Vikings-Packers game scout

Get the weekend schedule, and for the Vikings and Packers, get the series history, keys to the game and notes for both teams.

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

Minnesota Vikings (6-1) at Green Bay Packers (4-2)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/01/09
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)

SERIES:
97th regular-season meeting. Packers lead, 49-46-1. They are 25-22-1 at home against the Vikings. The Vikings beat the Packers, 31-17, in their only playoff meeting during the 2004 season and also defeated the Packers, 30-23, on Oct. 5 at the Metrodome in Brett Favre's first matchup against his former team.

KEYS TO THE GAME

The Packers focused on RB Adrian Peterson in the first meeting and the result was a 24-for-31 passing effort with three touchdowns by QB Brett Favre, who wasn't sacked. Green Bay is healthier in the secondary this time around and expected to apply far more pressure up front. Minnesota got too pass-heavy in last Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh and needs to get Peterson more touches even if he was held to 55 rushing yards Oct. 5.

The Packers' dilemma is how to manage some consistent yards against Minnesota's stout run defense. "Achieving balance" isn't a cliche for the Packers - without it Green Bay will have to adjust its passing game and leave a tight end or running back behind to help with DE Jared Allen (4.5 sacks in first meeting) in long passing situations. Rodgers tends to hold the ball too long, but needs to make quick decisions and unload with Allen charging from his blind side.

NEED TO KNOW

Favre is 7-0 with a 102.0 passer rating against teams with Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers as the head coach or coordinator.

The Packers defense has 11 interceptions this season.

VIKINGS

  • Brett Favre became the first quarterback to defeat all 32 teams when he threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings' victory over the Packers. The longtime Packers quarterback had a 135.3 passer rating and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after that performance.

  • Favre needs one more passing touchdown to reach 13 for the season. That will give him more than any Vikings quarterback over the past four seasons. Favre's 12-touchdown passes are tied with Gus Frerotte's total from last season.

  • Running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries in a 28-27 victory over Green Bay on Nov. 9, 2008, at the Metrodome.

  • Peterson needs a 100-yard rushing effort to move into a sixth-place tie in NFL history for the most 100-yard games in the first three NFL seasons. Peterson is currently tied for eighth with 18 games over 100 yards.

  • Wide receiver Sidney Rice has caught a touchdown in all four career games he has played against the Packers. Rice caught his first career touchdown pass and finished with six receptions for 75 yards on Sept. 30, 2007, at the Metrodome. He also caught a 23-yard touchdown at Green Bay in the 2008 opener, a 3-yard touchdown against the Packers on Nov. 9, 2008, and he finished with five catches for 70 yards and a score the last time the teams met this season.

  • The previous 24 matchups between the Vikings and Packers, including the 2004 wild card playoff game, have been extremely evenly matched with a combined score of 568-564 in favor of the Vikings. The average scores of those games have been 23.7 and 23.5, respectively.

  • A Vikings victory will give them their 16th win in the last 20 regular-season games and it will mark the team's first 7-1 start since 2000.

  • The Vikings and Packers have gone to overtime five times in the series history. The only tie was a 10-10 final on Nov. 26, 1978 at Lambeau Field. The five overtime games are the most by the Vikings against any single opponent.

    PACKERS

  • The Packers replenished some of their depleted depth at wide receiver by promoting first-year player Jake Allen from the practice squad Tuesday.

    The 6-foot-4, 196-pound Allen took the roster spot of fellow wideout Brett Swain, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a major knee injury Sunday.

    Allen figures to be activated this weekend as the No. 4 receiver, since Jordy Nelson has been ruled out for the second straight game with a knee sprain.

    Green Bay also added two receivers to the practice squad - Biren Ealy and Patrick Williams.

    The 6-2, 212-pound Ealy, a second-year player, played in four games with the Tennessee Titans in 2007. The 6-1, 204-pound Williams was with the Packers in the offseason as an undrafted rookie.

  • The possibility the Packers will be without athletic tight end Jermichael Finley, who is doubtful, on Sunday compounds matters in the passing game, but McCarthy is high on Spencer Havner as a capable fill-in.

    Havner, a converted linebacker, replaced Finley after he suffered a knee sprain early in the last game and responded with his first NFL touchdown on a Finley-esque 45-yard catch-and-run.

    "He's an instinctive football player," McCarthy said of Havner, who spent most of the previous three seasons on Green Bay's practice squad. "He's a young man that's taken full advantage of his opportunities. You love to see guys like Spencer have success."

  • Favre's ballyhooed return to Green Bay in the enemy Vikings uniform will mark his first game at Lambeau Field since the Packers lost 23-20 in overtime to the New York Giants in the 2007 NFC Championship Game on Jan. 20, 2008.

    Favre has a career record of 97-31 at Lambeau, all when he was the Packers' starter from 1992 to 2007.

    Interestingly, the Packers won 49 of Favre's first 53 starts at Lambeau until they were stomped 27-7 by the Seattle Seahawks in former head coach Mike Holmgren's homecoming to Green Bay. That game was played Nov. 1, 1999, 10 years to the day prior to Favre's Lambeau homecoming Sunday.

    Starting with that loss to the Seahawks, the Packers' home fortunes were drastically different, as they went 48-27 with Favre at quarterback through the 2007 season.

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