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9 Vikings-Packers Storylines To Follow

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2012 – 8:22 am

It’s Vikings vs. Packers. It’s Week 17. And playoff implications are on the line. It won’t take much effort to drum up excitement for this game. The story will write itself most of the week and on Sunday, but we’ll still stick to our normal Wednesday routine and go over several Vikings-Packers storylines to watch during the week.

1. Major Playoff Implications On The Line
The Vikings can punch their ticket to the postseason with a win over Green Bay on Sunday. It would be their first postseason appearance since 2009 and it would most likely setup a rematch against Green Bay next weekend at Lambeau Field. To do that, the Vikings will have to overcome the Packers best effort because they also have something to play for – a 1st-round bye. If Green Bay wins on Sunday, not only could they knock their border rivals from the playoff picture, they can also secure a spot in the Divisional round.

2. Historic Turnaround
With a win on Sunday the Vikings will notch their 10th victory of the season, which would represent a 7-win turnaround from their 3-13 campaign a season ago. That would be the team’s biggest increase in win totals from one season to the next in team history. From 1997 to 1998, the Vikings increased their win total by 6, going from 9-7 to 15-1.

3. Game Flexed To 3:25; FOX’s #1 Crew Aboard To Broadcast Game
With so much on the line Sunday, the NFL and FOX have decided to the game from a 12:00 CT kickoff to 3:25 p.m. In addition, FOX will send its top broadcast team to Minneapolis for the game, with Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analyst) and Pam Oliver (sideline reporter) calling the action.

4. Adrian Peterson Chases History
Can he do it? That’s what everyone’s wondering as the final regular season game approaches and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson sits so close to history. Peterson is 102 yards from the 2,000-yard rushing mark and he’s 208 yards from breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. It’s perhaps the NFL’s top individual story of 2012, with Peterson rushing towards history less than a year removed from a serious knee injury. All the accolades and team success also has Peterson neck-and-neck with Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning for MVP talk. If Peterson tops the 2,000-yard mark, surpasses or even approaches Dickerson’s mark and the Vikings win to clinch a playoff spot, I find it hard to make a case against Peterson for MVP honors.

5. Blair Walsh Chases History, Too
If not for Peterson’s pursuit of such revered records, one could make a solid argument for K Blair Walsh being the Vikings MVP. Walsh, a rookie selected in the 6th round last April, is 32 of 25 (91.4%) on FGs for the season, including a perfect 9 of 9 from 50+. His 9 FGs of 50+ yards is a team and NFL single-season record, his 49 touchbacks on the season rank 4th in the NFL and 1st in team history, he’s already set a new Vikings rookie scoring record, and he’s just 3 made FGs from tying the team record (Gary Anderson – 1998).

6. Injury Report – Who’s In, Who’s Out?
The Packers have dealt with injuries to key players all season, especially over the course of the last two months. Last week, the Packers were without TE Tom Crabtree, RBs Alex Green and James Starks, WR Jordy Nelson, DL CJ Wilson and Jerel Worthy and CB Charles Woodson. WR Greg Jennings has missed significant time this season, several offensive linemen have been in and out of the lineup and LB Clay Matthews missed time because of a groin injury. Now, though, Green Bay is getting healthier. All of the above-mentioned players will have a good shot to be in the lineup this Sunday.

Speaking of injuries to key players, the Vikings will be watching two defensive starters closely this week. DE Brian Robison (shoulder) and CB Antoine Winfield will be on the injury report. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier expressed confidence that Winfield will make it to Sunday, but was less sure about Robison. Also, Peterson has been dealing with an abdominal injury and will be monitored all week, but Frazier said after Sunday’s win in Houston that Peterson will play on Sunday.

7. Can Vikings Pass Rush Get To Aaron Rodgers
Everyone will surely point to pass rush as the key defensively for the Vikings. The Vikings defense has been in top form the past 2 weeks, shutting down the Houston Texans last week and stifling the St. Louis Rams the week prior. Slowing down Aaron Rodgers and Co. is an entirely different matter, however. In 10 games against the Packers, Vikings DE Jared Allen has 15.0 sacks and 4 passes defensed. Can Allen register one of his trademark games against Green Bay? Everson Griffen has a career-high 5.0 sacks this season. Can he add to his total? The Vikings have utilized more pressures (LBs) and blitzes (DBs) to pressure the passer the past 2 weeks. Will the Vikings continue that trend against Green Bay? All interesting questions this week.

