The Call: Vikings vs. Green Bay

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2012 - 9:44 PM
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The Packers have the NFL's reigning MVP playing quarterback for them in Aaron Rodgers, and he could very well be the difference between victory and defeat for the Vikings.

Photo: Mike Roemer, Associated Press

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One man's prediction: Packers 27, Vikings 21: The Vikings (9-6) have every reason to believe they can hang around and perhaps pull the surprise that will push them into the playoffs. But the Packers (11-4) have one big reason to feel superior: Aaron Rodgers, the reigning MVP, who has 20 TD passes and only four interceptions in nine starts against the Vikings.

Record player

It will take a monumental effort -- 208 yards to be exact -- for Adrian Peterson to set the NFL's single-season rushing record. But Peterson did erupt for 210 yards against Green Bay four weeks ago, busting off big-gain runs of 82, 48 and 23 yards. So, yeah, Eric Dickerson should remain on call for a potential congratulatory message. Said Peterson, "Deep down inside I feel like I'll get it."

'Top priority'

 

Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams has stressed all week the need to "not let the top off the defense." Which means the Vikings will structure their coverages to limit Green Bay's explosive downfield passing plays. They did a decent job of that four weeks ago with Rodgers needing 41 dropbacks to throw for 286 yards. "There weren't any coverage busts, any times where we gave them cheap plays," Williams noted. "So you take some solace in that. But still, we gave up too many points."

What happened?

 

A frustrating 23-14 loss at Lambeau Field four weeks ago could have been the torpedo that sunk the Vikings' playoff ship. Instead, they drew encouragement from their effort and camaraderie and aimed to immediately clean up their costly mistakes. The aftermath: three consecutive convincing victories that have heightened the team's confidence. "We knew we left a few game-changing plays out there in Green Bay," defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "And this season when we've played right and true, everyone has seen how good we can be."

MANO-A-MANO: MATCHUP TO WATCH

Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews vs. Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil

About Matthews The USC product has 12 sacks in 11 starts and was named this week to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl.

About Kalil The USC product anchors a line that has given up 31 sacks (13th in the NFL) while opening holes for 161.1 rushing yards per game.

Who has the edge? Kalil. Only once this year has Kalil truly felt like a rookie -- against Chicago's Julius Peppers, who the left tackle admits opened his eyes with quickness, smarts and an array of moves. Matthews presents a different challenge in Green Bay's 3-4 defense, but the rookie should hold his own.

THE BIG NUMBER

12 Consecutive NFC North games won by Green Bay, dating back to a 7-3 loss to Detroit on Dec. 12, 2010. Rodgers has a 22-6 career record as a starter in division games.

BREAKOUT DAY?

Jarius Wright, Vikings: If an upset bid is to materialize, the Vikings might need a spark from the versatile rookie. Wright had five catches for 53 yards plus an 8-yard, end-around run in last week's win in Houston.

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Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Arizona 1
Oakland 0 Top 7th Inning
LA Angels 3
Los Angeles 2 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 2
Washington 5 Top 8th Inning
Seattle 2
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 5th Inning
San Francisco 8
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 6 3rd Qtr
Arizona 24
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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