I only post expectations for football games that look like they could be close or interesting, so this is only the second time I’ve bothered posting about the Packers this year and the other was when they played the Vikings too.
So far, I’ve picked the winner in every Packer game, but was off when they played the Vikings on the score. I thought they’d lose by 20 and they almost obliged me till the late game comeback.
This time, I’m finding it harder to predict. Differences:
- The Pack has a much better offensive line situation.
- They’ve got more mastery of the new defense (I wish they were playing MN in December though)
- It’s outside
- It’s at Lambeau
- Their starting safety is back
- Favre threw 50 passes last week
- Nick Barnett is more fully recovered from his injury
- They are making better use of Aaron Kampman
- Clay Matthews starts at linebacker
- BJ Raji should be a bit healthier than last time
- Aaron Rodgers has accelerated his delivery
Meanwhile, Antoine Winfield is missing from the Vikings secondary, which isn’t very good without him. The Packers could conceivably pass for 400 yards in this game.
- The Vikings are getting more in tune with Favre
- Jermichael Finley might miss the game for the Packers
So I don’t think it will be a tweny point game this time. It has the potential to be very close and very intense: a game for the ages. If that happens, the Packers will win because Favre will make a mistake of the first magnitude when the game is on the line.
What do I think will happen, barring injuries?
- Very intense back and forth game
- Some very big offensive plays by both teams, but more by the Packers
- Some great special teams by the Vikings
- A few game-turning defensive plays, by both teams
The final score may or may not reflect the intensity of the contest, but I think it will be in the 27’s range: 27 – 27, plus overtime or 30-27 Packers or 27-26 Vikings or something like that. I can’t say I expect one team or the other to win. I can’t make up my mind on that.
But to make the prediction, I’ll say that I think the Packers offense might come together the way it would do in 2007 and become a machine. If so, they win. I’ll go with 30-27.