The Green Bay Packers will enter as nine-point favorites over the Minnesota Vikings in the wildcard round when the two NFC North foes meet on Saturday.
I'm sorry, what did you say?!
Is this not the same Vikings team that beat the Packers in Week 17? Obviously this is a different game because it is in Green Bay and not Minnesota, but to say that the Packers will win this game by two scores is absurd.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing attack burned Minnesota on Sunday, but the Vikings showed improvement when it came to getting pressure on the Packers' quarterback. By recording five sacks for a loss of 32 yards, the team proved that it can get to Rodgers and force him to make quick throws.
Rodgers was able to make those throws on Sunday, but the fact remains that those sacks were costly, and if Minnesota continues to bring Rodgers down before he can get the ball off we could see Green Bay's offense be limited.
On the other hand, the Vikings played extremely well on offense on Sunday. Adrian Peterson had one of his best games of the season, racking up 210 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries as well as another 10 yards on his only catch.
Peterson was unstoppable, and there is no reason to expect the Packers to have an answer for him on the ground six days after he tore them apart.
The best news for the Vikings came when the team saw quarterback Christian Ponder dissecting Green Bay's secondary. Ponder threw for 234 yards and three scores to finish with a 120.2 passer rating. He also did not turn the ball over a single time.
The Vikings offense is clicking right now. While Peterson is the key, he opens up the passing game for Ponder, who should be able to take advantage of Green Bay's secondary again on Saturday.
While I won't go so far as to say that the Vikings will be able to pull off the upset in Green Bay, I will guarantee that this game is closer than the spread would indicate.
Minnesota has won four straight games and is playing its best football of the season. While taking down an experienced Packers team in Lambeau Field is too much to ask for, you can bet that this game is going to come down to the wire.