Packers thoughts and how the NFL dominates TV

The now banged-up Green Bay Packers (3-3) were my second pick to win the NFC North this year. Based off their preseason dominance, I was thinking the Vikings would have to go 14-2 because the Packers appeared to have everything in sync and were possibly on track for a 12- to 13-win season.

But now, the Packers look normal, in fact, less than normal. Folks in Green Bay and their legion of fans in the Upper Midwest have to be doing some serious thinking on just what is wrong with the Pack.

In a season where 51 of the 90 NFL games have been decided by eight points or less, the Packers have become the poster child for this statistic. Five of the Packers’ six games fall into this category, sans the 34-7 win over Buffalo in Week 2. The Packers are coming off back-to-back overtime losses decided by a field goal.

This game could be a shootout, really. Both teams are desperate to keep chase with the Chicago Bears. The Vikings are coming in off a three-point victory of their own and there’s a good chance Randy Moss will be featured a bit more. The Packers rank near the middle in pass defense (215 ypg) and Moss has at least one TD catch against Green Bay in his last six games and has topped 100 yards in half of the 14 times he’s faced the Packers.

Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has a 89.7 rating but has topped 100 in his last three games against Minnesota, though all losses.

My take: Vikings 31-21. My preseason prediction for this game (and I’m sure my colleague Hayden Goethe is laughing once again) was a 42-17 Packers victory. Game-by-game, everything now is out the window with the acquisition of Moss, but I’m not going to stray too far from the fact the Vikings have a chance now to post a 12-win season.

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Andrea Kremer have the call on NBC Sunday night.

Notes

When (or if) Brett Favre steps onto the field to take snaps at Lambeau Field Sunday night, it will be the quarterback’s 119th game at the stadium. He will then pass John Elway (118 at Mile High) for the most quarterback starts at a stadium in NFL history.

Favre also has 90 wins at Lambeau, the second-most wins by a quarterback at a single stadium. Yes, you guessed it, Elway owns the record with 95 wins in Denver.

Injury report Wednesday

Minnesota

Did not participate: S Husain Abdullah (concussion), TE Jim Kleinssasser (groin) and CB Lito Sheppard (hand)

Limited: CB Chris Cook (knee), T Chris DeGeare (ankle), QB Brett Favre (right ankle, elbow), DT Letroy Guion (toe), LB E.J. Henderson (knee), DE Brian Robison (ankle), C John Sullivan (calf).

Green Bay:

Out: DE Mike Neal (shoulder), LB Brady Poppinga (knee)

Did not participate: S Nick Collins (knee), WR Donald Driver (quadricep), LB A.J. Hawk (groin)

Limited: LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder), T Chad Clifton (knee), DE Cullen Jenkins (hand), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), DE Ryan Pickett (ankle), T Mark Tauscher (shoulder), CB Charles Woodson (toe)

TV rankings

The Vikings (2-3) play on national TV for the fourth time this season. Here’s where those games rank on this year’s top shows this season: Vikings-Saints (2nd), Cowboys-Vikings (4th).

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