It’s a back-to-back battle for two NFC North rivals, as the teams switch towns and the Minnesota Vikings hit the road to play the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round of the NFC playoffs. The Vikings were able to defeat Green Bay last weekend in order to clinch their berth to the postseason. Will they be able to repeat that big performance on the road, or will Green Bay turn things around and assert themselves as the superior club? Here’s a look at what you can expect from the NFL Playoff game along with our official Minnesota vs. Green Bay predictions & odds.
Green Bay finished the year with an 11-5 record, including a great second half run after a fairly slow and uneven start. Last year, Aaron Rodgers was the MVP of the league, but the team was ousted by the New York Giants. The year before that, they won the Super Bowl of course, and the team very much believes they are still in that prime window of opportunity to continue bringing home championship hardware.
For all of the talk of that slow start and what was wrong in Green Bay, the team scored 27.1 points per game, 5th best in the league, and Rodgers threw for about 4,300 yards with a 67.2% completion percentage and 108.0 quarterback rating, amazing numbers. He had 39 touchdowns against just 8 interceptions. Those numbers are just slightly off his MVP pace of last season, so he’s been exceptional.
Of course, on the other side of the field, a certain Mr. Adrian Peterson has been in the headlines as of late. He has had one of the single best rushing seasons in NFL history, particularly considering his injury at the end of last year, and his amazing and swift comeback from that.
He rushed for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season, with a 6.0 yards per carry average. He came up just 9 yards short of breaking the all-time single season rushing record in the league. Head to head against the Packers, with two games in December, he rushed for 210 yards in Green Bay, and then 199 yards at home. So everyone knows that he can run against them basically at will.
By the numbers for our official predictions & odds, the Green Bay Packers are a 7.5 point home favorite over the Vikings, the largest margin of the four games this weekend. You could take Green Bay straight up at -380, or Minnesota at +310. The over/under line has been set at 46 points.
Minnesota has been a fun team to follow over the final month of the season, particularly with Peterson’s amazing push to try to break that rushing record. It’s a shame he came so close but just didn’t quite get there. Here, on the road, he won’t be enough for the Vikings to get the win. Look for him to put up a solid 125-150 yards on the ground, but for Green Bay to outclass the Vikings and win the game.