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Vikings vs. Packers, 4:25 ET
If you have a chance to knock your division rival out of playoff contention, you have to take that opportunity, right? That’s pretty much the opportunity that the Vikings have, but aside from that the motivation isn’t really there. They’ve already captured the division and will receive a home game as a result of that. The Packers need to keep winning in order to have a shot at the playoffs.
The Vikings come in with a 12-3 record. They have put together quite an impressive season despite no one outside of Justin Jefferson being that impressive this season. Jefferson has set records for the Vikings this year and still has more time. My favorite part of his records, by the way, is that he didn’t get them in the 17th game or something. He’s a weapon and it doesn’t matter if they clinched a spot or not, they are going to feed him the ball. The Packers secondary isn’t terrible or anything, but they don’t have a shutdown corner or anything so they will need to be creative with trying to stop him. Dalvin Cook probably will get a lot of run here as well. I would guess that he is playing but maybe not quite as much because they will be looking to rest players next week. The Vikings did beat the Packers in their first matchup this season but it was the first game of the year and things have changed.
The Packers need to keep winning. They are looking for their fourth consecutive victory and need it in order to remain with any shot at the playoffs. I can’t imagine that another loss will get them in, and I really am not sure that winning even guarantees it either. In any case, a lot has gone right for them in the last three games, especially compared to the previous 12 where very little looked good out of Green Bay. Now, Rodgers seems to have a better connection with his receivers. The running game is getting a bit more traction, and their defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 points in three weeks. I think this is a game the Packers can win but they are hard to trust. The Vikings secondary is beatable, but the Packers receivers still aren’t reliable.
In this game I kind of have to take the home team. There really is no reason that the Packers should be 3-pt favorites other than they need the game more than the Vikings. It is possible that Minnesota starts coasting a bit so they don’t get injured. I wouldn’t necessarily blame them for it. I’ll take the Packers -3 and hope this turnaround lasts for at least one more week.