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Gulp, Pack, gulp: Vikings breathing down neck of Packers

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While Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Tom Brady were throwing up huge passing numbers this week, Aaron Rodgers – maybe the best of the best – threw up a dud in Denver.

Rodgers' 77 passing yards were the lowest of his career (in a game he didn't leave due to injury) since the Vikings kept him in check for 142 yards back in 2008, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports. The Packers are averaging just 19.5 points per game over the last month, MMQB adds.

In addition to the offensive woes, Green Bay allowed 500 yards of total offense for a second game in a row.

"That's a humbling loss. I haven't had my ass kicked like that in a long time," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Green Bay is 6-1, still at the top of the NFC North standings, but the Vikings are close behind at 5-2. The Bears and Lions are a combined 3-12, making the NFC North fight a two-team race.

By the time next Monday rolls around the Vikings and Packers could be tied for the division lead at 6-2. The Vikings will need a home victory over St. Louis (4-3) and the Packers will need to lose at Carolina. The Panthers (6-0) are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFC.

More on Rodgers' struggles

Rodgers has played five road games against teams with top five defenses over the last two seasons. Here's the opponent and the result:

  1. Seahawks: loss
  2. Lions: loss
  3. Bills: loss
  4. Seahawks: loss
  5. Broncos: loss

According to ESPN, Rodgers is 0-5 in those games with 3 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, a quarterback rating (ESPN rating) of 35 and he's been sacked 10 times.

Minnesota and Green Bay meet in Minneapolis in three weeks, and there's a chance Rodgers could be facing a Vikings defense ranked in the top five. The Vikings are currently ranked seventh in total defense and they own the No. 2-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 1.4 points more per game than Denver.

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