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Preview: Vikings at Green Bay Packers

When I first saw that the Green Bay Packers were favored by 14 points over the Vikings, I couldn't believe it. The Vikings had an ugly road loss in Chicago a few weeks back, but otherwise they've been close in every game. With memories of Adrian Peterson slashing apart the Packer defense a couple weeks ago, and their narrow victory over the Vikings last season in Lambeau, I've been expecting this to be a tough game. On the other hand, I can see how the Packers might cruise to a 14 point victory.

While I don't think the Packers can do anything to stop Peterson except keep the ball out of his hands, Christian Ponder didn't have a great game against the Packers in their previous meeting (51.1 QBR). His rating was about the same the following week, and it could fall lower on Monday night. He may feel comfortable in the cold, but every QB isn't as accurate in it. They'll be hard pressed to surpass the 27 points they scored in their last meeting.

On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers loses some accuracy in the cold too. But he's so accurate to begin with that it shouldn't make a big difference. The Vikings are happy to get CB Antoine Winfield back, but he's not a cure-all either for a struggling secondary. According to Football Outsiders, the Vikings pass defense is ranked lower than either the Saints or Rams, and Rodgers torched both of those teams at home. RB James Starks also proved at their end of their last meeting that he and the offensive line can run against the Vikings when they need to. 

Still I think this game will be closer than some expect. Packers 31, Vikings 21.