10. Play a Full 60 Mins. The Packers last two games have been a tale of the halves. They outscored the Rams 24-3 in the first half and then didn’t score again. In Atlanta they scored 14 straight in the second half to walk away with the win. Quarterback said the offense wasn’t pleased about being shut out after half of last weeks game. The Packers will have to play a whole four quarters to walk away with this win, and I think they are up to the challenge.
9. Who Will Cover Harvin? Besides Adrian Peterson,WR Percy Harvin is the Vikings best weapon. Normally the Packers cover him with the speediest guy, Sam Shields. Shields will likely miss this week with a concussion so someone else will have to combat Harvin’s speed. CB/SS Jarret Bush will likely replace Shields, and it will be curious to see if he can keep up with Harvin.
8. Newhouse vs. Allen. Left guard Marshall Newhouse will have his biggest challenge of the season. He will be going up against the NFL’s leader in sacks, Jared Allen(9.5). Allen has always been a thorn in the side of Packers. No one will forget his two games against the Packers in 09 which resulted in 7.5 sacks. Newhouse will have to be on top of his game for this tremendous task.
7. Drops. So far, the Packers have only dropped 10 passes on the season. 4 of those dropped passes came last week against the Rams. One drop in particular, by normally sure handed receiver Gregg Jennings led to 1 of Aaron Rodgers 3 interceptions on the season. There was talk that the receivers are holding themselves more accountable for mistakes. We will see on Sunday.
6. Score Big In The First Half. Earlier this season the Vikings set a NFL record with 3 blown first half leads in three straight games. If the Packers can out score the Vikings in the first half it should bode well for the second half. Look for the Packers offense to try and set the pace early.
5. Injury Woes For Vikings. Starting Cornerback Antoine Winfield is doubtful and likely out for sunday’s game. Safety Jamarca Sanford is doubtful as well. Also, second year corner Chris Cook was arrested Friday night for assault. There’s no doubt the Packers greatest strength is their passing game. Look for the Packers to exploit the beat up Vikings secondary.
4. Establish The Run. With all the talent the Packers posses in the passing game they always try to establish run. Since week 3, against the Bears they haven’t been successful. The Vikings always boast a tough run defense, so look for coach McCarthy to try and prove they run against the best of them.
3. Clay Matthews Sacks. Last week Clay Matthews had his best game of the season against the Rams. He almost had an interception, 1 sack, and blew up countless plays. Look for him to try and continue the dominance this weekend.
2. Ponder Makes Debut. First round draft pick and rookie quarterback Christian Ponder will make his debut against the Packers. It’s up to the defense to show Ponder is only a rookie and not play to his advantages. Ponder played the 4th quarter in last weeks game against the Bears, but there isn’t much film beyond that for the Packers to study. Look for defensive coordinator Dom Capers to throw some new looks at the kid.
1. STOP THE RUN! Vikings RB Adrian Peterson gives defensive coordinators fits. The Packers have been “decent” against Peterson in his four year career. The running back averages 100 yards in games against the Packers. Not since 2008 though has Peterson singlehandedly beat the Packers. If the Packers can stop the run it will force the rookie QB to make plays.
Enjoy the game!