The 7-3 Packers travel to Minneapolis to take on the 7-2 Vikings on Sunday afternoon in an important battle for the NFC North title. Green Bay is on a 3 game losing streak and last week they were beaten by the Detroit Lions 18-16 who entered the game with only 1 win on the season. It was the second time the Packers failed to score at least 20 points at home in their last 37 home games. The Vikings are on a 5 game winning streak after they easily disposed of the Raiders in Oakland by a score of 30-14. In that 5 game span their opponents have averaged only 16 points per game.
Green Bay’s offense struggled again this week but it was the running game that was particularly bad. As a team they only gained 47 yards on 18 carries and this was the third game in a row they failed to rush for at least 100 yards. The offensive line has been struggling also as they allowed Rogers to be sacked 3 times which makes 11 sacks over the last 3 games. Rodgers threw for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns but needed 61 pass attempts to get there. They had a chance to kick the winning field goal with less than a minute remaining but Mason Crosby’s kick came up short on the 52 yard attempt sealing the loss. The defensive line did a great job stopping the run as they only allowed 45 rushing yards on 26 attempts but they weren’t able to sack Stafford. Their special team’s defense also allowed Ameer Abdullah to return a kickoff 104 yards from deep within his own end-zone to the packers 1 yard line which set up their first touchdown.
The Vikings are on a roll and continued their good play on both sides of the ball in last week’s domination of Oakland. Offensively, they rushed for 263 yards with Adrian Peterson leading the way. Peterson rushed for 203 yards on 26 carries which included an 80 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. Teddy Bridgewater was efficient by completing 14 of 22 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown with 0 interceptions. The offensive line didn’t help him as they allowed him to be sacked 4 times for a loss of 18 yards. Defensively, they intercepted David Carr twice, had 2 sacks and 3 tackles for losses. Terence Newman had a big day as he had both interceptions.
The Packers offense has been struggling even against bad defensive teams including the Detroit Lions who rank last in the league by allowing over 30 points per game. This doesn’t bode well for Green Bay as the Vikings lead the league in allowing only 17 points per game. The Packers are only 5-4 against the spread this year while the Vikings are 8-1 including a perfect 4-0 at home. The spread for this game is even and the Vikings have the home field advantage.
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