Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers NFL Playoff Predictions 1/5

Last Updated: January 5th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Purple JesusOur 2013 NFL playoffs predictions continue on Saturday, January 5th with the Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers. We are set to make our Vikings vs. Packers predictions, tips, and keys to the game for this crucial duel in the first round of the playoffs.

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#6 Minnesota Vikings @ #3 Green Bay Packers
Vikings vs. Packers Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Vikings vs. Packers Date/Time: Saturday, January 5th, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Vikings vs. Packers On TV: NBC

Key #1: Green Bay has to find a way to slow down All Day
RB Adrian Peterson has ripped apart a number of foes this year, but the way that he has played against the Packers for two games has been just flat out nuts. Purple Jesus has 409 rushing yards in two games versus his divisional rivals, and he had a number of huge runs, including the one that ultimately set up K Blair Walsh for the game winning field goal in Week 17. There is a question as to whether anyone is able to stop Peterson right now, as he has put together 1,598 yards over the course of his last 10 games, and there really hasn’t been a 10-game stretch like this in recent memory. The Packers allowed 118.5 rushing yards per game, but if you take out the two games that Peterson put up, that average came down to 106.2 yards per game, so it isn’t like this is a terrible unit up front. However, Peterson is the best running back in the game, and the argument could be made that he is the MVP of the entire league this year. If he has another huge game, it’ll be tough for the Packers to ultimately triumph.

Vikings @ Packers Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Minnesota Vikings +7.5
Green Bay Packers -7.5
Over/Under 46.5
Click Here to Bet Your Vikings vs. Packers Picks!

Key #2: Aaron Rodgers has to prove that he is the MVP of the league
Minnesota thinks that it has the MVP of the league in Peterson. Green Bay thinks that it has the MVP, too. Granted, we know that Rodgers isn’t going to win the award, but statistically speaking, he is just out of this world. Not only did the former Cal Golden Bear throw for 4,295 yards and 39 TDs, but he also did all of that without a single receiver getting to 1,000 yards. WR James Jones did catch 14 touchdown passes, making him the top scorer amongst receivers this year. The truth of the matter is that it’s all about Rodgers, though. He is the man that is going to make this offense go, and he is going against a pass defense that ranked 24th in the league this year. Rodgers threw for 365 yards and four scores on the road last week, and he had 286 yards at home when these two teams met the first time. If he has another game something in that neck of the woods, the Packers will have a great chance to win. If not, without any semblance of a running game available to him, Rodgers will be in for a long evening.


Key #3: Kicking it to win it
At this level, all of the little things are the ones that separate teams. Three points could go a long way one way or the other for these two teams, and if that’s what the difference turns out to be, the Packers are in some trouble. The normally reliable K Mason Crosby ended up ranking dead last in the league this year in field goal percentage, making just 63.6 percent of his kicks (21-of-33). Granted, he did miss some long ones that he wouldn’t be expected to make all that often, and he has made four kicks in a row after missing two at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears in Week 15. However, it is clear that the former Colorado Buffalo is going to be outkicked by K Blair Walsh if push comes to shove. Walsh knocked in all 10 of his kicks from 50+ yards this year, and he has the leg to boot it from 60 if he is needed to do so. The rookie went 35-of-38 this year on three-point attempts, and he is clearly the better of these two kickers. P Chris Kluwe also averaged 45.0 yards per punt this year, a solid 1.5 yards per kick better than Green Bay P Tim Masthay. Special teams could be huge in this one from start to finish.

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Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Saturday, January 5th, 2013 @ 12:57 am (EST)
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