Typically, when the Packers meet the Vikings things are pretty straight-forward. Beat Adrian Peterson and you win the game. The Vikings are such a one-dimensional team that you don’t really have to go beyond that as a key to winning the game. This was also the case when we met the Vikings in week 13.
But week 17 will be different…
Playoff Hopes for the Vikings
For starters, the Vikings are fighting for a playoff spot. I hope the Packers don’t start resting on their guaranteed playoff spot and lay an egg in their final game of the season. But, the Vikings are the team that has more motivation in this game. Add to that the fact that we have to play the game in front of the Vikings home crowd and you start to wonder.
While these intangibles will likely factor into this game and they’re something we always have to be concerned about in this rivalry, the difference between the week 13 Vikings and the week 17 Vikings goes deeper than that.
New Elements in Vikings Offense
The Packers struggled stopping Adrian Peterson in week 13 but still forced the Vikings to rely on the passing game more than they care to. When that happened and Ponder would drop back in the pocket, you knew exactly who he was looking for because he only threw to one receiver all day, his TE Kyle Rudolph. Last week, when the Vikings played the Texans, things were very different. Ponder found four receivers for multiple completions. None of them generated a lot of yardage, but they moved the ball enough to get several field goals and win the game.
Not only did Ponder involve more than one receiver when they played the Texans last week, the Vikings have also found their own “Randall Cobb.” The Vikings involved Jarius Wright in a variety of looks. Now, Jarius Wright is no Randall Cobb, but he adds an element the Packers will have to be prepared for when they meet the Vikings tomorrow.
Newest Chapter: Packers Vikings Rivalry
Ultimately, the Vikings win against the Texans last week was a result of good field position throughout the game that the Vikings were able to turn into points. So, I’m not really worried about tomorrow’s game. All we need to do is get some points on the board early and nullify Peterson (something that’s going to be easier with Clay back) and we should win this game with little effort. The added elements the Vikings showed against the Texans will force us to respect the passing game more than we have in the past, but we should be fine.