Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Vikings

min-vikings-revolutionWell, the Packers’ season has reached its turning point. How many people picked this week’s game at Lambeau as the pivotal game in the 2013 season? If you had that one “circled” on your calendar, let me know. Yet here we are looking down the barrel of a 5-6 record and possible two game shortfall in the division and for this week at least, Aaron Rodgers will again watch from the sidelines.

Here is what the Pack will have to accomplish to keep themselves alive in the division:

Offense:

1. Let me state the obvious here…Tozien has to stop throwing picks, especially ones like the late game ugly one against the Giants…and one pick six in this game and we LOSE! Don’t expect the same fortune with the long pass that Tolzien had last week either…he will get his shots, but will have to be better with the middle and short game.

2. Ground and pound. It’s December in Wisconsin and for the first time in a long time Green Bay has a ground game that they are supposed to be able to rely on. Except, this once successful run game has all but disappeared for the last two weeks. The line will have to do a better job moving the defensive line and while that won’t be easy, it will help minimize Jared Allen who could be tee-ing off on Tolzien all afternoon if we’re not careful.

3. First time all year I’ve had to say it…minimize penalties. The Pack had 3 penalties in the first series against the Giants. The O-line has got to get it together and play as a unit and the team overall has to maintain discipline. Penalties can hurt us in this game.

4. Mason Crosby earns his money in this game. There, I said it…Mason has been pretty damn good this year and if you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for him to step up to the plate and have a chance to get the Pack a “W”. I think it could very well happen in this game.

 

Defense:

1. The defensive line needs to play like it did in the second half of the Giants game and Clay Matthews needs to replace his modified club with a meat hook. Job one is to stop Adrian Peterson and don’t think Greg Jennings isn’t going to be out to have a better day than last time he met the Pack.

2. The defensive backfield…well…needs to be good. Tramon showed some good things last week but still had penalties. Coverage has been abysmal this season so far and the Giants game did not put anyone’s fears to rest.

3. Turnovers…we need more. I know this one has been talked about by everyone in the Packers organization but it’s true. Here’s why turnovers mean so much to me. It’s not just the opportunities that the offense gets because of them, turnovers mean that the defense was playing in position. There are not much better indicators that the defense is working than turnovers. Sacks, maybe but we had three sacks in the last game and still lost. If we can build on the single interception in the Giants game and find a way to turn a sack into a fumble, we win this game.

Special Teams:

1. When receiving we need to capitalize on field position

2. No more penalties.

3. Ball security. We can’t afford any big time mistakes here.

I you asked me if the Packers could win this game, I would say “Certainly.”. If you ask me if the Pack will win this game…well…I’ll believe it when I see it, and I am hoping I see it.


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