Packers-Vikings: Key matchups

Green Bay's offensive line will be tested; Kampman vs. Johnson; Driver vs. Vikings CB's

Interior of Packers offensive line vs. Vikings DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams
Center Scott Wells, who agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension earlier in the week, will begin to earn his money against arguably the league's most formidable inside tandem. Wells will have to be a stabilizing force at the outset as rookie guards Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz try to get settled in and avoid having a long afternoon.

In the past, a more seasoned Packers line held Kevin Williams reasonably in check. Pat Williams, though, has caused fits, both in his first season with the Vikings last year and in two meetings when he was with Buffalo. The potential success of the running game will be predicated on cut blocking the two-headed Williams' to the ground, which is a hefty order for a young group.

Packers PK Dave Rayner vs. Vikings PK Ryan Longwell
Given that the last four regular-season games in the heated rivalry have come down to a last-second field goal, the latest meeting could hinge on the right foot of Rayner or his predecessor, Longwell, the Packers' all-time leading scorer. Rayner has sufficiently filled the void created by Longwell's departure in free agency and has a much stronger leg than Longwell ever had in his nine years with Green Bay. The controlled climate indoors will be conducive for Rayner to possibly get another crack at setting the franchise record for a field goal, which eluded him three weeks ago when a successful 55-yarder was nullified by a penalty at Miami.

OT Marcus Johnson vs. DE Aaron Kampman
Vikings second-year right tackle Marcus Johnson has made a regular appearance in this portion of the breakdown and this week is no different. Packers left end Aaron Kampman leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks and will be the latest tough match-up for Johnson, who has seemed to play better in recent weeks but nonetheless has a ways to go in his development.

The savvy Kampman likely will find himself either being blocked by Johnson and a tight end on a frequent basis or at the very least being chipped as he attempts to get to Brad Johnson.

Vikings cornerbacks vs. WR Donald Driver
Donald Driver, who is fourth in the NFL this season with 50 receptions will be going up against cornerback Antoine Winfield, or Fred Smoot, who was to attend the funeral of his half-brother on Saturday in Mississippi.

The last time the Packers played at the Metrodome, Driver had six catches for 101 yards as Green Bay took a 17-0 lead on Oct. 23, 2005. Smoot took over sole coverage of Driver in the second half and gave up only two receptions for 13 yards.

RB Chester Taylor vs. MLB Nick Barnett
Taylor had 26 rushing attempts and eight catches against San Francisco last Sunday and figures to be busy again against the Packers. This means Barnett should have his hands full keeping track of the Vikings running back. Barnett also is likely to see plenty of fullback Tony Richardson serving as the lead blocker for Taylor.

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