Vikings Being Criticized In Packerland

Word in Green Bay is that Randy Moss and Mike Tice are to blame that the star receiver isn't playing Sunday, and other quotes have Packers fans full of confidence.

This will be the 86th meeting between the Packers and Vikings. The series is tied, 42-42-1, and few of the games have been more eagerly awaited than this one.

It would be an even greater attraction if Randy Moss could play. But poor decisions by Moss and Mike Tice leave the Vikings in a weakened state for their rivalry clash Sunday at Lambeau Field.

With Moss regarded as doubtful to out, the Vikings (5-3) are a four-point underdog against the Packers (4-4) with first place on the line in the NFC North.

Moss suffered a partial tear of his right hamstring Oct. 17 in New Orleans but refused to undergo magnetic resonance testing for 19 days. In the meantime, he did the leg no favor by playing a handful of snaps in the next two games.

Tice finally convinced Moss to sit out the 31-28 loss Monday night in Indianapolis. The team's medical staff reportedly had told Tice and Moss that the injury should sideline him four to six weeks.

"I like Green Bay," an executive in personnel for a recent Vikings opponent said. "I think this will be a repeat of last year for Minnesota. They'll end up 8-8. Depending on how long Moss is out, it really puts a lot of strain on the quarterback (Daunte Culpepper)."

Moss must accept his share of the blame for trying to be Superman and not heeding medical advice.

The Vikings blew a prohibitive lead over the Packers a year ago by losing seven of their last 10 games. Now they've lost two in a row after a 5-1 start.

"Green Bay has been ripping people, just killing people," another scout said. "What happened to Minnesota last year has got to be in the back of their head. They're playing down right now, and I think Green Bay's going to take them. I would take Green Bay the way No. 4 (Brett Favre) is playing."

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