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Predicting A Packers Win

Mike Tanier always writes a good rundown on the games coming up next week, and he spends a few paragraphs on the Vikings at Packers matchup:

Peterson proved to be an equalizer against the Bears and Chargers. Many teams can beat the Vikings, but none can look past them. The Packers, winners of the last matchup, know that the Vikings can be dangerous if allowed to linger. It took a tip-drill interception in the final minute to beat the Vikings in Week 4, a game in which Brad Childress over-caffeinated and called 39 passes to just 12 Peterson runs. Childress learned the error of his ways, and the pass-run ratio will likely be reversed on Sunday.

The Packers' goal will be to try to salt the game away early, limiting Peterson's ability to beat them. It may not work. The running back-by-democracy system isn't giving Brett Favre the support he needs, so he's reverted to do-it-all mode, donating a turnover for every touchdown he throws. The offensive inconsistency allows opponents to stay close, so Peterson will remain in the gameplan. The Packers will prevail, thanks to their defense and the Minnesota's Three Stooges quarterbacking corps, but the early six-point line is a little scary.

Imagine if Peterson played for the Packers. Now there's a team that could put a scare into the Patriots.

The last line has an interesting thought. What if the Packers had traded up to draft Peterson? Although I would have supported such a move, and in hindsight it looks like a no-brainer, all that speculation is irrelevant. GM Ted Thompson has never traded up for a draft choice. He trades down all the time to grab more picks, but never up.

How will the Packers offense play this weekend? In his last two games in Minneapolis, QB Brett Favre had big passing games, but last season in Lambeau the Packers offense was shut down. Minnesota's only score was an INT returned for a TD. That won't happen this season because of his receivers. By the time the Packers hosted Minnesota last season in week 16, Favre only had confidence throwing to one receiver; WR Donald Driver. This season he seems to be on the same page as Driver, plus WRs Greg Jennings and James Jones, and TE Donald Lee. Minnesota killed San Diego last week by blitzing QB Phillip Rivers hard up the middle and forcing him to rush the deep passes that San Diego favors. The Packers excel at throwing the quick slant route well before the blitz can get to Favre, so Minnesota will have to hold back the blitz to avoid getting carved up in the middle of the field by the Packers' receivers.

This game should be very interesting because I don't see how the Packers can stop Peterson or how Minnesota can stop Favre.