The Minnesota Vikings will have to play the spoiler role this time around in their annual rivalry game with the Green Bay Packers. The two clubs squared-off twice last year in the regular seasons with both games having significant postseason implications.
The third time they played was against each other in the playoffs, but there’s a chance neither team makes it back there this year.
“This is an NFC North opponent, our rival. It’s a huge game for us, our most important game of the season, number one, because it’s the next game on our schedule, but also because of who the opponent is. It’s a chance for us to get a win in our division, so it would mean a lot to our team and our fans,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier told Packers media on Wednesday.
The Packers continue to anxiously await the return of their All-Pro quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. After he suffered a broken collarbone during the team’s Week 9 Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears, the team has lost three-straight games and went from leading the NFC North to being outside of the playoff picture looking in.
Sunday against the New York Giants, Scott Tolzien got his first NFL start in hopes of stopping the bleeding. He was unable to do so, as he finished 24/34 passing and threw three interceptions in Green Bay’s 27-13 loss to the Giants on Sunday.
But at 2-8, motivation can be a problem on a cold day late in the season for a team like the Vikings playing in hostile territory. Not to mention they’ve not won in Lambeau since Brett Favre was there quarterback, and no one’s mistaking Christian Ponder for the future hall of famer.
This will probably be a low-scoring defensive affair where both offenses rely on their running game to carry them to victory. Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy has run with the same pushing brand of football as the great Adrian Peterson does, and watching those two look to grind out every yard on Sunday will be a battle to watch.