Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vikings vs. Packers, Round 1

Ring the bell and come out swinging. It's time for round one against our favorite rival--the Green Bay Packers. It's going to be a knock down, drag out fight. Get comfortable in your seats folks, this one's going 12 rounds.

Do you need another cliche? Announcers favorite thing to say is that "you can throw out the records when these two teams play" (see: Aikman, Troy). But I won't do that. Let's face facts: the Packers are undefeated...(sorry, I just threw up in my mouth writing that)...and the Vikings just lost to the abysmal Chiefs to fall to 1-2 on the year. Obviously this looks like a blow out to the casual fan. Lucky for you, I am not a casual fan. So let's break this heated matchup down, Nick Bakay-style.

Vikings Offense vs. Packers Defense

Advantage, Green Bay (big time!). The Purple's struggles on offense have been well documented, especially on this site. The quarterback play has been simply awful, whether it's Jackson getting happy feet and throwing the ball to god knows who, or Holcomb sitting in the pocket for days on end until he eventually, and predictably, gets sacked.

These guys simply aren't getting the job done. Speaking of which, the Vikings O line has been below average, at best, this year. The lone bright spot is super rookie Adrian Peterson. He's a stud and the focus of our man crush here at TKOT, so the Pack better watch out. Of course, one player does not make a team, and the Packers defense is extremely talented. Their front seven is outstanding, and guys like Kampman, KGB, Barnett, and Hawk will be all over the place causing chaos. Oh, and their corners, Woodson and Harris, will easily cover our inept receivers. To say that this matchup is one-sided is an understatement.

Vikings Defense vs. Packers Offense

Advantage, Minnesota (barely). Yes, I'm well aware that good old Booze'n'Pills will likely break Marino's career TD record on Sunday. That doesn't give GB the advantage here. Minnesota's defense has been lights out this season and Brett loves to throw interceptions.

Plus, the Pack's well publicized lack of a running game will allow the Vikings front line and linebackers to pin their ears back and get after the glorious #4. It's close, but the Purple get the nod here.

Special Teams

Advantage, Green Bay. The Vikings ST have done nothing to warrant any criticism. Unfortunately, they haven't done anything to warrant any praise either. The Packers, on the other hand, have been very opportunistic in their first three games. For further evidence, you need only to look at that fluke, I mean win, against Philadelphia in Week 1. If either team's return game can pull off a big play, it could be the deciding factor in this game.

Coaching/Game Management

Adavantage, Green Bay. Brad Childress sucks and his offense does not "kick a**". Sorry, that just had to be said.


Advantage, Push. The Vikes are playing at home, which is usually an advantage. However, over the past couple of years there have been more and more Packer Backers filling the blue plastic chairs in the Hump Dome.

On the other hand, everyone and their mother knows that Favre is going for Marino's record, so there could be some big time pressure on him that leads to him forcing passes. If he starts slinging the ball all over the place, you could see a flash of purple heading for the end zone after Brett's third (or fourth, or fifth...) interception. This of course will lead to every Vikings fan's favorite image of Football Jesus...

In the end, this game is going to be a lot closer than people realize--every Vikings/Packers game is. The reality is that Green Bay should win this game going away. But don't sleep on the Purple on Sunday. They might just surprise a few people and ruin some bets. And then you can tell your friends that you heard it here first.

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