Baby, it’s cold outside. Put on your best ice fishing gear and head to the game … Packers-Vikings on the frozen tundra of TCF Bank Stadium. Or frozen whatever. What to expect? Here are our BOLD PREDICTIONS:
MATT VENSEL, Vikings beat writer
Slippery Packers slot receiver Randall Cobb has given the Vikings fits in the past, including a strong game against Captain Munnerlyn in Week 5 of last season. But Munneryln will win the matchup today, holding Cobb under 50 receiving yards and forcing Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to look elsewhere in key spots.
MARK CRAIG, On the NFL columnist
My instincts scream Packers win. The Vikings have been up too long, the Packers down too long and, per NFL custom, they appear destined to meet in the middle on Sunday. However, the Vikings are at home and their talent is coached well enough to supersede this (over)thinking. They’re also the more physical team, so Adrian Peterson will rush for 160 yards while the defense holds Green Bay to 19 points.
JIM SOUHAN, columnist
Teddy Bridgewater finally has a breakout game, throwing for 318 yards and two touchdowns in a shootout with Aaron Rodgers, as Mike Wallace finally has a big game as a Viking.
CHIP SCOGGINS, columnist
Aaron Rodgers has thrown only four interceptions in 14 career starts against the Vikings. The Vikings pressure and blitz packages will get to Rodgers this time, causing him to throw two interceptions, one by Harrison Smith, in a seven-point Vikings win.
MICHAEL RAND, Page 2 guy
Vikings fans preparing for a letdown shouldn’t worry. This game is exactly as it seems. Minnesota is peaking; the Packers are falling. That will continue on Sunday when the Vikings not only defeat the Packers but rout them by more than two touchdowns
JASON GONZALEZ, jack of all trades
Mike Zimmer often fields questions about or takes time to mention the Vikings fans and it’s understandable why. The Vikings are 5-0 at home this season and have won seven consecutive games at TCF Bank Stadium, hinting of a home-field advantage. The fans will get their chance to really shine Sunday by making things difficult for rival Green Bay and help the Vikings gain more ground in their rise to first place in the NFC North. Expect to see another win for the fans and their beloved Vikings.
CHRIS MILLER, pro sports team leader
Losing to the Lions was a cold slap in the face to Packers coach Mike McCarthy. He spent a couple of extra sleepless nights devising plays to foil the upstart Vikings, who can take big-time control of the NFC North with a victory. McCarthy and Rodgers are too proud to let that happen. Rodgers works his magic and Mason Crosby wins it for Green Bay with a 50-yarder as time expires.