Five Packers to watch vs. Vikings in crucial Week 16 matchup

Green Bay Packers, Jake Kumerow (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jake Kumerow (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

5. Aaron Rodgers

Week after week, I have been trying to will Aaron Rodgers back to form in these five players. It has not happened yet, but, like that child who holds out hope Santa is bringing their favorite toy, I keep the faith he’s ready to break out.

Everything says this isn’t the game it’s going to happen. He has yet to win in the Vikings’ new stadium, Mike Zimmer has always kept Rodgers in check, and there has been no sign the past few weeks it will.

If there was ever a game for Rodgers to show every critic he’s got a lot more left, this is the time. Primetime Monday night, division title within reach, and a first-round bye right there for the taking. Rodgers getting hot right now would shift the balance of power in the NFC. Catching fire and forcing the playoffs to run through Lambeau would be the recipe for success for the Pack in the playoffs.

One thing I have to say though, we have gotten quite spoiled as Packer fans. Rodgers has put up such amazing numbers throughout his career we are now saying 3,400 yards, 24 touchdowns to two interceptions is a down year. We shouldn’t forget he is playing for a rookie head coach who had only one season of play-calling under his belt prior to this year. By comparison, Brett Favre in a similar situation threw for 3,800 yards with 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

But, I digress. Because I know Rodgers playing up to his lofty standards could raise this team up three levels and put them in serious talk as Super Bowl champs.

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The task is simple yet as hard as it gets. Beat the Vikings in their house, and become division champs. The win guarantees a home playoff game and gets the team one step closer to a first-round bye. Lose and you can all but be assured the Packers will be playing on wild-card weekend, probably against these same Vikings.