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  1. #1
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    Vikings vs. Packers

    [size=18px]The Call: Vikings vs. Packers[/size]

    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    Last update: November 20, 2005 at 6:33 PM


    After RBs Michael Bennett and Ciatrick Fason combined for more carries (20) than yards (16) last week against the N.Y. Giants, the Vikings are looking for answers. Their best hope is that Mewelde Moore, who gained 105 total yards in the Oct. 23 victory over Green Bay, can recover quickly from a sprained wrist. The addition of new LG Toniu Fonoti, a noted mauler, could give Moore/Bennett/Fason a bit more daylight. There is little doubt the Vikings will call plenty of running plays, even if they fall behind. Fonoti's matchup with DT Grady Jackson will be key.

    QB Brad Johnson has been unflappable in his first two starts, managing the short-passing game well and coming nowhere close to committing a turnover. Other than the pass-rushing of DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, the Packers offer no fearsome roadblocks. Vikings WR Nate Burleson is nowhere close to 100 percent and might not play, but WR Koren Robinson is appearing more confident and explosive every week. TE Jermaine Wiggins also should be a major factor.

    Although veteran RB Tony Fisher (ribs) is expected to return in a limited capacity, rookie RB Samkon Gado could see the majority of first- and second-down carries. Gado runs hard and certainly has young legs, having been a career backup at Division I-AA Liberty. C Mike Flanagan's presence will give the Packers a boost. Vikings DT Pat Williams crushed his backup, Scott Wells, in the teams' first matchup. FB William Henderson's blocking will be an important factor.

    Brett Favre threw for 211 yards and two TDs in the first half of the Oct. 23 meeting, but the Vikings shut him down after a depletion of his receiving corps. CB Fred Smoot iced WR Donald Driver, but Smoot is out. Without WR Robert Ferguson, who re-injured his knee, the Packers' next-best threats are WR Antonio Chatman and TE Bubba Franks. Vikings FS Darren Sharper, an ex-Packer, didn't have a big impact in the teams' first game, but his return to Lambeau Field figures to be eventful.

    Hard to go against the group that put together one of the best collective efforts in team history last week. It is worth noting that Vikings PK Paul Edinger has missed five of seven attempts on grass this season, but he still seems confident in critical situations. KR Koren Robinson and PR Mewelde Moore both trust their blockers and believe they can take every return to the house. The Packers have no such gamebreakers, but PK Ryan Longwell has ice in his veins.

    They're not exactly sitting pretty at 4-5, but few thought the Vikings would be even this close to .500 after their miserable start. Defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell devised a strong scheme to confuse N.Y. Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Coach Mike Tice also made a bold move this week, replacing veteran LG Chris Liwienski with the raw Fonoti. Like the Vikings' Mike Tice, Green Bay's Mike Sherman is trying to save his job. He's two games behind right now.

    There are two ways to look at last week's victory in New York: It was either historic anomaly or an indication that the worm has turned. We're not ready to suggest that something special is going on quite yet, but the Vikings should possess the primary ingredient for a road victory: confidence. They have every reason to be the aggressor tonight.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    [size=18px]Top five reasons the Vikings will cover[/size]

    By Andrew Folkes
    covers.com
    Sun, Nov 20, 2005


    The offseason loss of Randy Moss, the bye week sex cruise scandal and a season ending knee injury to Daunte Culpepper.

    The Minnesota Vikings have had a boatload of issues thrown at them this season. But they’ve managed to right the ship, winning and covering in three of their last four contests. With everything the Vikes have had to deal with, cashing in against the 2-7 Packers shouldn’t be a problem.

    Here are the top five reasons to put your money on Minnesota for Monday night’s tilt at Lambeau Field.

    5. Dovonte Edwards eager to face Favre

    As an undrafted rookie cornerback, Dovonte Edwards would figure to be at a huge disadvantage against a veteran gunslinger like Brett Favre. However, Edwards wants nothing more than the future Hall of Famer to chuck the pigskin in his direction Monday night.

    “I want a chance to make a name for myself on ‘Monday Night Football,’� Edwards told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “As a corner, you got to want the quarterback to throw your way, otherwise it`s like you`re not even out there.�

    Think that’s naïve rookie enthusiasm? Think again. Edwards was able to make the Vikings roster after playing the cornerback position for just two years in college. He began his Division I career as a wideout, and his ability to learn the position so quickly has earned him the respect of his position mates.

    "That really is impressive," said cornerback Antoine Winfield. "That`s a big change, going from receiver to corner in two years."

    4. No more Lambeau mystique

    The Packers used to be considered a lock at Lambeau Field, but the mystique surrounding the frozen tundra seems to have melted away.

    The Pack have suffered some of their most embarrassing losses at Lambeau this season including a 17-3 loss to Detroit to open the campaign, a 26-24 loss to the brutal Cleveland Browns in Week 2 and a 20-10 drubbing by Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Green Bay is 1-3 at home this season with two paydays in those games.

    The Vikings are 1-3 as an away team this season, but are hot off an impressive 24-21 victory at Giants stadium last week as 9-point underdogs.

