WEEK 11: 3:25 p.m. VS. GREEN BAY • ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)
One man’s prediction: While the Vikings have reeled off five straight wins to put themselves in prime playoff position, we still don’t have an idea of how good this Vikings team truly is. We should get a significant clue when the reigning NFC North champs come to TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers are struggling offensively, and if the stingy Vikings defense can keep that going, the Vikings should be able to beat the Packers for the first time since 2012.
Three keys to the game
It says all you need to know about Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that he has an 86.0 passer rating with six touchdown passes the past three weeks, and that is considered a reason for major concern over in Green Bay. Sure, Rodgers has looked mortal during the Packers’ three-game losing streak, but he still poses big-time problems to the second-ranked Vikings defense with both his right arm and his legs.
Running back Adrian Peterson rushed for a season-high 203 yards in last week’s win over the Raiders, his third straight game with at least 100 rushing yards. He has rushed for 961 yards, 227 more than the next guy on the NFL’s rushing list, and five touchdowns this season. And the Vikings figure to give him a heavy workload again against the Packers, who rank 24th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game.
Second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t topped 200 passing yards in four weeks, leading coach Mike Zimmer to answer questions this week about whether his quarterback is a “game manager.” Zimmer argued that Bridgewater will be ready to make more plays when they are needed, and this figures to be one of those games. He doesn’t have to go throw for throw with Rodgers. Timely completions should do.
Player to watch
Captain Munnerlyn, Vikings
The veteran cornerback has quietly had a pretty good season in his second year in Minnesota. Last season, he freelanced too often, pulling himself out of position. Now he is sticking to the script, helping the Vikings shut down slot receivers. The Packers have one of the best in the business in Randall Cobb, who made some plays against Munnerlyn last season. If Munnerlyn wins this matchup, the Vikings should win, too.