KICKOFF: Tonight, 8:00 CT
WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
TV: ABC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Sam Ryan
SERIES: 90th meeting. The series is tied, 44-44-1, with the Vikings winning the last game 23-20 on Oct. 23 at the Metrodome. Minnesota won on a last-second, franchise-record 56-yard field goal by kicker Paul Edinger; the Vikings had trailed 17-0 at halftime before rallying behind two Daunte Culpepper touchdown passes. The Packers are 23-21-1 at home against the Vikings but lost to Minnesota in the playoffs last season.
2005 RANKINGS: Vikings: offense 25th (27th rush, 20th pass); defense 28th (26th rush, 26th pass). Packers: offense 16th (30th rush, 5th pass); defense 10th (14th rush, 11th pass)
PREDICTION: Packers 27-23
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Vikings can't afford to fall into a 17-0 hole like they did in the first meeting. They produced just 137 total yards of offense last Sunday, and the Packers will sell out to stop the run until QB Brad Johnson proves he can hurt them through the air. The offensive line needs to do a better job of create holes for RBs Mewelde Moore or Michael Bennett, or a Vikings offense that ranks last in the league with a 45.0 percent third-down conversion rate will struggle to move the ball.
Green Bay's offense received an enormous boost from RB Samkon Gado last Sunday, but he must do a better job of protecting the ball after putting it on the ground twice. Getting production from the running game is critical for QB Brett Favre, who has gotten into trouble this season when forced to push the ball downfield. If Gado and Tony Fisher can make Minnesota respect the run, plays should be there for the making against the Vikings' shaky secondary.
FAST FACTS: Past four regular-season meetings have been decided by three points. The past six have been decided by five points or less.
Vikings: WR Troy Williamson is second among rookies with 287 receiving yards.
Packers: Are 24-21-1 on Monday night, including 9-4 under coach Mike Sherman. ... Offense has a league-high 20 drives of at least 10 plays.