NFL Football

16
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Minnesota 10 0 3 3 16
Green Bay 0 0 0 0 0
0
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST7:30 PM CT5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� , December 23, 2017
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin  Weather: 10°, Clear  Attendance: 78,092

Hundley gets his turn to try and cool off Vikings

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

  1. The Vikings beat the Bengals, 34-7, at U.S. Bank Stadium last Sunday, clinching their second NFC North title in the last three seasons (also 2015). With a victory over Green Bay in Week 16, Minnesota will be 12-3 or better through 15 games for just the second time since teams went to a 16-game schedule in 1978 (started 14-1 in 1998).
  2. Green Bay lost, 31-24, to Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Week 15, and has been eliminated from participating in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Packers' eight straight postseason appearances from 2009-2016 was the longest streak in franchise history.
  3. Minnesota defeated Green Bay, 23-10, at U.S. Bank Stadium in these clubs' first meeting of the season, and has beaten the Packers three of the last four times the clubs have hooked up overall. Dating to 2010, Green Bay is 5-1-1 in its last seven home games vs. the Vikings.
  4. Case Keenum completed 20-of-23 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns (0 INT) in last weekend's victory, improving to 9-3 as Minnesota's starting quarterback this season. Keenum's 87.0 completion percentage in Week 15 was the second-highest single-game mark in franchise history (minimum 20 attempts: Brett Favre -- 88.0 percent vs. Seattle in 2009).
  5. Aaron Rodgers threw for 290 yards and three scores last Sunday, but was picked off three times in his return to action after missing seven games with a broken collarbone. The three interceptions tied a career high for Rodgers, done three times prior (last in 2009 at Tampa Bay).
  6. Minnesota has zero giveaways in the red zone this season -- tied with five other teams for fewest in the league. Green Bay has zero takeaways in the red zone in 2017 (tied with four other teams for fewest in football).
Team Comparison

Minnesota
 
Green Bay
24.5 Points 22.1
257.2 Pass Yds 229.2
121.3 Rush Yds 107.7
17 Takeaways 22

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer against Green Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

NFC North supremacy and the brutal cold of a late-December night game at Lambeau Field.

Well, so much for most of that.

The Vikings have clinched the division title and have an eye on securing a first-round bye and possibly earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Packers, on the other hand, are out of the playoff picture. Aaron Rodgers, whose right collarbone was broken during a season-defining loss at Minnesota in Week 6, is back on injured reserve after throwing three interceptions in a killer loss at Carolina.

At least it will be cold for Saturday night's game. The predicted low for Saturday night is 1.

Zimmer insists his team, which has won nine of its last 10, won't overlook the Packers, who won't be part of the postseason for the first time since 2008.

"I told my team this: We're a good team, we're not a great team," Zimmer said. "I don't know if there's any great teams out there, but we're a good team. We don't have the luxury of looking past anybody, and that's really not our mentality as a football team (or) the kind of guys that we have."

The landscape of the NFL underwent a seismic shift during the first quarter of the teams' matchup in Minneapolis on Oct. 15. That's when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr took Rodgers to the turf after a pass. Rodgers suffered a broken right collarbone. Minnesota won 23-10 to record the second of eight consecutive wins. The Packers went on to lose four of Brett Hundley's first five starts at quarterback.

Rodgers returned last week but the Packers lost 31-24 at Carolina. Green Bay put Rodgers back on injured reserve and has turned over the offense again to Hundley. He's thrown eight touchdowns vs. eight interceptions this season -- including one touchdown and three picks in relief of Rodgers at Minnesota. In four home starts, the Packers have gone 1-3 with Hundley throwing zero touchdowns vs. five interceptions.

"I think he's grown quite a bit," Zimmer said. "He's making a lot of quick decisions. He's been taking care of the football well. He's using his legs quite a bit. He's obviously got a strong arm, very athletic guy. He starting to see a lot more as far as the things when he wants to get the ball out to the perimeter when guys are playing off coverage, does a nice job with movement in the pocket, and he's starting to really -- I'm not saying he's Rodgers, but he's got a lot of very similar mannerisms."

Hundley will face an enormous challenge against Minnesota's powerful defense. The Vikings rank second in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense. Defensive end Everson Griffen, who has 13 sacks, Barr and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were selected to the Pro Bowl team on Tuesday.

"We've seen these guys, me personally, for three years now," Hundley said. "To play against these guys, and now to get another chance to play them, it's a great opportunity. They do what they do well, very well. They're one of the best defenses in the league."

Green Bay's defense relies on big plays that have been too infrequent. The Packers kept their season alive by scoring a defensive touchdown in the overtime win vs. Tampa Bay and forcing an interception in overtime to win at Cleveland. At Carolina, however, the Packers failed to force any turnovers and gave up four touchdown passes to Cam Newton and a season-worst 29 first downs.

Green Bay is No. 30 in opponent passer rating (100.5) and No. 31 in opponent completion percentage (68.4). Vikings quarterback Case Keenum is No. 8 in rating (98.9) and No. 2 in completion percentage (67.9).

"He's been given an opportunity and obviously he's had a number of experiences and I'm sure he's learned from them all to prepare himself for this opportunity in Minnesota," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's doing a hell of a job. He has really good tape."

On the injury front, Packers receiver Davante Adams remains in the concussion protocol following the helmet-to-helmet hit by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis that resulted in Davis getting a one-week suspension. Adams is second in the NFL with 10 touchdown catches.

Starting outside linebackers Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder) and guard Jahri Evans (knee) also didn't practice for Green Bay. For Minnesota, reserve cornerback Tramaine Brock (foot) was the only player to not practice.

Updated December 20, 2017

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