Vikings: 3 Keys to Beating the Packers

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) warms up during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Detroit. Photo: AP/ Duane Burleson
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) warms up during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Detroit.

December 23, 2017 06:34 PM

KSTP's sports staff gives you a look at the three keys the Vikings need to win Saturday's game against the Greenbay Packers.

1. Don’t Take the Bait

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The Packers still aren’t happy with the hit Anthony Barr put on Aaron Rodgers that resulted in a broken collarbone, and ultimately ending the Green Bay’s playoff hopes. 

Divisional games late in the season always come with a little extra emotion, but when you couple in revenge from the Barr hit and the Packers don’t have anything to play for, the cheap shots could be coming in bulk Saturday night. The Vikings would be best served in not taking the bait. They could still be playing for important playoff positioning in week 17, so why risk any suspensions?  The Vikings need to keep their cool and just play football. They are the more talented team, so dumb penalties would just level the playing field. Play smart, get the win, and move one step closer to a first round bye in the postseason.

2. Hold on to the Ball

It will be cold Saturday night at Lambeau Field. Really cold. Temperatures could go below zero, which makes the football a slick, funny-shaped rock. Not ease to catch, throw or hold onto. This will be Case Keenum’s first start at Lambeau Field and the coldest game he’s played in. Some quarterbacks don’t seem to be affected by bad weather, but nobody knows if that’s the case for Case yet.

If penalties can even the playing field, double that for turnovers. The Vikings can play ball control offense with a solid running game, screen game and short passing game – all while avoiding turnovers – and they should have no problem beating up an injury plagued Packers team.

3. Get to the Quarterback

The Vikings defensive line has the advantage over the opposing offensive line nearly every time they step on the field and Saturday night is no different.

The Vikings have 35 sacks this season – good for number 13 in the NFL – and should be primed to add to that number against a Packers offensive line that has struggled this season. Green Bay has allowed 46 sacks – third worst in the league. 
 

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