The Call: Vikings at Packers
- Article by: DAN WIEDERER
- December 2, 2012 - 7:53 AM
One man's prediction: In 2006, the Vikings twice passed on Aaron Rodgers, drafting Troy Williamson at No. 7 and Erasmus James at 18. Rodgers is a known grudge holder -- which might explain why he's 5-3 as a starter against the Vikings. His average numbers in those games: 22-for-31, 272 yards, two touchdowns and a 116.5 rating. Packers 31, Vikings 20
Chicago contained the Vikings' pass rush last week by using tight ends and running backs to help in protection. Green Bay could adopt a similar approach after surrendering five sacks in last weekend's 38-10 loss to the Giants in New York. The Packers have struggled when Rodgers is under pressure. Rodgers has been sacked 21 times in the team's four losses while being taken down only 16 times in seven victories.
Trying to get ahead
These Vikings are not built to come from behind. So just how important is a fast start? The Vikings are 5-0 when holding the halftime lead. And since beating Jacksonville 26-23 in overtime in the season opener, they haven't had a single go-ahead score after halftime. That puts plenty of responsibility on quarterback Christian Ponder and NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson to generate early offense. But the road has been unfriendly this fall. The Vikings' average halftime deficit in five road games is 17-10.
A leg up
If the Vikings can keep things close, they could have a decisive advantage in the kicking game. Rookie Blair Walsh has been ultra-dependable this season. He's 24-for-26 on field goal attempts, including 5-for-5 from beyond 50 yards. He has also produced 41 touchbacks on 58 kickoffs. Meanwhile, Walsh's counterpart in Green Bay, veteran kicker Mason Crosby, is still working through struggles. Crosby has missed a field goal in six of the past seven games and his .600 field goal percentage (12-for-20) is far and away the lowest of his six-year career.
7,988 Career rushing yards for Adrian Peterson. He should surpass the 8,000-yard mark today in his 85th game.
Greg Jennings, Packers: Having missed the past seven games with a sports hernia, Jennings won't be back at 100 percent conditioning-wise today. But he has caught 35 Rodgers touchdown passes in his career..
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield vs.
Packers receiver Randall Cobb
Leads the team with three interceptions; also has 10 tackles for loss.
Second-year slot playmaker has 58 catches for 613 yards and seven TDs.
Who has the edge?
Experience should win out. But Green Bay can quickly turn to Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings and James Jones for help. Which means strong play from corners A.J. Jefferson and Josh Robinson also is a must.
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