8. Vikings Offensive Line Comes Off Dominant Performance vs. Houston
The Vikings have started the same 5 offensive linemen for all 15 games this season, and they are set to make it 16 straight games on Sunday against Green Bay. And if that group plays against Green Bay the way they played against Houston, the Vikings will be in great shape. Here are just a few of the notable accomplishments the Vikings OL registered against a well-regarded Texans defensive front last Sunday: 11 rushing 1st downs, the most Houston has allowed all season; 34:46 time of possession compared to just 25:14 for Houston; previous high for rushing yards allowed by Houston was 158, and the Vikings rushed for 174 yards; Vikings ran the ball 42 times and Houston’s previous high allowed was 33;  Vikings are now one of just three teams to register a rushing TD vs. Houston; just 1 sack allowed against a team that registered 3 per game coming into the contest.

9. Will Vikings Dome-Field Advantage Make A Difference?
The Vikings have traditionally had one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. Last year, though, they were just 1-7 at home. The tides have quickly changed this year, as the Vikings boast a 6-1 record at home and are looking to make it 7-1 after Sunday. Frazier often mentions the Mall of America Field crowd as being a difference-maker in games, and if the Vikings win on Sunday you can be sure that a raucous home crowd will have been a factor.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 49 Comments »


49 Responses to “9 Vikings-Packers Storylines To Follow”

  1. By GrandDaddyPurp on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    PAY PERCY

  2. By Ozzinator on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Second!

  3. By rory from n.w.ark on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    The MN Vikings are full of confidence,we are pretty healthy considering other teams pains,I dont think in 40 years of watching this team have I ever seen more determination ,Peterson is on a mission and Id hate to get in his way sunday,Christian is getting his confidence back and seems his foot work and ball speed have improved over last several games,The defense ,WOW they need to take that physicalplay and get to Rodgers,bring lots of rope Jared,We will win this game I hope the fans pack that place and its so loud makes Packers get out of their gameplan….GO VIKINGS WHIP THE CHEESEHEADS PLEASE…..

  4. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    usually, they have about 30,000 packers fans at the dome, it’s not really homefield advantage

  5. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    it will be similiar to the rams game. their were about 20,000 vikings fans there. packers will be a bit louder with a additional 10,000 fans at the dome

  6. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Wobbs…

    Walsh 32 of 35 (91.4)…

    You have 32 of 25…

  7. By rory from n.w.ark on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Than heres how we fix that problem,Wisconson residense will only be allowed 10,000 tickets ,should be a new Mn law….keep the cheesheads out..

  8. By Marshall on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Home fans have to bring it on every down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    We got this

  10. By MuskyFever on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    The Fudge Packers should ahve the majority of their starters for this game. Not sure if Woodson is healthy or not, but I would think he will be back for this game if he is. Matthews is obviously back in the mix and will be coming after Ponder. But I think that JJ watt has more talent than Matthews. But it is going to be a crazy crazy game

  11. By vikingbob136 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Started drinking my tea already so my voice is in yelling form this Sunday.
    I feel good about this game although not thrilled that Winfield has broken hand.

  12. By vikingbob136 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    OTK to replace Wobs in 2013.
    You got my vote!!!

  13. By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    They shouldn’t sell tickets to cheesehead and they are easy are to spot because they look soo stupid.I see ponder throwing for 250 or more yards and 3 TDs and 1 int. And Peterson rushing for 213 yards and 2 TD
    Vikings 41 packers 27… But the kicker they have im not sure he’ll make two

  14. By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    OTK you have my vote to.

  15. By chris b on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Cant wait till sunday viks are going to take out the fudge packer. Hope they take rodgers out of the game early

  16. By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Who thinks ponder was playing sloppy because the wedding he was planning?? Do you guys think he was playing bad because that situation or he was just losing it??

  17. By liito on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Adrian,
    1. I pray that you will be in your best shape this coming Sunday and break the rushing record.
    2. I also pray for the team to get into the playoffs and surprise a lot of people.
    3. I would like to wear my Vikings jersey through February 2013. Go Vikings!

  18. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Funny, with all these numbers– 9 story lines, nothing mentioned on how this upcoming crowd will include a large percentage of Packer fans– but for now, let;s stick with 12 ways to wash your hands after carving the Christmas turkey.

  19. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Who thinks ponder was playing sloppy because the wedding he was planning?? Do you guys think he was playing bad because that situation or he was just losing it??

    _______________________

    Men, do not plan weddings…Women do…

    Men plan honeymoons…. ;-)

  20. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Don’t think a lot of planning went into driving to wisconsin

  21. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    vikingbob136 & 1vikingsfan…

    I appreciate your votes…

    But I don’t think Wobbs has any plans of retiring in the near future ???… :-)

    And if he does…I think it should be Titus, Wobbs should hand over the reigns of authority too…

    Someone who does a WAY better job with writing…Than this guy…

  22. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks OT– but you know football better than I do. Of course we could be a team. Like Wobbles and Cardinal. Laurel and Hardy. Ponder and Peterson.

