Whether Brett Favre ultimately succeeds at having his vengeance upon Packer brass in this season (or the next, or the next, or the next?), will be first determined by around 11 o'clock tonight. Between the great gravity of two leviathan baseball games, the Dome is finding time to squeeze in a little pigskin tonight, as the Packers and Vikings thrown down before a national audience on Monday Night Football. Gamblers have the undefeated Vikings as 4-point favorites over the 2-1 Pack in a game that has thus far been pedestalled more for its drama than its stats.
Seeing Favre and Adrian Peterson in the same huddle is still something of a trip, making one wonder how the Pack will actually react when they face the legend that led them to the 1996 Super Bowl title, and won 3 MVP's in his historic 16-year run in Green & Gold. While the Dome noise will deafen, Green Bay presents the Vikings' toughest matchup to date. True, last week's opponent San Francisco stands at 3-1 and required a last-second miracle to usurp, however all three of the 49ers' wins have come versus sub -.500 competition. Green Bay's lone defeat in Week 2 came via the hands of the upstart, 3-1 Cincy Bengals, and featured a late-game charge in which the Pack ultimately fell short.
Minnesota and Green Bay have proven near-mirrors from an offensive vantage, considering that we rank 4th in the league in point per game (29.7), while they rank 5th (27.0). From a yardage standpoint, the Vikings are averaging the NFL's 20th most yards per (317) while the Pack ranks 21st in said category (313).
The Green Bay offense will by far present our greatest challenge to date, sporting receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, along with solid back Ryan Grant. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been truly impressive since ascending from Favre's protégé into Green Bay frontman, throwing for over 4,000 yards and tossing 25 TD's last season before sporting a 97.2 QB rating through three games in '09. He also has the ability to move from the pocket, as well-evidenced by his 207 rush yards and four ground TD's from '08.
While the cameras will first turn to Favre, Adrian Peterson -- leading the NFL with 119.0 ground yards per -- will prove the difference should the Vikings remain undefeated. The Pack has allowed a porous 128.7 rush yards per contest thus far in '09, bad for 23rd in the league. In four career games against Green Bay, A.P. has averaged 113 yards per contest and scored four touchdowns (including two via the air).
While Favre has gone 3-2 in his career against another former team (Atlanta), it's concurrently worthy of note that he has beat every team in the NFL, with a lone exception. Care to guess who that may be?
With all the good sporting vibes in this town, that looks to change tonight. Prediction:
Green Bay 24
Image courtesy of avinashkunnath
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