Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/11/11

Leslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings will play at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football this week. The Packers are around two touchdown favorites-which is a boatload in the NFL. Fans from Green Bay are unique in the fact that they enjoy their beverages either way. They partake in them to celebrate if the club wins, and they consume them in excess after a loss to drown their sorrows. They will probably be on the cheery end of the spectrum late Monday night, but there are a few things that the Vikings can do to combat this likelihood.

The Packers are eighth in the NFL in run defense-allowing a hundred yards per contest.  Adrian Peterson and the Vikings are fourth in the league in attaining one hundred fifty yards per contest. That is not a big margin of difference in the rankings, but it is in the yardage. A team with this type of advantage in one aspect must take advantage of it. Plus, the extra time eaten off the clock will keep Aaron Rodgers on the sideline longer.

The Vikings rank near the bottom of the league in total passing numbers. That is not the kiss of death though because some of that lack of production is due to the ineptness of Donovan McNabb and the style that they choose to play with a rookie quarterback. They have company down there as well in the San Francisco 49ers and things have fallen into place pretty well for them. This means that the team will have to go to the air just enough to keep the Packers honest in their formations Monday night. An aerial attack in the red zone also is logical when things get bottled up.

Punting holds a slight edge for the Vikings. Chris Kluwe is a legendary character, but this is to be expected from the position. Much like a goalie in hockey or a catcher in baseball, the punter is often somewhat of an eccentric outcast on the team. It may seem like I’m grasping at straws citing this edge; that’s because I am. The Vikings have downed nine punts inside the twenty while the Packers have only done so six times. This could be because the Packers don’t have to punt as often and they simply just keep going, but I’m trying to find the silver lining. A more pronounced discrepancy is that Kluwe has forced eleven fair catch situations while the Packers have only done so four times.

This is where aggressiveness comes into the equation. The Vikings should be comfortable with giving up some more yardage with the understanding that they are trying to force turnovers. Playing like a riverboat gambler in the secondary and trying to strip the ball on every Ryan Grant carry is a necessity. It doesn’t really matter if the team loses by a field goal or by ten. The objective is to come out with a victory and a sense of desperation is a necessary component for this to occur.

 

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