Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
The Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers meet for the second time in two weeks as the face off at Lambeau Field in the NFL Playoffs for a NFC Wildcard match up. The Packers are -9.5 point favorites over the Vikings with an over/under point total set at 46.
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season and they needed a win in week 17 to make the playoffs and they were able to get it done. The Vikings didn’t do a lot fancy or surprising they were just effective running the football and playing defense which is a time tested formula for winning in the NFL. Christian Ponder has quietly completed 62.1 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while being sacked 32 times. Adrian Peterson had a career year and really an all-time year averaging 6.0 yards per carry and rushing for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns while also catching 40 passes, all of this coming off of a knee injury a year earlier which many thought would cost him this season. Kyle Rudolph has 53 catches and nine touchdowns, Michael Jenkins has 40 catches, and Jerome Simpson has 26 catches as the Vikings have been without their best receiver, Percy Harvin, who was lost for the year. Defensively the Vikings allow 21.8 points per game, 105.8 rushing yards, and 244.3 passing yards with 10 interceptions and 44 sacks. Chad Greenway has 148 tackles, Harrison Smith has 103 tackles, and Antoine Winfield has 100 tackles while Jared Allen has 12 sacks. The Vikings beat the Packers in their last game so don’t look for them to be intimidated here.
The Green Bay Packers won the NFC North but they had a chance to make their road to the Super Bowl easier with a win in week 17 but they couldn’t get it done against this same Vikings team. The Packers took the long road to the Super Bowl two years ago and won it all so don’t look for the Packers’ confidence to be shaken in any way. Aaron Rodgers has completed 67.2 percent of his passes with 39 touchdowns and eight interceptions while being sacked 51 times. The Packers never found a feature back but Alex Green averaged 3.4 yards per carry and Ryan Grant came back averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Randall Cobb had 80 catches and eight touchdowns, James Jones had 64 catches and 14 touchdowns, and Jermichael Finley had 61 catches while Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings were both slowed by injuries but are playing in this one. Defensively the Packers allow 21 points per game, 118.5 rushing yards, and 218.3 passing yards with 18 interceptions and 47 sacks. Morgan Burnett has 123 tackles, A.J. Hawk has 120 tackles, and Clay Mathews has 13 sacks despite missing several games due to injury. The Packers will look to put last week’s loss in the rearview mirror and with a win they would play at San Francisco next week.
Minnesota is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games, 5-2 against the spread following a cover, and 5-2 against the spread after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game. Green Bay is 4-1 against the spread in their last five playoff games, 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games against the NFC, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five Wildcard games. The home team has covered the spread in the last four meetings of these two.
The scoring between these two was big a week ago and no reason it shouldn’t be a week later so my pick is that this one goes over the total.