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November

2011 NFL Season Week 10: Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings Preview–In their defense….

Christian Ponder won't have the element of surprise on his side this time.

Didn’t we just beat the Vikings?

Only three short weeks ago, the Green Bay Packers did indeed beat the Minnesota Vikings, 33-27 at the Metrodome.  One bye and a win over the San Diego Chargers later, and the Packers host the Vikings on Monday Night Football.

Though it doesn’t offer Brett Favre’s return to Green Bay, the game still holds plenty of intrigue.  Will the Packers’ perfect season continue to hold up despite a porous defense? Can Aaron Rodgers maintain his level of play?  Is Christian Ponder the next big thorn in the side of the Packers?

It’s also a divisional game which means the records can be thrown out the window when comparing the two teams.  Packers/Vikings games often end up being real close no matter how either team performs against the other 30 clubs.

Key Vikings Players

QB Christian Ponder

Ponder made his presence known immediately in his first meeting with the Packers, completing a 72 yard pass to Michael Jenkins on the very first play from scrimmage.  After that, he still played fairly well though some poor throws wound up in the hands of the Packers secondary and likely ended up costing the Vikings the upset.

Ponder improved in the next game with a 236 yard and zero-interception effort in a 24-21 win over the Carolina Panthers.   So far after two games, Ponder is looking like a very mobile quarterback with an arm strong enough to make most of his throws.  He will only get better with experience.

After getting caught off guard in their first meeting, the Packers will definitely be keeping a close eye on Ponder.  Until they develop any semblance of a pass rush, the Packers best hope is to let their cornerbacks force Ponder into some poor decisions.

RB Adrian Peterson

What else can I say about AP that hasn’t already been said over and over again?

Peterson had another great game against the Packers three weeks ago, rushing for 175 yards and a touchdown.  He’s on pace for another 1500 yard season and is obviously the Vikings biggest weapon on offense.  If they develop even a decent passing attack with Ponder, this will open things up even more for Peterson and make the Vikings one of the biggest spoilers the rest of the season.