This game will have a major impact on the NFC playoff race, as the Vikings (6-5) are on the outside looking in, while the Packers (7-4) are barely holding onto the No. 5 seed. With just five games remaining, neither team can afford a loss to their division rival.
Both teams are also coming off lopsided defeats, with the Vikings losing 28-10 to the Bears, and the Packers falling 38-10 to the Giants. If they want to improve their positioning heading into the home stretch of the season, both teams will need to come out swinging.
The Packers were embarrassed by the defending champs last week, as their five-game winning streak was snapped in humiliating fashion. Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times and committed two turnovers, and Eli Manning carved up the injured Packers defense.
Green Bay's D could be short-handed again this week, but luckily Christian Ponder is no Eli Manning. Ponder has thrown for 300-plus yards just once this season, and his 6.09 yards per attempt is the lowest of any current starter in the league.
Of course, the Packers will have to worry about Adrian Peterson, who leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,236) and is fifth in rushing touchdowns (seven). If Peterson runs wild, the Vikings will have a great chance to pull of the upset.
When: Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Lambeau Field - Green Bay, WI
TV: FOX (check local listings)
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Spread: Packers -8 (via footballocks.com)
Over/Under: 46.5 (via footballocks.com)
Injury Report - As of 11/29 (via ESPN)
Harrison Smith - S, questionable
Kyle Rudolph - TE, questionable
Percy Harvin - WR, questionable
Greg Jennings - WR, probable
Cedric Benson - RB, injured reserve
Donald Driver - WR, questionable
Clay Matthews - LB, questionable
Andrew Quarless - TE, questionable
Fantasy Big Plays
Vikings: Adrian Peterson - RB
Peterson is clearly back to All-Pro status, as he's rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the last five games. He's also racked up five touchdowns during that span, and although the Bears kept him out of the end zone last week, he should have much more luck against the Packers D.
Peterson will get plenty of touches, and with Green Bay's defense potentially missing Clay Matthews for the third straight week, I'm expecting him to find lots of space in the open field.
Projected stats: 22 carries for 132 yards and one touchdown; three catches for 23 yards
Packers: Randall Cobb - WR
Aaron Rodgers is obviously a strong start as well, but I'm expecting big things from Cobb on Sunday.
He struggled last week, but Cobb has been targeted at least seven times in each of the last six games, so you know he'll get his fair share of opportunities. Prior to the Pack's loss to the Giants, Cobb had racked up six touchdowns in a four-game span.
Look for him to get back to that kind of production against a Vikings defense that was shredded by Brandon Marshall last week.
Projected stats: seven catches for 84 yards and one touchdown
Key to Victory: Time of possession
The Vikings are certainly capable of pulling off the upset, but they'll have to keep Rodgers and his army of prolific receivers off the field for as long as possible.
If Minnesota can control the clock with Adrian Peterson and keep the score close, they will have a chance to win the game in the fourth. But if they can't establish Peterson or turn the ball over multiple times or Rodgers will make them pay.
The Packers were on an all-out rampage before running into the mountain-sized speed bump that was the New York Giants. I'm expecting them to return to their pre-Week 12 form this Sunday.
Rodgers is simply too good to struggle two weeks in a row, and although Peterson will likely have his way with the Packers' defense, he won't be able to carry Minnesota on his own.
Green Bay also has a major home-field advantage, as they are 4-1 inside the friendly confines of Lambeau Field this season. Meanwhile, the Vikings are just 1-4 on the road this year.
I'm not anticipating a blowout, but the Packers will secure their playoff positioning with a key win this week.
Final Score: Packers 31 - Vikings 20
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