Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 key reasons the Vikings will win.” It's the Border Battle Take 2 on Sunday as the Packers travel to TCF Bank Stadium.
For 5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried, click here.
5. Packers more focused on celebrity status
"We're all A-list celebrities now," joked Packers linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. this week.
In June, Matthews along with offensive linemen David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Don Barclay (along with Aaron Rodgers' younger brother, Jordan) filmed a cameo appearance in the movie Pitch Perfect 2.
The group appears in one of the trailers for the movie, so they discussed it with reporters on Thursday.
"A lot of determination by Dave [Bakhtiari] to set the whole thing up – determination-slash-desperation, because he was at it quite a bit trying to get a hold of the producers to get us in the movie," Lang said. "Shockingly, they actually let us in after all his desperate tweets and phone calls and emails. It was fun."
The players flew down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for four days of shooting when OTAs wrapped up.
"We probably would have paid to be in the movie, to be honest with you," Lang said.
4. Tate ready to run
Ben Tate was at his first Vikings practice on Thursday and said he is just excited to be in Minnesota. He admitted that he is a little unsure of what his role will be for the game on Sunday though.
"Whatever I can do, I will do and I'll do it to the best of my ability," said Tate.
Tate was let go after gaining 333 yards on 3.1 yards a carry for Cleveland this year. He signed with the Browns in the offseason after spending the first four years of his career in Houston.
Tate's best year was his rookie year in 2011 when he ran for 942 yards and averaged 5.4 yards a carry.
Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Tate can help, but McKinnon remains the team's top back.
"We're in a situation where (Wednesday) we had one back that could practice, so the timing of (Tate) being released and the opportunity for us to add a back ... was good timing," Turner told the Pioneer Press. "We're excited about Jerick and what he's done, and I see him as our running back. He's been limited in practice last week and couldn't practice (Wednesday), so you've got to protect yourself."
3. Johnson starts to emerge
The Vikings newest wide receiver, Charles Johnson, has shown some promise early in his Vikings career and could be close to emerging as a big play threat.
He comes into this week after making a career-high six catches for 87 yards last week against the Bears.
But he admits this week could be extra special.
At 6'2, 215 pounds Johnson was drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 draft by the Green Bay Packers, but spent most of last season with Norv Turner in Cleveland.
He made his first career catch in Lambeau Field, but as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson grabbed a Christian Ponder pass for a seven yard gain.
"It was only a 7-yard catch, but that catch to me, ended up being my first NFL catch and against the team that drafted me," Johnson said this week. "It meant so much more to me than seven yards. It's not only for me, for my family, my city, for all the people who have been through the things I've been through, and just for myself because of all the things I've overcome over the years."
2. Bridgewater ready for his first border battle
The Vikings didn't have Teddy Bridgewater in their first meeting with the Packers, a 42-10 loss at Lambeau Field. The rookie sprained his ankle near the end of his first career start against Atlanta and wasn't able to play four days later in Green Bay.
Bridgewater said this week, he'd embrace the role of face of the franchise. There's no better way for the 22-year-old to do that then having a great day against the Packers defense.
At the same time, Bridgewater could end some of the questions about his ability to play quarterback in cold weather games. For the second straight week, he'll start a game where the high temperatures are only expected to be in the 30's.
1. Vikings defense is playing better
Since surrendering 42 points to the Packers in their week five loss, the Vikings defense has been playing much better the last few weeks.
Opponents have only scored more than 20 points twice since that game. One of those came last week against Chicago when the Bears scored 21 unanswered to beat the Vikings 21-13 after Minnesota took a 10-0 lead.
Defensive coordinator George Edwards hinted they will make some changes to the scheme because of it.
"We will have to see Sunday, I don't want to sit here and tell you exactly what we're going to do," said Edwards. "But there are some things that we plan on doing to help ourselves in the situations, the 3rd downs, the deep passes and those kind of things."
Ok, we admit that was awfully positive, especially this week with Green Bay in town. If you think that was a little too positive, click here for 5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried about the Green Bay Packers.