staff predictions

All but two pundits feel Packers will sweep Vikings Thursday night

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 12-2
Sunday's game: Packers 12, Vikings 10
Comment: This game smells of an upset for the Vikings with the struggles of the Packers' offense, but the Packers will stay alive for the playoffs with a narrow win. The Packers' defense will win a game for the second week in a row making the decision on the future of defensive coordinator Bob Sanders that much more difficult. If the Packers trust their man coverage, the Vikings won't have much of a chance to put points on the scoreboard.

Ken Stills, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 10-4
Sunday's game: Green Bay 23, Minnesota 20
Comment: The Packers and the Vikings. These two teams match up well. Neither team's defense has shown improvement in the last few weeks, but Minnesota seems to be protecting the football much better on offense than Green Bay. It comes down to turnovers and the play of the quarterback. With Tarvaris Jackson starting, watch out Green Bay. I still like the Pack at home.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 10-4
Sunday's game: Vikings 24, Packers 17
Comment: I got a funny feeling about this one. The change at quarterback by the Vikings has me worried as well as the fact that because the Vikings are so good against the run so the Packers might go into this game very pass happy. We all know what happens when Brett throws the ball too much. And let's no forget this just might be Brett's last game at Lambeau which might mean he might try to do too much. So with all that said I go VIKINGS 24-17.

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 9-5
Sunday's game: Green Bay 24, Minnesota 17
Comment: Consider this to be your playoff game. At home, against a division rival on national television, Green Bay has a chance to show that it's not the same team that got pounded by the Bears, Patriots and Jets, and instead is an improving, if not inconsistent group with plenty of potential. Running yards will be tough to come by, but look for Brett Favre to rebound against a shaky Vikings pass defense. I'm betting Darren Sharper gambles on at least one play and gets burned by Pro Bowler Donald Driver. Sharper was always capable of the big play, but missed more than enough tackles to off set it. A new Vikings quarterback could keep the Packer D on its toes, but look for Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman (who along with Driver, could not be more deserving) and Cullen Jenkins to bring the pressure while Charles Woodson and Al Harris lock it down in the secondary.

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 9-5
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Vikings 13
Comment: The Vikings have QB issues and the Packers have won two straight, making a playoff run, if you can believe that. If Minnesota starts rookie QB Tavaris Jackson, which seems likely, expect him to make a few mistakes in Lambeau Field. If Brett Favre manages the game, then the Packers win this, chalking up win No. 7. Jackson vs. Favre. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers season prediction record: 9-5
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Vikings 21
Comment: No way Packers lose to a rookie's first start.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-7
Sunday's game: Vikings 17, Packers 13
Comment: Sure, the Vikings aren't any good, are starting a rookie quarterback, and have plummeted out of the playoff race. But the Packers barely beat Detroit last week and won't move the ball a bit against Minnesota's strong run defense.

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers season prediction record: 7-7
Sunday's game: Packers 17, Vikings 14
Comment: The Packers should be able to put pressure on rookie Tarvaris Jackson by exploiting rookie right tackle Ryan Cook with stunts and blitzes. Brett Favre normally plays better after a poor game, so look for him to bounce back Thursday night and manage the offense well enough for the Packers to win.

Bob Fox, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-7
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Vikings 10
Comment: A Green Bay win would be the second in a row at Lambeau and also keep the team's playoff hopes alive. The Vikings will be starting rookie QB Tavaris Jackson. Look for the Packers to show multiple fronts to try and confuse the young quarterback. The Vikings defense is very stout against the run, but can be torched in the passing game. Still, the Packers need to keep pounding the ball via the run to set up some play action passes. It would also be nice if the Packer receivers, especially the tight ends, would actually CATCH the ball. Brett Favre had two touchdown passes last week dropped by his tight ends.

Laura Veras Marran, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-7
Sunday's game: Packers 23, Vikings 20
Comment: The improbable drive to the playoffs continues.

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 6-8
Sunday's game: Packers 17, Vikings 13
Comment: The Vikings come into this game looking for a bit of revenge after losing to the Packers in Minnesota earlier this season. However, quarterback Brad Johnson looked awful in the Vikings' loss to the Jets and was benched in favor of rookie Tarvaris Jackson. Adding to Minnesota's offensive woes is the fact that running back Chester Taylor is nursing injured ribs and gained only 38 yards on 11 carries against New York. The Packers have plenty of offensive problems of their own - like butter-fingered receivers and a jumpy offensive line - but the line should get a boost with the return of tackle Mark Tauscher. Vernand Morency is paying dividends as a change-of-pace back. I look for this game to be largely a defensive struggle on a cold and possibly snowy night at Lambeau. Green Bay's defense, with particularly fine play by Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, Al Harris, A.J. Hawk and Charles Woodson, is picking up steam and should be able to keep the Vikings enough in check to secure a Packer victory.

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