared Allen.
The Vikings are weak in the secondary and without Percy Harvin, Minnesota will be one dimensional as the Packers bounce back with a big win over the Vikings.
Packers 27 Vikings 17
Ray Rivard: Last week the New York Giants exposed every wart and every injury that have plagued the Packers this season. Without Greg Jennings on the field, the Giants were able to concentrate more on shutting down Randall Cobb and the so-called running game. Without Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews on the Packers defensive side of the ball, the Packers pass rush was non-existent and the Giants’ running game went wild.
While the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson will probably get his yards, the Vikings are woefully short on offensive weapons, especially since it looks like Percy Harvin won’t play. The Packers will probably make every attempt to get its running game going early, but should also be able to exploit the middle of the field with Cobb and Jermichael Finley. I expect the Packers to come out angry, much like they did against the Texans earlier this year. I also expect a big game from Aaron Rodgers, who tends to lead by example in these types of games.
From here on out, all games through the end of the season should be considered all-important. In fact, the Packers Playoff season starts today. With four of their final games divisional matchups, the Packers have to win them all to have a shot at winning the Division and getting at least one home Playoff game. But I’m getting ahead of myself … something the Packers can ill-afford to do. One game at a time starts today with the Vikings.
Packers 27 Vikings 17