Monday Night NFL Picks: Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers Monday Night NFL Week 10 Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on ESPN 11/14/11: The Green Bay Packers have been steamrolling the rest of the NFL this season, jumping out to an 8-0 start. Meanwhile, there NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings have been getting steamrolled on a regular basis, sitting at 2-6 heading into Monday night’s meeting in Green Bay. Not surprisingly, the Packers are favored in this one, but the question for bettors is whether or not the defending Super Bowl champs can beat a divisional opponent by more than 14 points.
Looking at the quarterback position, it is easy to see why the Packers are undefeated and the Vikings are sitting in the cellar of the NFC North. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is one pace to top 5,000 yards and to throw for more than 50 touchdowns, and he has been picking apart opposing defenses with ease all season. While the Packers have an MVP candidate under center, the Vikings have rookie Christian Ponder. He took over for veteran Donovan McNabb after McNabb struggled out of the gates.
Of course, the Vikings aren’t without some star power of their own. Running back Adrian Peterson has amassed 795 yards this year, averaging almost five yards per carry and scoring nine times. At times, he has been the only offensive weapon for Minnesota, and his combination of workhorse durability and big play speed makes him tough to stop. To put it in perspective, consider that Green Bay’s top two rushers have combined for more than 100 yards less than Peterson this season.
The problem facing Minnesota is that Green Bay is pretty solid when it comes to defending the run. With a defensive front that features Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji, running lanes have been few and far between for opposing backs. Granted, Peterson can run through just about any defense, but in order to upset Green Bay, he needs to have an exceptional game. This Green Bay unit isn’t likely to allow that to happen.
While these two teams are about as different as they come, they do share the same weakness. Neither defense has been able to defend the pass. Minnesota currently ranks 30th in the NFL and Green Bay ranks 31st.While the Packers technically have the worse secondary, they are also much better equipped to take advantage of the situation. Rodgers should have a monster game against the porous Vikings’ pass defense, while the unproven Ponder may or may not be able to do the same to the Green Bay defense.
The X-factor could be Minnesota defense end Jared Allen. The Packers are a scoring machine on offense, but they have had some issues protecting Rodgers. Meanwhile, Allen is on pace to challenge the single-season record for sacks. If Allen can kill a few Green Bay drives or even force a few turnovers, the Vikings may have a chance to pull off a major upset.
In the end, the matchup of Rodgers against an awful Minnesota secondary spells doom for the Vikings. Green Bay has been able to score at will all season, and Rodgers and company should have no trouble spreading out the Minnesota defense and lighting up the scoreboard. Even if Peterson chips in 150 yards and a couple of touchdowns, it won’t be enough unless Rodgers suddenly forgets what how to play after dominating for the first eight games of the season. In Green Bay, this game has blowout written all over it.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers (-13) Win the Game
Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions: Green Bay -13
|Week 10 NFL Football: Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Time: 8:35 PM EST on ESPN
Vegas Odds – Favorite: Green Bay -13 Total: Over/Under 50
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