MNF Preview: Minnesota-Green Bay

The Minnesota-Green Bay rivalry is at its lowest ebb in a while. It hit a high point when Brett Favre switched over to the Vikings for 2009-10 and during Favre’s time in Green Bay, the Vikings were the most consistent nemesis. As the two NFC North foes get set for Monday Night this looks like a game only a bettor could love, as one evaluates whether Green Bay can cover a number of (-14) tonight in Lambeau Field.

Green Bay’s having problems in pass protection, and only the combination of Mike McCarthy’s creative play design and Aaron Rodgers’ incomparable ability to rapidly pick out the open man is able to keep the passing game going. The problem the Vikes face is that if you don’t actually sack Rodgers, he hits his man, and the Packers pile up huge numbers. Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen is having a great bounceback year and he needs to be in Rodgers’ face all night long.

The other Packer weakness is in the secondary, as a combination of Nick Collins’ injury and Clay Matthews disappointing sack production have allowed opposing quarterbacks to pile up the yardage. In this case the Vikes are less suited to capitalize on the weakness, since I wouldn’t be too confident of Christian Ponder’s ability to play well in front of the hostile road crowd on prime-time.

Minnesota is an improving team. Green Bay is a team with some cracks in the armor. But a Monday Night in Lambeau isn’t the night those will show up in the W-L column. I look for Ponder to make some mistakes, Rodgers not to make any and the Pack to churn their way to 9-0, likely covering the spread.