The Vikings Will Beat The Packers This Week, and Here’s Why…

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In case you have lived under a rock for this past week with no access to printed or electronic media, you may be aware of a football game to be played around 3PM central time at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This game features a guy you may have heard know, the guy who has trouble deciding on what TV to buy in those Sears commercials....the guy who wears Wrangler jeans? Yeah, THAT guy! Brett Favre! Anyhow, he played 16 seasons in Green Bay and won a Super Bowl there. They USED to love the guy. That was until he worked his way, via New York, into  starting gig for their arch rival, Minnesota Vikings. Now they are holding mock funerals for him, regret naming a street after him, and more green and yellow #4 jerseys are being used as drop cloths for oil changes, than are being worn or sold in the state of Wisconsin.

So now that you are aware of the game, if you have the NFL Ticket, or can receive a Fox broadcast, you will likely be able to watch the game, since it was moved to the late game on Sunday and will be carried by 90% of the Fox affiliates. I strongly urge you to watch it. It will be a lot of fun.

There have been numerous predictions rendered by everyone in the sports media and, from what I have heard, more 'experts' are picking Green Bay to win the game over the visiting Vikings. I on the otherhand, think the outcome will favor Minnesota, and here's why:

Jared Allen -vs- TJ Lang

No active defensive end in the NFL has more sacks (7.5) and forced fumbles (3)  than Jared Allen of the Vikings.  A few weeks ago when these same teams met in Minnesota, Allen had 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Allen is playing as well as he ever has and with the interior of the line (Kevin and Pat Williams) sucking up blockers like a Shopvac, Allen is usually left one-on-one against an opponents left tackle. That left tackle this week will be the Packers TJ Lang, who is making his first-ever NFL start. Lang will be responsible for protecting Packers QB Aaron Rodgers blind-side against Allen. Keep in mind that no quarterback has been sacked more this season than Aaron Rodgers (25), and that includes last week against the hapless Browns pass rush where Rodgers went his first game without being sacked. Don't be fooled, that game was more an indication of the inept Browns pass rush than it was a statement that Green Bay had solved their quarterback protection woes.

Brett Favre - vs - Packer Defense

In his first meeting against his former team a few weeks ago, Brett Favre completed almost 78% of his passes (24 of 31), with three TDs and no interceptions. His surgeon-like performance was no fluke. When the Vikings are in standard offensive formation, the Packers need to focus on taking RB Adrian Peterson out of the game. They did an effective job against Peterson in their first meeting, holding him to 55 yards. To do so though requires committing to eight defenders 'in the box' and that leaves their secondary and the middle of the field exposed as the Packer linebackers are better pass rushers than pass defenders. The poster child for those struggles is converted DE Aaron Kampman, who no longer plays with his hand in the dirt and has struggled when being asked to drop back in coverage. Favre exploited this mismatch a number of times in Week 4.

When the Vikings need or want to, they have the personnel to spread a defense out with wide receivers Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Doing so presents a challenge for the Packers defense that is in is first season of transition to the 3-4 defense. The Packers have great starting cornerbacks, but their pass defense becomes much more vulnerable when they are forced to go into nickel and dime coverages.

I expect Brett Favre to have another great game this Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers -vs- Vikings Secondary

No, I haven't started my pre-game intake of adult beverages early, I truly do think the Vikings secondary will be able to handle Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing attack. Conventional wisdom says this statement is crazy since the Vikings will once again be without Pro Bowl CB Antoine Winfield. However, the Vikings were without Winfield last week as well against the potent offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  They responded by holding the Steelers to under 200 yards passing, while still holding the Steelers rushing attack to under 100 yards. What the Vikings did was change their defensive scheme to accomodate the loss of Winfield. With Winfield in the lineup, they can leave him one-on-one against the opponents top wide receiver, that allows the safeties to play back in coverage. In a cover-two scheme the Vikings defense runs, it allows more underneath routes for the opposing offense. Last week, without Winfield, the secondary played up and more wide zone coverage giving their less experienced corners Paymah and Sapp some help. Expect more of the same against the Packers passing attack, with similar results.

So there you have it. You may agree with me, and you may not....especially if you are reading this while cleaning up your cheesehead so you can wear it on Sunday. Time will tell. One thing for certain is that this is going to be one great game to watch!Share/Bookmark