Game Snapshot: Vikings at Packers

<BR><B>KICKOFF:</B> Sunday, 4:30 ET <BR><B>GAMEDATE: </B> 01/09/05 <BR><B>SURFACE: </B> Grass <BR><B>TV: </B>FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Chris Collinsworth

Minnesota Vikings (8-8) at Green Bay Packers (10-6)


This is the 88th meeting but the first in the postseason. The Packers lead 44-42-1, including 23-20-1 in Wisconsin. Both meetings this season ended with the Packers winning 34-31 on last-second field goals by Ryan Longwell.


Vikings: offense 4th (18th rush, 2nd pass); defense 28th (21st rush, 29th pass).

Packers: offense 3rd (10th rush, 3rd pass); defense 25th (14th rush, 25th pass)


Which secondary can bend the most without breaking? The balls will be flying through the air with reckless abandon, despite cold conditions. Both secondaries are much-maligned, and the Vikings are in especially poor shape with their top cover man and tackler, CB Antoine Winfield, still hampered by an ankle injury.

The Packers' receivers will have a big mismatch downfield, especially if RB Ahman Green gets off to a strong start and the Vikings are forced to respect the run. But as good as QB Brett Favre is, he still needs to avoid forcing the ball downfield and throwing interceptions, because both offenses need to make every possession count.

The Vikings' offense has been hit and miss after a strong first half of the season, and Minnesota is looking for RB Michael Bennett to provide more of a consistent ground threat to open up the vertical passing game. The Packers don't rush the passer particularly well, so Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper could be in for a field day picking apart the Packers' shaky secondary.

With both regular season meetings decided by a field goal, turnovers and special teams will make the difference in the third meeting.


  • The Vikings lost seven of their final 10 regular-season games for the second consecutive season.

  • In 15 cases since 1970 in which a team that swept a two-game season series met an opponent for a third time in the playoffs, the sweeping team is 10-5.

  • The Packers are wearing a helmet decal with No. 92 on it. It is in memory of Reggie White, the retired defensive end who died last week at age 43.

  • The Vikings are 2-20 in their last 22 outdoor road games dating to October 2000. Both victories came with the game-time temperature above 70 degrees. One of them was a 30-25 victory at Lambeau Field in last year's season opener.

  • In 13 games against the Packers, WR Randy Moss has 66 receptions for 1,243 yards (18.8) and 12 touchdowns. Moss was held to two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown in the 34-31 loss to the Packers at the Metrodome on Christmas Eve.

  • In nine games against the Packers, QB Daunte Culpepper has completed 165 of 284 passes (58.1) for 2,193 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 97.1 passer rating.

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