The NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers just played a playoff game, didn’t they? A Week 17 matchup between the squads was anything but meaningless, as Green Bay was playing for a bye week and Minnesota was fighting to get into the postseason.
Given that the regular season is over and Minnesota is still relevant in playoff discussions, we know how that worked out—but the Vikings aren’t guaranteed to sweep the back-to-back. For starters, the Saturday night playoff contest will take place in Wisconsin rather than Minnesota, which obviously favors the Packers.
There’s also the matter of a man named Aaron Rodgers, who tends to wear green and yellow on Sundays. It’s a virtual lock that Rodgers (70 completion percentage, 365 passing yards, four TDs and zero INTs in Week 17) will outplay “his matchup”—if the QB had a particular individual to outperform on the other side of the ball.
Minnesota’s defense, however, has all of one superstar: defensive end Jared Allen. Marshall Newhouse is the guy who will be tasked with keeping him off of his quarterback on Saturday night, highlighting five matchups that should decide the outcome of the game.