    3. Brad Johnson With all due respect to Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings offense has been much more stable with backup Brad Johnson under center.

    Whereas Culpepper ended his season with six touchdowns to 12 interceptions, Johnson has tossed three majors in his first two starts without a single pick. The Vikings no longer pose a deep threat with the 14-year vet at quarterback, but what he lacks in arm makes up in football smarts.

    The Vikings credit last week’s game-winning drive to Johnson’s play calling, and believe his leadership will be a huge asset during the rest of campaign.

    “Brad stayed calm,� receiver Nate Burleson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He got in the huddle and ad-libbed a little bit. He went to each receiver and told us what route he wanted us to run. He was able to control it, to orchestrate what we did. We made the plays because he put us in position to.�

    2. Faulty holder foiling Green Bay

    If Monday’s night Vikings-Packers contest comes down a field goal (four of the last five meeting have), the Packers are at a huge disadvantage.

    Holder B.J. Sander’s bumbling has cost kicker Ryan Longwell four field-goal tries and an extra-point attempt this season and the Pack’s moneyline backers two paydays. Sander dropped the snap on what would have been a chip-shot field goal against Detroit in Week 1, bobbled the snaps on a missed extra-point and field-goal attempt in the Week 3 tilt with Tampa Bay and mishandled the pigskin on two missed field goals the Week 7 defeat to Minnesota.

    The Packers lost to the Buccaneers by just a single point and dropped a three-point decision to Minnesota.

    “I think there has to be a chemistry there [and] a trust factor that develops [between the holder and kicker],� special teams coach John Bonamego told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “Knowing the ball is going to get down and get down a certain way and for Ryan and B.J., that’s still an ongoing process.�

    Unfortunately for Bonamego, he has little choice but to stay with Sander. Backup holder Aaron Rodgers has proven even more unreliable than Sanders in practice.

    1. Monday a must win for Minnesota

    There’s still more than a month left in the regular season, but it’s already playoff time as far as the Vikings are concerned.

    At 4-5, Monday night`s contest is a critical juncture for Minnesota’s playoff hopes. A loss would pretty much put the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears out of reach while a win would keep the postseason drive alive for another week.

    "This is big. It gives us a chance to get to .500," Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield said. "If we lose this one, we`re definitely going to be in trouble. We`re fighting to catch Chicago. We can`t afford to lose, especially in our division."

    The pressure has been intense for Minnesota to win these past four weeks and the team’s responded by winning three of those contests including two in a row since Culpepper was lost to injury. Expect the same from the Vikings when they face Green Bay on the Monday night stage.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    [size=18px]Vikings want to keep Favre from gathering steam[/size]

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    St. Paul Pioneer Press
    Posted on Sun, Nov. 20, 2005


    Nearly a month ago at the Metrodome, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre completed 16 of 19 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns in thrusting his team to a 17-0 halftime lead over the Vikings.

    That's a recipe for ruin.

    "You can't do that, especially against Brett," said Vikings safety Darren Sharper, Favre's teammate from 1997 to 2004. "You can't let him get that confidence going because he's hard to stop."

    Not only is Favre heralded for his ability to ignite comebacks (eight of his 34 victories from a fourth-quarter tie or deficit are against the Vikings), but he also owns an impressive 106-21 record when his team leads at halftime.

    If the Vikings are going to sweep the Packers for the first time since 1998, their defense can't allow Favre to build momentum in the first half Monday night at Lambeau Field, Sharper said.

    "We learned we can come back and win close games," he said. "But defensively, we just need to start faster. Don't let them jump on us."

    Favre's sidekick in that explosive start last month was Pro Bowl receiver Donald Driver, who caught six passes for 101 yards, including a difficult 22-yard touchdown. In the second half, the Vikings assigned cornerback Fred Smoot to exclusively cover Driver, and they also frequently provided safety help. Driver was limited to two catches for 13 yards in the second half.

    Asked what the Vikings learned from that game, cornerback Antoine Winfield said, "Take Driver out of the game.

    "You don't want him to start fast and let Brett get into a rhythm."

    Driver and Favre doubled up in another key way: they converted three third downs in the first half, including a 40-yard pass that set up their second touchdown. In the first half, the Packers converted 4 of 7 third downs.

    "The biggest thing we can take from the Packer game is to get off the field on third down," Vikings linebacker Keith Newman said. "When we got off the field on third down in the second half, we were a much better defense."

    The Packers converted just 2 of 6 third-down attempts in the second half. But they boast the NFL's second-best third-down conversion rate (45.3 percent), and they have converted 16 of their past 33 attempts.

    Asked why the Packers are so effective on third downs, Newman said, "They got Brett Favre, a Hall of Fame quarterback."

    Winfield said pressuring Favre is difficult because of his inclination to quickly get rid of the ball. This season, despite key losses to his offensive line, Favre has only been sacked 11 times. But Winfield said Favre's nature provides a defense chances to make plays.

    "He gets the ball out of his hands really quick," Winfield said. "But he will take some sacks and he will throw some balls in some tight spaces, so it gives us a lot of chances to get our hands on the ball.

