The Green Bay Packers (7-4) will host the Minnesota Vikings (6-5) in a game with sharp playoff implications. Both teams are looking to close on the division-leading Chicago Bears (8-3) and their Sunday opponent, the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) who currently hold the last NFC playoff spot.
The Vikings are a long shot to win the North after dropping their Week 12 game to the Bears, but they can make a case for a wild-card slot with an upset win over the Packers.
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc.
When: Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m ET
Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Line: Packers -9.5 (via Bovada)
Vikings Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|WR Percy Harvin||Ankle|
|RB Adrian Peterson||Shoulder|
|TE Kyle Rudolph||Head|
Packers Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
|WR Greg Jennings ||Groin, Abdomen|
|LB Terrell Manning||Shoulder|
|LB Clay Matthews||Hamstring|
|TE Andrew Quarless||Knees|
|DB Sam Shields||Ankle|
|LB Vic So'oto||Illness|
|LB Erik Walden||Ankle|
|DB Charles Woodson||Collarbone|
|DL Johnny Jolly||Suspension|
What's at Stake?
The loser in this game will have a hard time making a run at the NFC North divisional title. The Bears would hold a two-game advantage over the Packers if the Vikings prevail.
A loss by Minnesota would have them on the edge of elimination, trailing the Bears by two or three games with four to play. The Vikings would also lose important ground in the wild-card race.
Green Bay will be playing for a home playoff game. They visit the Bears in Week 15, a contest that could settle the NFC North.
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Peterson is a must-play every week regardless of his opponent. The Packers have been strong against the run, placing right next to the Seahawks in yards allowed per game.
Peterson would like that comparison, as he hit the Seahawks up for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Speaking of players that are immune to opposing defenses, Rodgers hasn't played to his expectations the last two games. His two games since the bye week total the points he had the week heading into the week off.
Look for Rodgers to rebound this week with a big game over the Vikings.
What They're Saying
There are ample reasons to expect a close game. These are two teams with playoff aspirations.
The season series also favors a close game.
No cakewalk for the Packers this week: 15 of their last 19 regular season games against the Vikings have been decided by 7 points or less.— Packerpedia (@Packerpedia) November 28, 2012
The Packers will also have a little extra help on Sunday.
Packers WR Greg Jennings expected to play vs. Vikings - USA TODAY ow.ly/2trFAn— Packers Times (@GBPacketimes) November 28, 2012
Key Matchup: Aaron Rodgers vs. Vikings Secondary
Having Greg Jennings in the lineup should be a valuable addition for Rodgers. He's done well hitting the targets he has had available.
Adding one of the better receivers in the game should certainly help improve his production.
The Packers will have just too much strength for the Vikings at home. Minnesota's defense hasn't shown the ability to solve a proficient offense at this point.
Doing so on the frozen tundra seems to be a bit of a stretch.
Packers 31, Vikings 20
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.