So, how do all our staffers here at Lombardiave.com think tonight’s game will go?
Our predictions and the reasons for our scores are below. Are we spot on? Let us know.
David Burdette: This game is looking more like a Pop Warner team showing up to a high school match-up. The Vikings only real chance is to get Adrian Peterson going and to pressure Aaron Rodgers into mistakes with Jared Allen and Co. This most likely won’t happen.
Rodgers is getting time in the pocket with the line starting to gel, and Eddie Lacy has introduced a new dimension to the offense. Did I forget to mention the run defense is ranked third? Think I did. Look for a blowout similar to the Redskins game without the garbage time touchdowns.
Packers 34 Vikings 14
Kevin Gibson: Even in its state of depletion due to injury, the Packers will strike fast and handle the Minnesota Vikings in the Metrodome on Sunday. Minnesota’s defense is a mess, its quarterback situation is a bigger mess and Adrian Peterson even admits he’s not quite 100 percent healthy. Hey, join the club. Fortunately, the Packers have a healthy Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy, and the offensive line has been playing well enough to give them the opportunities they need. Oh, and have you seen the Packers’ defense lately? This is not the same defense that has been pummeled in two straight playoff defeats.
Packers 34 Vikings 16
Thomas Marquardt: Just like every NFC North road game, the Vikings are not an “easy W.” Last season the Packers had a chance to lock up a first round bye by winning at the Metrodome in week 17 and let AP run all over them. While the game ended with a loss for the Packers by just a field goal, and was avenged in the Wild Card round, it sent the Packers to San Francisco and a bad loss against Colin Kaepernick and the Niners. That loss also kept the Packers from being the first team (ever?) to sweep their division 2 years in a row. Things are obviously different this season as the Packers fight through injuries and the merry-go-round of QBs for the Vikes seems to never end, but this game is one the Packers can’t afford to look past. I don’t expect that to happen.
Kevin Dickens: Division games can always be unpredictable. There’s always an added edge of competitiveness between teams. Minnesota is struggling mightily. The switch to Christian Ponder will probably serve them better against Green Bay. He was key in helping them get an upset win week 17 last year in the Metrodome. Let’s not also forget a few monster performances from AP that killed the Packers last year. That was last year, however, and this STINGY Packers’ run defense is here to stay. Some offseason jibber-jabber (I won’t mention any names) has created a savage hunger in the locker room. I expect a very methodical Green Bay offense led by Eddie Lacy and Aaron Rodgers to pound Minnesota’s defense, and a motivated defense to supplement with a few key turnovers.
Packers 34 Vikings 13
Eric Balkman: The Viking are bad. Not Jaguar bad, but close. Watching the Giants and Vikings playMonday night was one of the hardest football games to watch I can ever remember. And with Christian Ponder only stepping in for Josh Freeman because of injury this week, the Vikes are in even worse shape.
The Pack should get Casey Hayward back this week, and maybe Brad Jones and Nick Perry as well. They’ll need them because Adrian Peterson should notch over 100 yards again this week. His hamstring is nearly at full strength, and Green Bay has had fits stopping him in the past.
Packers 27 Vikings 20
Andrew Davy: Goodbye, Metrodome.
Jarrett Boykin and Eddie Lacy. Packers fans, get used to these two new names on offense. This is simple. Under Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have Super Bowl expectations. And, under Aaron Rodgers, the Packers play really, really well in domed environments.
On defense, the Vikings are without their top player,Harrison Smith, and Adrian Peterson is the one and only threat the Vikings have on offense. (How ya doin, Greg?)
The Packers defense has been really good at stopping running backs this year. Green Bay should expect a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson. This is a better matchup than the two meetings when Adrian Peterson embarrassed Dom Capers in the 2012 regular season.
Keep an eye on how the Packers use their defensive backs with Casey Hayward making his return. Rookie Micah Hyde and sophomore Davon House have both earned playing time opposite of Tramon Williams and Sam Shields.
To keep it brief, it doesn’t matter how many ex-Packers with Super Bowl rings on the decline of their career that the Vikings pick up. The Packers are a lot more talented than the Vikings. Regardless of injuries, Packers fans and players should consider a reality check– or players only meeting – on any Super Bowl aspirations in the event of a loss.
My prediction is legitimate panic for the season over the darkly-hilarious rash of injuries if the Packers lose, or, a big thank you to Ted Thompson for the depth he has built in the event of injury when Green Bay wins.
Luke Hanish: For whatever reason, the “homer dome” has always been a crapshoot when it comes to Packers visits. The last time Green Bay was in Minnesota Adrian Peterson came a mere handful of yards short of making NFL history. This year thus far seems to be a different animal as the Packers run defense is suddenly stout. The Packers have also won an impressive 13 out of their past 14 divisional games. While the Vikings were expected to be much better than they are, Peterson still needs to be the focal point for the defense. The return of Casey Hayward will help as neither Josh Freeman nor Christian Ponder will be able to win this game for the vikes. James Jones is still doubtful to play so Jarrett Boykin will be called upon again this week. Divisional match-ups are never easy to predict but I’ll go with the Packers. Oh, and I forgot to mention “that guy” too.
Packers 38 Vikings 10
Thomas Mrozla: The Vikings are one bad team and that will continue tonight. The one area where the Packers will need to improve against the Vikings is containing Adrian Peterson. I think if they can do that, the Vikings will not be able to keep up with Rodgers and company. Sticking with the theme of the last few weeks, the next man up will have to play well. I’d like to see Eddie Lacy break a big one, and Jordy Nelson catch a long one. Jennings gets shut down and the Packers roll tonight.
Packers 38 Vikings 13
Davey Miller: The Minnesota Vikings will likely score a special teams touchdown, or have a big play on special teams that leads to a touchdown on a short field. Other then that, the Vikings offense will not muster much of a challenge.
Green Bay will stop the run first, so it will be interesting to see how the defense fares today against the best running back in all of football.
Lacy to have another big day with James Starks contributing.
Packers 34 Vikings 17
Patrick Hughes: This Packers team is hungry. The defensive line takes pride in their craft and containing Adrian Peterson is something they would like to add to their resume. Minnesota’s other good player, Greg Jennings? He’s going to earn his catches against a Packers defense that is looking to push him around a bit.
On offense this game is all about Eddie Lacy and of course, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is going to light up the Vikings secondary and Lacy will once again break the century mark. Jarrett Boykin will have opportunities and make the best of them, as will Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick.
Packers 38 Vikings 7
Ray Rivard: How can one pick against the Packers in this game. The Vikings are in disarray in more ways than one. There are calls to trade both Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen, the quarterback is a huge issue and the pass defense is one of the worst in the league.
Aaron Rodgers, even with his depleted personnel, will go off on Minnesota tonight and Eddie Lacy should run roughshod over the Vikings’ defense.
It might be close for a half, but look for the Packers to take over this game and win going away.
Packers 42 Vikings 16