    "He takes a lot of chances," Winfield added. "He throws the ball across his body. A young quarterback would not come into the league doing the things Brett Favre would do. But he's a pro, and he makes plays like that."

    Sharper and Winfield said Favre inevitably gives a defense a few chances to make plays.

    "So if we make the plays, we'll have a great chance to win," Winfield said.

    Sharper said Favre did not throw the ball in his direction in the Oct. 23 game, and Sharper added that he doesn't want to divulge his strategy for tonight.

    "We'll see how the game goes," Sharper said. "I don't want to show my hand too early, as far as what I'm going to do. But I'm definitely not going to do anything to compromise us as a defense. But hopefully I can get some opportunities.

    "I'll be as interested as everybody else will be."

    The Vikings have played remarkably better in their past two games. But Winfield said there's a misperception about their approach.

    "I wouldn't say it's more aggressive," he said. "We're just taking out the key components. Taking out the No. 1 receiver, and stopping the run, and you need to do that to play good defense.

    "Our front seven is doing a great job of stopping the run. So it makes my job a lot easier in the back."

    The Vikings don't want to glaze over their top priority: stopping the run, especially because the Packers are coming off their second-best rushing performance of the season.

    "From the running game standpoint, we stopped the running game," Newman said. "So that was a big positive for us. But as far as passing, he completed a lot of passes."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    If we can keep Driver & Gado in check & get some pressure on Maddens bot toy, we should win this game.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    [size=18px]COMMENTARY: Hate admitting it, but Vikings' have an edge[/size]

    From The Wisconsin State Journal
    00:00 am 11/21/05
    TOM OATES [email protected] 608-252-6172


    GREEN BAY - The national audience won't get a game laden with skill or playoff implications when the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings meet tonight at Lambeau Field, but it will get the next best thing.

    A grudge match.

    First, the Packers feel they owe the Vikings one because they blew a 17-0 halftime lead and lost to them Oct. 23 in Minneapolis. Second, the rivalry between the NFC North teams is as hot as it has ever been.

    "They're the Vikings," Packers cornerback Ahmad Carroll said. "We don't like them and they don't like us."

    The only thing wrong with Carroll's statement is it might not go far enough. Since the competitiveness returned to the rivalry in 1992, the Packers and Vikings have developed a healthy hatred for one another.

    Or at least one of them has.

    "Hate's a strong word, man," Packers linebacker Na'il Diggs said. "We don't hate. We're just highly competitive against them."

    Yeah, but do the Vikings hate you?

    "They probably hate us," Diggs said. "I don't know what they're telling them over there. I would certainly hope they don't hate us, but if they do, that's their beef. Guys over here, we just want to win, man. It's not about hating guys."

    Therein lies the problem for the Packers. At every level of the Vikings organization, they despise the Packers. Indeed, they hate the Packers more than the Packers hate them.

    The motive for that can only be jealousy. Since the Vikings started play in 1961, the Packers have won six NFL championships, including three Super Bowls. The Vikings, on the other hand, have never won a title, going a Buffalo-ish 0-for-4 in Super Bowls.

    Besides, the Packers have developed rivalries with many other teams since 1992. There's always Chicago, of course, but during the Brett Favre era they have also had intense mini-rivalries with Dallas, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. The Vikings have had a rivalry with, well ... the Packers.

    That often has been a problem for Green Bay, especially at home. Three times in recent years the Vikings have come to Lambeau and handed Green Bay a stunning defeat largely because the Packers didn't anticipate or match their intensity.

    The first time was in 1998, when Randy Moss had his coming-out party on a Monday night and the Vikings snapped the Packers' 25-game home win streak.

    The next time was the season opener in 2003 when the Vikings ruined the rededication of Lambeau by storming to a 27-3 lead and holding on to win.

    The third time was in last season's playoffs when the Vikings, reeling from still another late collapse that cost them the division title, took a 17-0 first-quarter lead and Favre threw four interceptions as the Packers had to play catch-up in a 31-17 defeat.

    In every one of those games, the Packers grossly underestimated the ferocity with which the Vikings played.

    "Regardless of how they play against other teams, we always get their best," Favre said. "(Coach) Mike Tice gets those guys up to play us."

    The Packers would do well to remember that when the lights go on tonight.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    i like that last article. pack will always underestimate us

























    Go vikes!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    and I'm looking forward to the game tonight. Will have to tape and watch tomorrow- having said that I can see I'll be getting up a few times in the night to see what is going on with the game.
    I can see it being a close game again with only a TD separating the teams.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    the packers D is strong but i don't think we are running into them in a hot streak like we did against the Giants. this game should be a lot different than the earlier one, i don't think we can afford to get down early and have to fully commit to the pass.

    Thanks Josdin

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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    easy there on the articles. wow. this is a must win. every game from now on is a must win if we want playoffs.
    We're bringing purple back.

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    Re: Vikings vs. Packers

    "gregair13" wrote:
    easy there on the articles. wow. this is a must win. every game from now on is a must win if we want playoffs.
    No more articles for you! :twisted: :lol:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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