Monday, November 14, 2011

Packers vs Vikings - The Sequel

Between the road games and the bye, tonight's game at Lambeau Field will be the first home game for the Pack in almost a month. It will also be the team's only appearance on Monday Night Football this season, believe it or not, although it's the third of their four scheduled prime-time games overall. The Packers are favored over the ViQueens by 12.5 to 13.5 points depending upon whose odds you look at for this sort of thing. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Packers beat writer extraordinare, Bob McGinn, notes, "The line tonight is the largest the Vikings have faced in Green Bay in 50 years." The over-under: 49.5 points.

So, what do we know about this game? Well, the Packers are 8-0, and 14-0 going back to last season. It's interesting, though: if the Packers were an East Coast team -- and we can thank all that is holy and right and green 'n' gold in the universe that they are not -- don't you think that ESPN et all would be going totally ape-hockey over the team and this game? Be thankful for the way things are. The players and coaches, by virtue of being in the soon-to-be frozen tundra of Green Bay, are a bit out of the way for the networks and reporters to cover regularly. That means they can concentrate on what they are getting paid to do: play football. Period. If a player wants to be a winner -- a Super Bowl Champion -- come to Green Bay. If you want to hang out at the trendiest clubs with your posse, good luck with that. See ya in Loserville, Bunky.

OK, sorry for the rant...where were we? Oh, yes, the game and what we know about it...

The Packers, barring an injury to uber-QB Aaron Rodgers, will put up points. Lots of points. The best the 'Queens can muster on defense, and he's good, let's be honest, is DE Jared Allen. The rest of their D-line is average, which still means the Packers offensive line has to show up to give Rodgers time to exploit a weak secondary. CB Antoine Winfield is probable for tonight. On offense, the 'Queens have the troublesome Adrian Peterson who will cause problems for the Packers as he usually does. Rookie QB Christian Ponder fared far too well in his first start -- against the Packers in the Humpty Dump, lest we forget -- and will probably cause a few problems on scrambles tonight. If WR Percy Harvin is in gear, he and TE Jim Kleinsasser are the main receiving threats for the 'Queens.

The fact is, the Packers have the 30th-ranked overall defense and the 31st-ranked pass defense. Unless some changes have been made, that defense will give up points. But it's bend-don't-break time once again. As with most games between these two teams it will be tight. I'd like to think the defense can stop a team before the last minute of a game in order to put things away early. But I doubt that will happen tonight.

So, I'm calling it Packers 34, ViQueens 27.

Go Pack Go!!!