Monday Night Football - Packers at Vikings Preview
by Matt Severance - 10/5/2009
You may not have heard this, but there's a current Viking playing in a super-hyped game tonight against his former Packer team.
I, of course, speak of Minnesota kicker Ryan Longwell. Supposedly there's some Favre guy who might see action tonight as well, with the Vikings five-point favorites on Bodog - as of this writing, approximately 64 percent of the betting public is leaning toward Minnesota, and that line has moved as much as two points at some books toward the Vikings since its open.
Other than getting some nice revenge on the team that kicked him to the curb a few years ago, Brett Favre, who was a Packer for 16 seasons, also can become the first player in NFL history to beat all 32 teams. However, Green Bay has had Minnesota's number of late, with Packers coach Mike McCarthy owning a 5-1 record against the Vikings - that lone loss came due to a missed field goal in the waning moments of last year's game in Minnesota. The Packers have won four of the past six at the Metrodome overall, however. Twelve of the last 13 regular-season meetings between the teams have been decided by seven points or less, and the road team is 11-2 ATS in that stretch.
Vikings coaches have definitely picked Favre's brain about the Packers. The only starters gone from Favre's last game in a Green Bay uniform are he and right tackle Mark Tauscher.
"There's still some guys on the club that he's familiar with on their offense, and some of the things schematically that they're doing, there's some familiarity," Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said to reporters. "We're picking his brain as much as we can to try to get some insight, and some of it's relative to now, and some of it's kind of passé in some ways. But we're trying to pick his brain as much as we can."
Favre may not be able to help as much with the Green Bay defense, considering the Packers switched to a 3-4 scheme this year. Green Bay led the NFL entering weekend action with a plus-8 turnover margin. But the Vikings should be well-accustomed to the 3-4, considering they already have beaten two teams who run that scheme: Cleveland and San Francisco.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has been stellar of late, going 3-1 in the past four games (dating to last season) with a combined rating of 106.1. He hasn't thrown a pick in 148 straight attempts. Considering the Vikings' stellar run defense, look for Rodgers to be throwing often tonight. That could be a problem, considering he has been sacked 12 times already this year.
Frankly, the difference tonight for Minnesota probably won't be Favre but running back Adrian Peterson. He leads the NFL by averaging 119.0 rushing yards per game, while Green Bay's rush defense was just 24th in the league entering Week 4. Peterson has gone over the century mark in three of four career games vs. Minnesota.
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