Vikings-Packers game scout

The Packers' running game seems to be improving, but will that hold up against the Vikings' stingy run defense? Get the series history, keys to the game and fast facts as the Vikings and Packers prepare to face each other for the 95th time.

Sunday
Tennessee Titans (8-0) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5) at Detroit Lions (0-8)
Seattle Seahawks (2-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)
Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (4-4)
Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at Houston Texans (3-5)
St. Louis Rams (2-6) at New York Jets (5-3)
New Orleans Saints (4-4) at Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
Buffalo Bills (5-3) at New England Patriots (5-3)
Carolina Panthers (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (2-6)
Indianapolis Colts (4-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at San Diego Chargers (3-5)
New York Giants (7-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)
Monday
San Francisco 49ers (2-6) at Arizona Cardinals (5-3)

Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (4-4)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/09/08
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)

SERIES


95th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 49-44-1. Green Bay is 5-0 under Mike McCarthy against the Vikings and seeking its third straight season sweep of its NFC North rivals. The Packers have won the past two meetings and four of the last five encounters at the Metrodome. The teams have met once in the postseason, with the Vikings scoring a 31-17 win at Green Bay in an NFC wild-card game in the 2004 season.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is coming off his second-worst game of the season, but must rebound quickly. RB Ryan Grant has rushed for at least 90 yards in each of the past two meetings, but counting on consistent rushing yards against Minnesota's NFC-best run defense (69.6 yards per game) is a risky bet. As with their win against Houston last weekend, the Vikings will likely concede underneath passes in an effort to eliminate big plays, leaving it to the Packers' receivers to make plays after the catch.

The Vikings aren't considered an explosive offensive team, but they are second in the NFL with nine touchdowns of at least 20 yards. The Packers gave up 175 rushing yards in the first meeting and are ranked 27th against the run, so they'll often stack the box with eight defenders. The question then becomes whether the Vikings' receivers can beat the Packers' bump-and-run coverage and if QB Gus Frerotte can make Green Bay pay for focusing on RB Adrian Peterson.


KEY INJURIES

Packers: Rodgers continues to take limited practice reps to limit the workload on his sprained shoulder.

Vikings: DE Jared Allen (shoulder) is very questionable.


FAST FACTS

  • Green Bay is 1-4 this season when it allows at least 175 rushing yards. The one win came against the Vikings, who rushed for 187 yards.

  • Eleven of the past 12 meetings have been decided by seven points or less.

  • One of the Vikings' most important victories over the Packers came Jan. 9, 2005 in the only playoff meeting between these teams. Minnesota beat the Packers 31-17 at Lambeau Field before losing the next weekend at Philadelphia. The Eagles offensive coordinator was current Vikings coach Brad Childress.

  • CB Antoine Winfield was named the NFL defensive player of the week for the wild-card victory at Green Bay when he picked off Brett Favre and had 13 tackles.

  • The Vikings' rivalry with Green Bay became that much more intense this summer when the Packers filed tampering charges against Minnesota for inappropriate contact with quarterback Brett Favre. The NFL ruled in the Vikings' favor.

  • Kicker Ryan Longwell, who left the Packers as a free agent in 2006 and signed with the Vikings, remains Green Bay's all-time leading scorer by a wide margin. Longwell, who played for the Packers from 1997 to 2005, had 1,054 points with Green Bay. Don Hutson (1935-45) is second on that list with 823 points.

  • Safety Darren Sharper is fifth on the Packers' all-time interceptions list. Sharper had 36 interceptions for Green Bay from 1997 to 2004. He joined the Vikings as a free agent in 2005 and has 17 picks with Minnesota.

  • The Vikings are 23-23 all-time against the Packers at Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome.

  • The previous 22 games between these teams (1998-2008), which includes the 2004 playoff match-up, have been remarkably even with a combined score of 514-510 in favor of the Packers.

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