Tonight will be different in many ways for Packers fans. This is the first time a quarterback other than Favre has started a game for the Packers since September 27th, 1992. This is Aaron Rodgers' first start, and all he wants to do is let the Packers' fans know that the team isn't done for just because Favre left.
"It's been a difficult time over the last few months, but I think I'm ready for it," says Rodgers. Rodgers had only thrown 59 passes in his first three years backing up Favre, but last year he showed that he wasn't a total bust by performing wonderfully in a game against Dallas in which Favre was knocked out of in the first half. Packers fans are only hoping that Rodgers can perform as well as he did against Dallas in the first few games of this season.
If Rodgers doesn't perform up to speed, then Green Bay has a great defense to rely on. The Packers allowed just 18.2 points per game last year, second in the NFC. They have one of the premier defensive lines in the NFL and also have a great linebacking corps to make the defense as good as it is, spearheaded by A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett.
The Vikings have improved their defense over the off-season, or at least their defensive line. They acquired Jared Allen from the Chiefs who led the NFL with 15.5 sacks last season. He joins two other Pro Bowlers, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, to give Minnesota maybe the best defensive line in the game.
If anything, Minnesota needs to have improved their pass defense. While allowing just 74.1 yards per game on the ground last year, they allowed 264.1 yards per game in the air, worst in the NFL.
Prediction: Green Bay 23, Minnesota 17
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