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Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer against Green Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

 

NFC North supremacy and the brutal cold of a late-December night game at Lambeau Field.

 

Well, so much for most of that.

 

The Vikings have clinched the division title and have an eye on securing a first-round bye and possibly earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Packers, on the other hand, are out of the playoff picture. Aaron Rodgers, whose right collarbone was broken during a season-defining loss at Minnesota in Week 6, is back on injured reserve after throwing three interceptions in a killer loss at Carolina.

 

At least it will be cold for Saturday night's game. The predicted low for Saturday night is 1.

 

Zimmer insists his team, which has won nine of its last 10, won't overlook the Packers, who won't be part of the postseason for the first time since 2008.

 

"I told my team this: We're a good team, we're not a great team," Zimmer said. "I don't know if there's any great teams out there, but we're a good team. We don't have the luxury of looking past anybody, and that's really not our mentality as a football team (or) the kind of guys that we have."

 

The landscape of the NFL underwent a seismic shift during the first quarter of the teams' matchup in Minneapolis on Oct. 15. That's when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr took Rodgers to the turf after a pass. Rodgers suffered a broken right collarbone. Minnesota won 23-10 to record the second of eight consecutive wins. The Packers went on to lose four of Brett Hundley's first five starts at quarterback.

 

Rodgers returned last week but the Packers lost 31-24 at Carolina. Green Bay put Rodgers back on injured reserve and has turned over the offense again to Hundley. He's thrown eight touchdowns vs. eight interceptions this season -- including one touchdown and three picks in relief of Rodgers at Minnesota. In four home starts, the Packers have gone 1-3 with Hundley throwing zero touchdowns vs. five interceptions.

 

"I think he's grown quite a bit," Zimmer said. "He's making a lot of quick decisions. He's been taking care of the football well. He's using his legs quite a bit. He's obviously got a strong arm, very athletic guy. He starting to see a lot more as far as the things when he wants to get the ball out to the perimeter when guys are playing off coverage, does a nice job with movement in the pocket, and he's starting to really -- I'm not saying he's Rodgers, but he's got a lot of very similar mannerisms."

 

Hundley will face an enormous challenge against Minnesota's powerful defense. The Vikings rank second in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense. Defensive end Everson Griffen, who has 13 sacks, Barr and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were selected to the Pro Bowl team on Tuesday.

 

"We've seen these guys, me personally, for three years now," Hundley said. "To play against these guys, and now to get another chance to play them, it's a great opportunity. They do what they do well, very well. They're one of the best defenses in the league."

 

Green Bay's defense relies on big plays that have been too infrequent. The Packers kept their season alive by scoring a defensive touchdown in the overtime win vs. Tampa Bay and forcing an interception in overtime to win at Cleveland. At Carolina, however, the Packers failed to force any turnovers and gave up four touchdown passes to Cam Newton and a season-worst 29 first downs.

 

Green Bay is No. 30 in opponent passer rating (100.5) and No. 31 in opponent completion percentage (68.4). Vikings quarterback Case Keenum is No. 8 in rating (98.9) and No. 2 in completion percentage (67.9).

 

"He's been given an opportunity and obviously he's had a number of experiences and I'm sure he's learned from them all to prepare himself for this opportunity in Minnesota," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's doing a hell of a job. He has really good tape."

 

On the injury front, Packers receiver Davante Adams remains in the concussion protocol following the helmet-to-helmet hit by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis that resulted in Davis getting a one-week suspension. Adams is second in the NFL with 10 touchdown catches.

 

Starting outside linebackers Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder) and guard Jahri Evans (knee) also didn't practice for Green Bay. For Minnesota, reserve cornerback Tramaine Brock (foot) was the only player to not practice.

 

 

 

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Hopefully the Vikings put up 90. Need to increase our odds of trashing Capers who says he isn't ready for retirement.

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Hopefully the Vikings put up 90. Need to increase our odds of trashing Capers who says he isn't ready for retirement.

You ain't got the players for a good defense. Outside of Daniels and Martinez your front 7 is toothless without Peppers. Capers ain't the main problem

Edited by BwareDWare94

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You ain't got the players for a good defense. Outside of Daniels and Martinez your front 7 is toothless without Peppers. Capers ain't the main problem

 

Oh, he definitely is the main problem. Not saying the Packers would go from zero to hero next year without him, but it gives them a fighting a chance.

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I definitely think scheme and coaching play a big role in football. I hope Capers stays for years to come!

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This is definitely a trap game, by the way. Gotta finish against two much lesser teams and get that 1st round bye and probably HFA since the Eagles could face a really good Carolina or Atlanta team in the Divisional round.

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This is definitely a trap game, by the way. Gotta finish against two much lesser teams and get that 1st round bye and probably HFA since the Eagles could face a really good Carolina or Atlanta team in the Divisional round.