  23. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Adviser position ???…

    Ah yes…I could do that…

  24. By BlueBird7 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Was doing just fine reading the Storyline thing above until I seen,

    Joe Bucks name. In the past, calling other games he can be Anti-Vikings.

    That is why I will mute the TV and putl up the Yankton Vikings Radio station. Much better Clear annoucing, and with more excitement!

  25. By BlueBird7 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    OTK

    I would much rather see you take over for Joe Buck!

  26. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    By BlueBird7 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Was doing just fine reading the Storyline thing above until I seen,

    Joe Bucks name. In the past, calling other games he can be Anti-Vikings.

    That is why I will mute the TV and putl up the Yankton Vikings Radio station. Much better Clear annoucing, and with more excitement!

    ____________________

    Joe Buck…

    Good to see I am not the only one who believes there are 300 better announcers out there than him…hahahaha…

  27. By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    haha otk. But you have to admit when you are getting marry thats all you have in your mind or probably he was soo worried bout the money. But Titus n otk have my vote. You guys will be like Jordan and pippen but who will be Jordan?

  28. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I’ll take Pippen…

    Scotty was Jordan’s supporting cast member…

  29. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Joe Buck is one of the few main announcers who has no game connection ( I don’t think). Aikman is okay– but I can script what he will say– Well, Joe, I said it before and I will say it again. Wow, Joe, I just can’t say it enough– Leslie Frazier has done an outstanding job. Well, you know as well as anyone how I feel about Adrian Peterson; I have the utmost respect for him. AND then about 12 times over the game, we will hear– the Vikings came to play today and their defense is playing LIGHTS OUT, Joe. So predictable.

  30. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    And then another Aikman classic– well, Joe, I played in this dome and I can tell you it is not an easy venue. And if the Vikings win today, they have to go to Lambeau, and that I can tell you is no picnic either.

  31. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    This is going to be a good game Sunday !!!…

    A game that the fans have to stay into at all costs…
    No matter if we fall behind a few scores early or not….

    If the fans stay loud in theis game…The Vikings win…

    If the fans stay behind this young group of players…I think they can over come early mistakes…(if they should happen)…

    Positive attitude…Positive thinking…Cheer your team on !!!!…

    This is a strong young group of players…And can fight back if necessary from behind…

    Its gut check time fans…Root for your team, for a FULL 60 minutes !!!…

    This Sunday might be a roller coaster ride !!!…Be ready for it !!!…

    MAKE SOME NOISE IN THE DOME !!!…

  32. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer…

    Your boy Cook, better be eating his Wheaties and watching plenty of game tape this week !!!…

    I think the Packers are going to be taking some big shots early in this game…Trying to take the crowd out of the game…

    Cobb may have a sore ankle ??…But there are plenty of other weapons for Rodgers to hit long down field…

    You can bet those safeties will be playing back 20 yards off the line of scrimmage…At least early…Until at least the defense gets a feel for how much pressure our front four can get on Rodgers ???…

    I think our secondary gets 3 picks in this game…I know that is a bold call…
    But I like our defense on turf…A LOT !!!…Add the crowd noise…Big game pressure on Rodgers away from home…(yep, you can even rattle the veterans in a scenario like this)…

    Go Vikings !!!!…Your fans are behind you !!!… ;-)

  33. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    This is a playoff caliber game without doubt. Should be a keeper.

  34. By Gilberator on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    OTK- Our team looked good against the pack at lambeau earlier in the season, if not for those picks. I know the pack weren’t fully healthy but neither were we. Griffen is playing outstanding. I don’t think the packers offensive line has the ability to stop Allen, Griffen, Evans, Guion, and Williams all day. Seeing shaub check the ball down and throw out of bounds all day gave me even more confidence in our secondary. Shaub is no Rodgers, but seeing him sit comfortable in the pocket and have NOBODY to throw to was just amazing. Im not worried about the Packs running game. The defenses will have to come up big for a W. Im betting on ours :)

  35. By CaribooBill on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    A key factor that wasn’t listed is the mobility of both QB’s. Schaub is not a very mobile QB, while Rodgers is very able to get out and run the ball. Maybe use Winfield as a spy????

