MINNESOTA (10-6) at GREEN BAY (11-5)
KICKOFF: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
OPENING LINE: Packers by 8
RECORD VS. SPREAD: Minnesota 9-7; Green Bay 9-7
SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 54-49-1
AP PRO32 RANKING: Packers No. 6; Vikings No. 10
LAST MEETING: Vikings beat Packers 37-34, Dec. 30
LAST WEEK: Vikings beat Packers 37-34
PACKERS INJURY REPORT: Out: WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle); DE Jerel Worthy (knee). Questionable: RB James Starks (knee). Probable: WR Randall Cobb (ankle); TE Jermichael Finley (quad); RB Alex Green (knee); CB Davon House (hip); WR Jordy Nelson (knee); CB Tramon Williams (illness); DB Charles Woodson (collarbone). VIKINGS INJURY REPORT: Out: LB Tyrone McKenzie (shoulder). Questionable: WR Christian Ponder (right elbow); CB Antoine Winfield (hand). Probable: DE Jared Allen (shoulder); CB A.J. Jefferson (ankle); DE George Johnson (quad); P Chris Kluwe (left knee); T Phil Loadholt (knee); RB Adrian Peterson (abdomen); DE Brian Robison (shoulder); S Harrison Smith (knee).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: First wild-card rematch of regular-season finale since 2009, when three of four wild cards, including Green Bay's loss to Arizona, were do-overs. ... Packers are 1-1 when facing same team in last week of regular-season and following week in playoffs. They beat Lions in 1993 after losing regular-season finale, and lost to Arizona after winning in last week of regular season in `09. ... NFC North rival Packers and Vikings have met once in postseason, a 31-17 Minnesota victory at Lambeau Field in 2004 NFC wild card. ... Including that loss to Vikings, Packers have dropped four of last six postseason games at home. ... Minnesota's victory in regular-season finale snapped five-game losing streak to Green Bay. After losing in Green Bay on Dec. 2, Minnesota won its last four. ... Packers are NFC North champions and No. 3 seed in conference, while Minnesota is sixth seed, securing wild-card spot with victory over Green Bay in Minneapolis last weekend. ... Sixteen of last 21 regular-season games between these NFC North rivals have been decided by seven points or less. ... Packers WR Donald Driver and Minnesota DT Kevin Williams, DB Antoine Winfield and C Cullen Loeffler are only players left from 2004 wild-card meeting. ... Packers are 4-1 against division opponents in playoffs. ... Packers were 7-1 at Lambeau Field this season, while Vikings were 3-5 on road.
Vikings are 6-15 in road playoff games. ... Vikings have not played a "cold-weather" game outdoors since Dec. 28, 2010, when the temperature was 32 degrees for 24-14 victory over Eagles. Since 2000, Minnesota is 2-6 outdoors when it's 32 or below. Forecast for Saturday night calls for temperatures in mid-teens, with wind chill around zero. ... Adrian Peterson finished with 2,097 yards rushing, 8 shy of Eric Dickerson's single-season NFL record. ... Peterson has rushed for more yards against Packers (1,442) than any opponent. ... After throwing 12 interceptions in first 13 games, Minnesota QB Christian Ponder has gone last three without a pick. ... Packers have made playoffs in each of last four seasons and in five of last six, most by any NFC team. ... Aaron Rodgers has thrown 24 TDs and four INTs in 10 career starts vs. Vikings. ... With Jordy Nelson expecting to play, Packers would have all four top receivers for, essentially, first time since Sept. 30. Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones and Randall Cobb all appeared in Dec. 2 game against Vikings, but Nelson left after injuring hamstring on Green Bay's second drive. ... Rodgers has NFL-best 105.5 quarterback rating in postseason.
Vikings DE Jared Allen has more sacks of Rodgers than any other quarterback. Of his career 117 sacks, 15 1/2 are of Rodgers, including his single-game high of 4 1/2 on Oct. 5, 2009. ... Vikings have sacked Rodgers seven times in their first two meetings this year, including career-high three by DE Everson Griffen last Sunday. ... Jones first Packer to lead NFL in TD receptions (14) since Sterling Sharpe (18) in 1994. ... Green Bay's 16 giveaways tied for second lowest in NFL. ... Packers DB Charles Woodson will play for first time since breaking right collarbone Oct. 21. ... Peterson's 34 carries against Green Bay in regular-season finale were most in NFL this year. ...... Packers RB DuJuan Harris had his best game since being elevated from practice squad in season finale against Vikings, rushing for 70 yards on 14 carries.
PACKER REPORT PREDICTION (13-3): Without Christian Ponder’s two interceptions, the Vikings might have won at Green Bay on Dec. 2. The Vikings did win last week. So, there’s no reason to discount the Vikings out of hand, even though they lack Green Bay’s playoff experience. The weather won’t be a factor, with the kickoff temperature of 25 being 1 degree warmer than the average daily high temperature. Frozen Tundra? Not tonight. With all of that said, the Packers will be packing their bags for next week’s divisional game at San Francisco. Unlike last week, it’s win or go home for both teams. Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback. The defense thinks its found some answers on Adrian Peterson. More than that, the defense is angry. It’s sick of hearing about Peterson and it’s just plain sick of looking at film of Christian Ponder and his subpar receivers making plays through the air. Packers 30, Vikings 17.