Maybe a little, but its Brett Hundley ... youll be fine

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Oh, he definitely is the main problem. Not saying the Packers would go from zero to hero next year without him, but it gives them a fighting a chance.

You guys have had to trot out corners and safeties on lolBennySapp's level over and over again this season, and have missed Daniels a few times. Dom Capers would look like a great DC with better pieces and fewer injuries. Look, I think the whole FO and coaching staff should see the door in Green Bay, but a new regime wouldn't turn this current roster into something it isn't, even with a healthy Rodgers. It's going to take a lot of new blood to put the Packers legitimately on the Super Bowl radar. They need to quit patching the holes and build a new ship.

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I think your wrong. Give me a decent but not great opportunistic defense and the Packers can win a Super Bowl. Dom Capers has been calling the same plays for 30 years teams just know how to attack him. And lets not forget that he doesnt believe in adjustments. Its the game plan going in or bust.

 

Would they be a bit better with fewer injuries and more stability? Sure, but so would everyone. Green Bays too need is an impact pass rusher (without looking at the FAs we have coming up)

 

If there was a consistent pass rush, the entire defense would look better, even if it was just masking some of the mistakes

Edited by Olenna4Ever

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Rodgers' elite play gives almost any roster "a chance" but those chances are always small if the rest of the roster can't do their part. Build the roster. Spend some money. Get a new draft committee in place.

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I dunno about trap game, regardless of how they've been this year, they were running a super long playoff streak, and still managed to have a prayer this late in the season. The Vikings shouldn't be looking past them, Zimmer doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would get cocky about a limping division rival.

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I understand that the thermostat reads FUCK YOU in Green Bay right now, but this game should have been over at halftime

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You ain't got the players for a good defense. Outside of Daniels and Martinez your front 7 is toothless without Peppers. Capers ain't the main problem

Guess you haven't heard of Kenny Clark. Nick Perry is pretty good when healthy but once again he broke his hand and has had a whole myriad of injuries. As for other defensive players, Randall? Burnett? Ha Ha?

 

As for the game, haven't been impressed by Minnesota's offense at all. Playing against a bunch of backups and only 13 points.

 

The receivers haven't helped Hundley at all with all the drops, so the offense has looked pretty bad. Some horrible playcalling doesn't help either. If the Packers are shutout twice in one season at home, some heads have to roll.

 

Least Bakhtiari is showing how good he is, completely stonewalled Everson Griffin.

Edited by Packers Dynasty 2010

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Ugly game, won't go as far as saying the team is gonna bust in the playoffs but ugly. Probably a mix of weather, rivalry game, and Packers run D showing up. Think if we win next week we'll be fine, the only way we'd play outdoors in that scenario is if Philly makes it to the NFC Championship game.

Edited by OSUViking

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Not gonna get worked up over a bad offensive performance against Green Bay. The last time Minnesota's offense showed up to play against Green, fucking Christian Ponder had his best game as a pro. That seems decades ago (thankfully). This team is better than that. This offense is better than that. This defense is miles better than that. Let's get win #13 next week and guarantee HFA because Philadelphia is not beating an NFC South team in the Divisional Round with Nick Foles at QB.

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Just watched McCarthy's post game conference, what a pathetic excuse of a head coach. This team was just shutout twice at home in the same season, and McCarthy just shot that question down. His boy Hundley that has been in his QB school for 3 years has been horrendous and he defends Hundley and his decisions throughout the game.

"I'm a highly successful coach" No...you're a coach that has benefited from 2 HoF QBs and the fact that possibly the most talented QB ever only has 1 Super Bowl shows bad you are, Mike. This entire coaching staff need to go.

Edited by Packers Dynasty 2010

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If Minnesota plays like they did tonight I'm not scared of them, but it sounds like this was far from their best performance, so I'll withhold judgment.

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Minnesota never plays well at either Lambeau or Soldier Field, no matter who's a better team. I'm not worried about it. While I like to think weather shouldn't matter, 5 fucking degrees is going to matter. Keenum made a hell of a throw and Diggs a hell of a catch on their only TD, which they'll get more of indoors or in better conditions.

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Hundley is meh but he had no help yesterday, receivers dropped everything.

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If the Vikings can't play well in the cold they're going to get bounced from the playoffs pretty quickly. Especially against teams that actually have a pass rush. This could be chalked up to a bad game but idk man.

Edited by seanbrock

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They're not going to have to play anywhere that's actually cold unless Pennsylvania has an unprecedented cold spell. Minnesota's stadium is indoors

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Bware, what have you thought about Ben Gedeon? Haven't had much opportunities to watch in general this year, and generally I'm not good at following the LBs when I do watch.

Edited by OSUViking

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Bware, what have you thought about Ben Gedeon? Haven't had much opportunities to watch in general this year, and generally I'm not good at following the LBs when I do watch.

There's really no way to evaluate him without all22 footage. He seems to make plays on special teams, though.

 

We're so spoiled with Barr and Kendricks we can run mostly 2 LB sets

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