Vikings vs. Packers: Wild Card playoff preview


The 105th meeting between the Vikings and Packers takes place at Lambeau Field Saturday night in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. Minnesota is 49-54-1 all-time against Green Bay.

Although Adrian Peterson has been limited in practice with abdominal irritation and a sore ankle for quite a while, he feels good enough to play a few more weeks. He says his "body feels great" and he can "play for 12 more games" if he had to.

Peterson, who was held out of practice Wednesday, returned in a limited role on Thursday. Ponder was once again limited this week with an elbow injury that he suffered when Packers' safety Morgan Burnett hit him hard on a blitz on Sunday.

Both Ponder and cornerback Antoine Winfield were listed as questionable Friday, but are expected to play Saturday. Special teams star Tyrone McKenzie is the only player ruled out for a shoulder injury.

Even though Peterson fell nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, he can still chase Dickerson down in another category. Dickerson holds the NFL's single-game postseason rushing record of 248 yards. AP is averaging 204.5 yards in two games against Green Bay this season.

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is making a bold guarantee. "We aren't giving up 200 again," Matthews said Wednesday.

Gameday Gold's Eric Nelson has some great nuggets about the rubber match between the Vikings and Packers.

While the Packers have won 22 of their last 28 regular season games at Lambeau Field, their home field advantage in the playoffs hasn't been so great. Green Bay has lost four of their last six home playoff games, including a 31-to-17 loss to the Vikings in the 2004 playoffs.

Remember that 31-to-17 win for the Vikings? FOX announcer Joe Buck probably does.

Part of Christian Ponder's resurgence after a dismal middle of the season should be credited to the wide receivers, who have been working hard to develop chemistry with Ponder. "Guys are stepping up at the right time," Ponder said. "We need to continue to do that."

On the other side of the ball the Vikings are confident that Antoine Winfield will play, despite missing most of last week's game against the Packers because the pain in his broken hand was too much to play through. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams is currently working on a plan to replace Winfield if he can't play, or leaves this week's game early.

As MinnPost points out ball control will be a major factor in the game. Green Bay had the ball for more than 38-minutes of the game when the team's first met in early December. In the Vikings' win last week they won the time of possession battle by about three-minutes.

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