TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 17: Green Bay Packers At Minnesota Vikings

Packers
Vikings
Green Bay Packers v San Diego Chargers
Minnesota Vikings 21 - Chicago Bears 14
Quarterback
Winner A year ago, the Packers were finishing off a stellar regular season that left them as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. This year, they didn’t play at the same level, but they clinched the NFC North. They are now playing their best football of the year. The key once again is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is coming off a three-TD performance in the Packers’ 55-7 triumph over the Tennessee Titans.
It’s been a tough year for Christian Ponder, but he is coming off one of his best performances of the years. Ponder threw for 174 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings 23-6 victory over the Titans. This was Minnesota’ best win of the year.
Offense
Winner The Packers have developed a decent running game in recent weeks and that has made things much easier for Rodgers. Veteran Ryan Grant rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans. James Jones, Randall Cobb and Greg Jennings give Rodgers one of the best trios of the receivers in the NFL.
It has been the Adrian Peterson show and he will make an effort to get past the 2,000-yard mark and also challenge Eric Dickerson’s record against the Packers. Peterson has been sensational, and his performance is even more notable considering how underwhelming Ponder’s performance has been.
Defense
The Packers head to the postseason playing their best defensive football of the season. Clay Matthews is an explosive difference maker who can turn the corner and sack the quarterback. Free safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker A.J. Burnett are hard-hitting tacklers who don’t let ball carriers slip through their grasp.
Winner The Vikings were very aggressive against the Texans, but don’t expect that tactic to work against Aaron Rodgers. If the Vikings attempt to blitz Rodgers on a regular basis, he will pick them apart with quick passes. Outside linebacker Chad Greenway has had an excellent year and leads the Viking in tackles.
Special Teams
The Vikings have gotten a remarkable year from rookie kicker Blair Walsh. He has made 9-of-9 field goal attempts from 50 yards and beyond, which is a new record for most field goals of that distance without a miss. Chris Kluwe is averaging 44.7 yards per punt.
Winner Cobb has been an explosive returner as well as a big-time receiver. He has the ability to string together quick moves to make tacklers miss. Punter Tim Masthay is averaging 43.7 yards per punt and he has put 29 of his punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Green Bay Packers v San Diego Chargers Minnesota Vikings 21 - Chicago Bears 14

The Vikings are going to try to come up with the victory over their archrivals so they can finish with 10 wins and earn a spot in the playoffs. While containing Rodgers will be difficult, the presence of Peterson and the Vikings’ loud home crowd could mean the difference. The Packers will earn a first-round bye if they can come up with the win.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

  2. PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Le\'Veon Bell #26 during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

    The red-hot Steelers head to KC for a rematch with a Chiefs team they throttled 43-14 in the regular season.

  3. HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans hands off to Lamar Miller #26 at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots points to the defense during the 1st quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

    The Texans head to Foxboro, the site of a 27-0 loss in the regular season and now have to face Tom Brady this time around.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

New Podcast Network
Learn How
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live