Packers Look to Win Fifth Straight Against Vikings
The rejuvenated Green Bay Packers have been fighting for their postseason lives for a month, with great success. They'll try to win their fifth in a row - and put themselves even closer to a possible playoff berth - this Saturday at noon against the Vikings at Lambeau Field.
After a 4-6 start, the Packers have won four straight games to keep their division title hopes alive. Green Bay has also entered the race for an NFC wild card spot thanks to their recent hot streak. If the playoffs started now, the Packers would edge out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the conference's final wild card spot, thanks to an advantage in strength of schedule, the sixth tiebreaker the league uses to determine wild card positions.
A win over the Vikings Saturday would guarantee the Packers a chance to win the division the following week. Even a Packers loss wouldn't eliminate the green and gold from division title contention if the Lions lose to Dallas Monday.
The NFC North rivals in Green Bay and Minnesota last met in week two, the opening game for Minnesota's new U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings won that game, but lost Adrian Peterson to injury. Peterson returned last week against the Colts, but has been ruled out for Saturday's game at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, was a full participant in practice Wednesday and dropped off the injury report by Friday. Damarious Randall is one of a small group of Packers who will miss Saturday's game because of injury.
Minnesota, at 7-7, still has playoff aspirations but needs a win Saturday to keep those hopes alive. After a 5-0 start, the Vikings have struggled mightily behind a shaky offensive line. Green Bay had its own issues during a four game losing streak, but they've averaged 34 points per game the last two weeks in wins over Seattle and Chicago.
Ty Montgomery is expected to be at the center of the Pack's rushing attack after Montgomery steamrolled Chicago for 162 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday. That game ended a streak of eight straight contests in which Aaron Rodgers threw multiple touchdown passes.
The Packers visit the Lions on New Year's Day at noon central time. The NFL could decide to change that kickoff time to 7:30PM central, a decision that must be made by Monday.