GREEN BAY, Wis. (WCCO) — To put it quite simply, Sunday is the biggest Vikings game in years — a win would give them their first division title since 2009.
And fittingly, the road to that title goes through Green Bay, which is looking for its fifth straight. It’s de facto NFC North title game Friday at Lambeau, and Mike Max was there to preview it.
If for no other reason that it’s the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, it will be interesting. But the border battle is likely to be both a battle of the defense and a battle of the quarterbacks.
Last year when the Vikings went to Lambeau, Christian Ponder was inserted as starting quarterback for an injured Teddy Bridgewater… It did not go well.
On Friday, Teddy gets his shot to lead his team — in the cold, and on the road, at Lambeau Field.
“We just need to continue to play the way that we played these past couple games,” Bridgewater said at a recent press conference. “Continue to have the same intensity, the same focus, that we’ve had, and just do the right things. It’s a big game, but we can’t let the game become bigger than what it is.”
While Bridgewater remains calm and collected, it’s likely that the other quarterback will determine the outcome of this game, because Aaron Rodgers consistently riddles the Vikings, almost every time he plays them.
“He’s one of the best in the league,” Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. “We know he’s going to keep scratching. He’s going to keep fighting. This time, we just have to go out there and play a whole lot better. We’ve got to have tighter coverage. When we have a chance to hit him, we have to hit him. We’ve got to get him down — we can’t let him scramble. When he scrambles, man, he’s very dangerous.”
It’s been a while since another quarterback was able to lead the Vikings to victory at Lambeau. The last time they won in Green Bay was with a guy named Favre.
But as much as we talk quarterbacks, it seems like the Vikings are now more complete on defense in general because they’re finally healthy.
“As far as the guys they got and what they like to do — as a receiver, you want to be one-on-one,” Vikings wide receiver Steffon Diggs said. “You want that type of matchup, because you beat one guy, you might score. But as far as how they play, you just got to prepare for whatever they want to do that week.”
Because this is Packer week, played in Green Bay.
“Everywhere is tough to win on the road,” Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. “But they seem to play really well in those prime time games at night at Lambeau Field. So we’ve got our work cut out for us this week.”
And what about that cold weather? And is it really a home field advantage for the Vikings any more? Mike Max filed this report: