Green Bay Packers (11-4 SU, 9-6 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (9-6 SU, 7-7-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 17
When: Sunday, December 30, 2012, 4:25PM EST
Where: Mall of America Field/Metrodome - Minneapolis, MN
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB -3/MIN +3
Over/Under Total: 46
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This Sunday, we will see a great NFC North matchup. The Green Bay Packers will make a short hop to take on the Minnesota Vikings in a game that has huge playoff implications. The Packers have a shot to win the number 2 seed in the NFC and Minnesota needs a win to clinch a playoff spot. Unlike most week 17 games, both of these squads have a lot to play for and there will be no resting the starters in this one. Green Bay, just like the last few years, has been led by their one time MVP quarterback, Aaron Rogers. They have clinched their division, and have at least one home playoff game, but they would love to grab that 2nd seed and Bye week. Minnesota on the other hand, has been a total shocker. Adrian Peterson, who many thought wouldn’t be able to play til mid season hasn’t only come back from injury to have a good year, he is having a career year. Peterson has a chance to pass Eric Dickerson and set the NFL all time season rushing record if he goes for more than 208 yards this weekend. Earlier this season, Green Bay beat Minnesota 23-14, but Peterson went for 210 yards rushing. I have a feeling we will see much of the same. A great battle down to the wire, with the Vikings replying on their run game to keep them alive.
Green Bay has been here before. Just two seasons ago, they were able to lift up the Lombardi Trophy while last year, they went 15-1 only to lose in the post season to the eventual Super Bowl champ. Green Bay has gone somewhat under the radar this season, only because they haven’t blasted teams like they did last year, and they are sitting on a 11-4 record. Green Bay appears to have come down to earth a little since they won it all, but this is still a very dangerous team. Aaron Rogers has passed for nearly 4,000 yards with 35 touchdowns and only 8 interceptionsnow those are some impressive numbers! The key to Green Bay’s success is simple, pass the ball. If Green Bay’s O Line can give Rogers the protection he needs, I have no doubt he can expose the Vikings DBs. The Vikings do have a good pass rush, but if the Pack can hold them in check, this could be a laugher for the Packers.
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The Minnesota Vikings have been a pretty big surprise this year. No one had them picked to make the playoffs, much less be close to winning the division. Now, they will not win the north, but they sure made a good run at it. Speaking of run, I am sick of hearing about how Peyton Manning is a shoe in for the NFL’s comeback player of the year, no way, that award should go to Adrian Peterson. Not only is AP on pace to set an all time rushing record, but he has done in less than a year after what in all honesty could have been a career threatening injury. The Vikings defense along with Adrian Peterson deserve most, if not, all the praise for this teams great season. Minnesota enters week 17 ranked 3rd in all the NFL in rushing and 13th against the run. Both of those are pretty good numbers, but the alarming stat, especially for this contest is the fact that the Vikes are ranked dead last in the NFL in passing yards. Led by Christian Ponder, Minnesota is only passing for a little over 165 yards a game. In order to have a chance to win this game, they must make Green Bay at least respect the pass. Minnesota doesn’t need to come out and throw for over 300 yards, but they certainly need to keep the Packers off balance in order to get Peterson some open field.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This could end up being a great game. Both teams are very disciplined and have played good football here as of late. Green Bay, like I stated earlier has been here before, but Minnesota seems to be that team of destiny. With Adrian Peterson leading the way, Minnesota has been tough to beat. I really like this Vikings team, but I just have to go with experience in this game. As much as I am pulling for Minnesota to win, I just have too much respect for the Green Bay Packers. I think the Vikings will keep it close early on but in the end, Green Bay makes too many plays. Take the Pack to cover the 3. I like Green Bay, 27-20. PICK: PACKERS -3
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