CBS62logoNEW2013_blue_final_header_White wwj950-sm2011b 971-ticket-35smb 35h_CBSSportsRad_Detroit

TALE OF THE TAPE

Wild Card Weekend: Minnesota Vikings At Green Bay Packers

Vikings
Packers
WWJ Tipster Joe Wright Jr. was driving through Detroit's east side when he saw this police investigation unfolding. A man died after being found with a gunshot wound to the head inside his car. (Credit: Joe Wright Jr.)
Detroit police are hoping the public can help them solve the case of a man who died after being shot in the head while inside his car on the city's far east side.
WWJ Tipster Joe Wright Jr. was driving through Detroit's east side when he saw this police investigation unfolding. A man died after being found with a gunshot wound to the head inside his car. (Credit: Joe Wright Jr.)
Quarterback
Christian Ponder has struggled much of the year, but he came through with excellent performances the last two weeks against the Texans and the Packers (234 passing yards and three TDs). Those two wins helped put the Vikings in the playoffs. In this game, he must avoid mistakes and take advantage of the play-action opportunities he will have against the Packers.
Winner The Packers did not play badly in the regular-season finale against the Vikings in the Metrodome. However, they came up just short and must play in this Wild-Card game against their division rivals. Aaron Rodgers threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns against the Vikings and was superb. He may have to be even better this week.
Offense
Adrian Peterson finished nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record as he finished the season with 2,097 yards and had 199 rushing yards against the Packers. He is the focus of the offense but tight end Kyle Rudolph has the strength to get open and the hands to catch the ball. Unheralded wide receiver Jarius Wright had big catches against the Texans and Packers.
Winner The Packers want to run the ball to take pressure off of Rodgers and DuJuan Harris had 70 yards vs. the Vikings. Greg Jennings is healthy once again and makes big catches in clutch situations. James Jones had a receiving touchdown against the Vikings and is coming off of his best year. Jordy Nelson is capable of making big plays, but tight end Jermichael Finley is inconsistent.
Defense
Winner The Vikings want to put pressure on Rodgers but they know if they try to blitz him regularly he will tear them apart. They must use their front four to put the heat on and defensive end Everson Griffen registered 3.0 sacks of Rodgers in Week 17. Defensive end Jared Allen is a dangerous pass rusher while linebacker Chad Greenway is a sure tackler.
The Packers have to focus on hitting Peterson hard early and preventing him from getting started on a game where he can carry his team on his back and get them another upset. That’s much easier said than done, but NT B.J. Raji and linebacker Clay Matthews are capable of punishing any running back. Free safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker A.J. Hawk are solid tacklers.
Special Teams
Winner Rookie placekicker Blair Walsh hit the game-winning field goal at the gun that earned the Vikings their spot in the playoffs. He also hit a 54-yard field goal against the Packers and was 10-of-10 this year on field goals of 50 yards or longer. Punter Chris Kluwe has a big leg and he averaged 49.3 yards per punt against the Packers.
Randall Cobb has been an explosive returner this season but he could not play in the season finale against the Vikings because of knee and ankle injuries. Head coach Mike McCarthy would like to have him back for this game. Mason Crosby has struggled badly on his FG attempts, but he was 2-of-2 vs. the Vikings, including one from 51 yards.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

WWJ Tipster Joe Wright Jr. was driving through Detroit's east side when he saw this police investigation unfolding. A man died after being found with a gunshot wound to the head inside his car. (Credit: Joe Wright Jr.)

The Vikings played a sensational game and edged the Packers 37-34 to earn a playoff spot. Now they must face the Packers again and find a way to beat them at Lambeau Field. The Vikings are playing their best football of the year, but they will need to turn it up again if they are going to beat Green Bay for a second straight week. It’s a very unlikely scenario.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At San Francisco 49ers

    It was the kind of performance that demands an immediate reassessment.

  2. BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28: Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Justin Timberlake performs during an exclusive NYC performance with Citi / AAdvantage & MasterCard Priceless Access at Hammerstein Ballroom on July 10, 2014 in New York City.
    Steve Smith Vs. Justin Timberlake, Better After The Breakup?

    Sometimes a breakup is the best thing for everyone. How have Steve Smith and Justin Timberlake done?

  3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals At Denver Broncos

    The Cardinals bring their undefeated record to the Mile High City, and they are likely to have No. 1 quarterback Carson Palmer back in the lineup.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,933 other followers