The last time the Vikings went to Lambeau Field, they held off a Packers rally to win the NFC North. On this trip, they are fighting just to have something to play for in Week 17. After watching how the Vikings played against the Colts, how could anyone pick them? Prediction: Packers 24, Vikings 14.
THREE BIG STORY LINES
AS THE ADRIAN TURNS
After rushing for only 22 yards and losing a fumble in the 34-6 loss to the Colts, running back Adrian Peterson will not play in Green Bay. Has he played his last game with the Vikings?
SMITH COULD RETURN
Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith returned to practice this week and is questionable to play after a two-game absence. Even if his bum ankle is at 80 percent, Smith would give the Vikings secondary a big boost in Green Bay.
Quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 71.6 percent of his passes, putting him on pace to set the NFL’s single-season record. But he needs to do more than dink and dunk to outduel Aaron Rodgers.
TWO KEY MATCHUPS
VIKINGS FS HARRISON SMITH vs. PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS
Smith was certainly missed by the team in the two games he lost to an ankle injury, with backup Anthony Harris struggling in his place. The Vikings need Smith to stabilize the position. And if he doesn’t play, look out.
MLB ERIC KENDRICKS vs. PACKERS RB Ty MONTGOMERY
Montgomery, the former wideout who changed positions during the season, has given Green Bay a spark on the ground. Kendricks and the Vikings must defend the run better than they did last week.
ONE STAT THAT MATTERS
76.3 Rodgers’ QB rating in his past two games against Mike Zimmer’s defense.
The Vikings will win if…
They rattle Rodgers like they did the last two times they played him, the offense can find a rhythm without having to feed Peterson, and Bradford takes care of the ball.
The Packers will win if…
The Vikings are unable to play a near-perfect game. If the squad that showed no fight in last week’s dud makes the trip to Lambeau, this will get ugly quick.
Vensel’s win probability