  36. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Gilberator …

    Just hope Griffren can stay out of trouble…That young man is good already…And has the makings of greatness…If he can keep his head in the game of football…And stay out of trouble off the field…

    I think Griffen will get a contract extension before next season rolls around…

    Frazier had a talk with him…It looks like Griffen, took that chat with Frazier to heart…
    Good for him…

  37. By goldeneagle on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    As the saying goes, “we are who we are.” For the Vikings to win, we have to continue doing what has been successful for us. The defense has to bring the wood every down and play sound football. We have to be able to run the football, pass effectively and stay sound with special teams. I think the emotion needed will be there. The Packers are a good football team no doubt. You don’t win 11 (and should of been 12) and not be a good team. However, big wins and upsets are all part of the game. I feel it is our time now. Youth has it’s issues—mainly controlling emotions by not making dumb mistakes (late hits, clipping on big plays from scrimmage, etc.) The upside of youth is young legs and energy–bring that and we will win. Wish I could be at that game. One day I hope to bring my family to Minnesota to experience it! Best of luck to the Vikings and we will be watching from Mississippi Sunday! Keep the Metrodome rocking when the Packers are on offense!!

  38. By TampaVike on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    @ OTKalil2012

    This is going to be a good game Sunday !!!…

    A game that the fans have to stay into at all costs…
    No matter if we fall behind a few scores early or not….

    If the fans stay loud in theis game…The Vikings win…

    If the fans stay behind this young group of players…I think they can over come early mistakes…(if they should happen)…

    Positive attitude…Positive thinking…Cheer your team on !!!!…

    This is a strong young group of players…And can fight back if necessary from behind…

    Its gut check time fans…Root for your team, for a FULL 60 minutes !!!…

    This Sunday might be a roller coaster ride !!!…Be ready for it !!!…

    MAKE SOME NOISE IN THE DOME !!!…

    ___________________________________________

    I have been waiting for the Viking let down and didn’t expect them to be in the position they are……….I know you predicted we would be 4 and 2 in the division this year….I just didn’t believe you. NOW THE VIKES HAVE ME BELIEVING!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am going to make my ROAR all the way from Tampa……Hope you hear it up there!!!!

  39. By Gilberator on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    OTK- Agreed. Griffen seems to have grown up considerably though. Lets hope we score early and control the clock!

  40. By TampaVike on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I am warming up my lur now!!!!!!!!!!!!! and am sure I will be pis sing off the wife soon!

  41. By Gilberator on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I too wish I was attending to make some noise. Sadly, New England is too far away :( I’ll just make sure I get hammered. That willl do the trick.;)

  42. By TampaVike on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    or should I say Gjallarhorn?????

  43. By TampaVike on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. By TampaVike on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    TampaVike…

    Our gladiators have done very well winning games away from home…Against very good teams…Both teams being playoff potential teams also !!!…

    2 weeks our team has been battling away from home…I hope to hear quite a roar from the crowd…When they announce the Vikings when they take the field at HOME this Sunday !!!…

    Because they deserve it ~ BIG TIME !!!!…For what they have accomplished the last 2 weeks !!!…And that goes for the coaching staff also !!!!…

    GO VIKINGS !!!…..

  46. By AP4Prez on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I am so so so psyched for this game! My purple pride is over flowing in anticipation of this game! Looking for AP to break the single season rushing record, a spot in the play offs, another dominating performance by our rising defense, and best of all BEATING THE PACKERS AT HOME! It would be an amazing Christmas present to win a game with these kind of implications! GO PURPLE AND GOLD!

  47. By Immure on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Win or Lose on Sunday I’ve been impressed and satisfied with this teams season (would be more satisfied with another win of course).

  48. By Vikings1 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    @By Immure

    Win or Lose on Sunday I’ve been impressed and satisfied with this teams season (would be more satisfied with another win of course).
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    Well said, I to am very proud of the team and what they have accomplished this season. This team shows the way they use to play when they never gave up but kept fighting till the end. I see a lot of Viking’s pride in this team, man wouldn’t it be great if they could copy what the Giants did last year and go all the way and win the SB, hey the way they are playing, it could happen, I have been faithful for 51 years, go Vikings!!!

  49. By dakotakid59 on Dec 27, 2012 | Reply

    It’s Just amazing 2 me from one week to anouther how the opinions chance,on this blog. A few weeks back some of you guys were asking 4 some of these guy’s heads on a chopping block.And now after a 3 game winning streak all of a sudded it’s like changing a radio station,( and a different tune comes on the radio ) .We are the same team we were at the start of the year,it’s just the ebs and flows of the season that come into play. Week 2 week Injuries have alot 2 do with games of corse turnovers always come into play. We need Adrian Peterson 2 have the game of his life. And I hope the rest of the team 2 a man steps up 2 help him get that record .Because I can’t think of no one who deserves it more then he does. WHAT A BEAST…!!!
    ” GO VIKINGS GO “

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