Monday, October 05, 2009

Tonight's the night - Packers vs. ViQueens preview

As everyone in the civilized world knows -- and for those of you not in the civilized know who you are -- Ted Thompson plays Brett Favre this evening in the Humpty Dump. Translation for those that need it: the Packers play the ViQueens in Minnesota, don't ya know.

You've read, heard and seen all the interviews, projections, story lines, etc. about this game since Ol' #4 finally got back in the NFC North to show Ted Thompson what a mistake he made. Great. So enough with all that hoopla.

The 'Queens are favored by 4 points going into tonight's game. They have Ol' #4 slinging the football around. Which might work well, or maybe not. Depends. As we all know, sometimes Brett can get a bit jacked up and/or a bit overconfident. He'll make some throws, of course, that only he can make. But he also might try some throw he shouldn't. I think the likelihood is greater that he will get picked off than will Aaron Rodgers.

The running game edge goes clearly to Minnesota. If the Packers aren't able to hold Adrian Peterson in check, it will be a long night. The passing game -- assuming the Packers can protect or scheme Rodgers to avoid what is arguably the best front 4 in football -- favors the Pack. That's a big assumption, I know. Especially since LT Chad Clifton is still questionable for tonight's game. The Packers did finally figure out a way to protect Rodgers in the second half of last week's game in St. Louis. But the caliber of defensive rush he will face from the ViQueens is of a whole other level than that. The Pack have had to hold tight ends in to provide protection. Rodgers is good throwing on the run, and can also use his legs to stretch the field. It would also be a very good time for RB Ryan Grant to start breaking through the line for 4 or 5 yards a carry rather than 1 or 2 in order to keep the defense honest. The defensive line edge goes to the 'Queens, but the Pack isn't as far behind as some people may think.

Brett Favre hasn't yet lost to a Dom Capers-coached team or defense...but he was playing with the Packers then, too. That means the odds are skewed in the Packers' defense's favor tonight. Special teams? Call it a toss up. Unless it comes down to a last second field goal, as it often does in these games. Edge there goes to old Packer Ryan Longwell; Packers K Mason Crosby is still inconsistent when it's on the line.

Get yourself a cup for the Green 'n' Gold kool-aid, kids. We're taking the Pack 27-24 in a very physical game. Good thing the Pack have a bye coming up next weekend. They'll need it after tonight. But earning a hard-won victory will make the aches a bit less painful. As will sitting atop the NFC North after beating both Da Bearz and the 'Queens.

Go Pack Go!!!