Packers-Vikings: Key matchups

Wells will be tested by DTs Pat Williams and Kevin Williams

DT Pat Williams vs. C Scott Wells
Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams is coming off his best performance of the season (seven tackle and two sacks) and will likely be going against second-year center Scott Wells. Mike Flanagan is recovering from hernia surgery earlier this month and is listed as questionable.

Williams stands to have a big day if he continues to perform like he did against four-time Pro Bowl selection Olin Kreutz. Pat Williams' success is key because the better he plays the more it will help end/under tackle Kevin Williams have an opportunity to regain his Pro Bowl form of 2004.

Green Bay's offensive line vs. Minnesota's defensive line
The Packers' assertive interior of the defensive line against the Vikings' disjointed interior of the offensive line. Green Bay's liberal rotation of starting tackles Grady Jackson and Cullen Jenkins with Corey Williams, Colin Cole and Kenny Peterson has been at the heart of its ascending to No. 3 in the league in allowing opponents an average of only 3.3 yards per rush. The group also has generated some pressure on passing downs and could have its way against Minnesota's Matt Birk-less line, which has allowed quarterback Daunte Culpepper to be sacked 24 times.

Conversely, a Packers offensive line, likely without Flanagan and still in the early development process with new guards Adrian Klemm and rookie Will Whitticker, will have to contend with the Vikings' new-look 3-4 alignment.

Ahman Green was held to 54 yards on 16 carries against Cleveland's 3-4 defense in Week 2 this year.

LB Nick Barnett vs. QB Daunte Culpepper
Quarterback Daunte Culpepper could have a big game against a suspect Green Bay defense that likely will attempt to slow him with special attention from middle linebacker Nick Barnett. Culpepper has battled a sore right knee for much of the season and only scrambled once against Chicago. That eliminates a huge part of Culpepper's game. If he shows a willingness to run Sunday, it will pressure Barnett into making a choice and might open some receivers or real estate for Culpepper.


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