The Green Bay Packers bring their three-game winning streak into Mall of America Field to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night football. Maybe it’s just the old school in me that “Mall of America Field” doesn’t roll easily off the tongue. It’s the Metrodome, the Humpty Dome, The Dome or in some instances, “Hell”, right?
Either way, this is the last time that the Packers will face the Vikings in that building. The plan, after this season, is for Minnesota to play their home games at TCF Stadium for two years while their new stadium is expected to be built in the same spot that the Dome currently sits.
The Vikings have to be hoping that a change in venue might lead to some improvement in their play. They currently sit at a disappointing 1-5 and just handed the previously-winless New York Giants their first win of the season this past Monday night.
While this has the makings of an easier game for the Packers, divisional matchups always carry an added element of competitiveness and especially on the road. Let’s look at the keys for Green Bay to leave Minnesota with the win that many are expecting for them.
Fast Start, Dictate the Tempo
The Vikings have struggled in nearly every area so far this season. They have trotted out three different starting quarterbacks and have not been able to establish any type of offensive rhythm at all. Defensively, they have not been much better and they are now without safety Harrison Smith, who is dealing with a toe injury. If there is one area of deficiency that can most disastrous against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it’s the secondary.
While the Packers will continue to showcase their more physical side and establish the run, Rodgers should be looking for the deep ball early on. Rodgers is one of the league leaders in completed passes over 25 yards from scrimmage. While Green Bay isn’t likely to find their 2011 stroke, they have had more success in pushing the ball downfield over their past three games. A quick, early strike and a quick score can set the tone and put the Vikings on their heels right away.