Green Bay Packers
Every game this weekend has fascinating plots, from Cincinnati trying to break their playoff futility to the Frozen Tundra earning its sobriquet with a 30-below wind chill expected Sunday.
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The fact that both teams could be without a key defensive player this Sunday when the 49ers and Packers play is not good. While Green Bay already knows their fate, San Francisco is hoping and waiting that they will not be without Carlos Rogers.
While his beloved Bears were knocked out of the playoffs by the Packers, the country star still dreams of the Chicago team winning the Super Bowl.
Seattle has already faced, and beaten, both the Saints and 49ers this season but not the Packers. Does the unknown help or hurt a team in the Playoffs?
Last year, the 49ers made an improbable run to the Super Bowl, before falling one play short of reaching the ultimate team goal. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens, a more experienced team that rode momentum all the way to a Championship. This year it’s San Francisco who fits this description and unlike last year, the Niners have everything in place to get past the rest of the NFC.
The Minnesota Vikings had higher expectations than the 5-10-1 record the team finished with in the 2013 season. The Vikings pass defense was abysmal in 2013 with five game-tying or game-winning scores in the final minute of the game. The team used three starting quarterbacks, including Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel for small stretches twice. The team fired head coach Leslie Frazier very early Monday morning.
Two of the NFL’s most decorated franchises will meet this Sunday when the Packers and 49ers meet in a NFC Wild Card matchup. The winner will move on in the playoffs, while the loser will face a disappointing end to a season that started with much higher aspirations.
Despite their dearth of recent success, all eyes will be on the Cowboys. For the karma and the drama, for better or worse, they are America’s team. Mostly for worse. Just watch on Sunday.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will return to start Sunday’s game for the NFC North title against the Chicago Bears. Coach Mike McCarthy announced Thursday that Rodgers will be back after missing seven games because of a left collarbone injury.
The Minnesota Vikings play the Detroit Lions Sunday in the last game ever in Mall of America Field. The Lions have a dynamic passing offense. They boast stout front-seven on their defense. Running back Reggie Bush and defensive tackle Nick Fairley are a pair of players to watch for the Lions.
The Minnesota Vikings play their second to last game ever at Mall of America Field against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have won five straight and have risen to the top of the NFC East Division. Running back LeSean McCoy and linebacker DeMeco Ryans led the Eagles offensive and defensive units.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson surpassed the 10,000 yard rushing plateau. He is the 28th player in league history and third quickest to do so. He is grateful for his God-given talent and blessed to have had the players around him to make it happen. Erin Henderson returned last week after missing the previous week with personal reasons, but did not play Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Cordarrelle Patterson’s role in the Vikings offense continues to expand.
NFL teams talk about the season being in four quarters. The league begins that final quarter this week. The Minnesota Vikings travel to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in their Week 13 game. The Ravens are led on offense by quarterback Joe Flacco, but wide receiver Torrey Smith is the player to watch. The defense is led by veteran nose tackle Haloti Ngata.
The endless genius of the NFL can’t be completely quantified. But part of pro football’s popularity is burning its image in our culture and our consciousness. While baseball and basketball have their July 4 and Christmas brands, they are afterthoughts, or leftovers, compared to the NFL’s hallmark roll call.