Packers to start Tolzien vs. Vikes
Aaron Rodgers is expected to miss another week of action as the desperate Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC North clash on Sunday. The Packers are still looking for their first win since Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on a Monday night game against the Bears three weeks ago. Scott Tolzien, a former practice team player, has five interceptions and just one touchdown in his two appearances since taking over for Rodgers.
The Vikings are playing out the string having sunk to the bottom of the division standings. Losers of five of their last six, Minnesota is certainly not without problems of its own at quarterback — starter Christian Ponder has been both benched and injured in the past few weeks. Ponder will get the start again for Minnesota, which ranks 26th in total offense and has surrendered an NFL-worst 32 points per game.
TV: Noon, FOX. LINE: Packers - 4.5. O/U: 43.5.
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (2-8): Wide receiver Greg Jennings (Achilles) returned to practice Thursday while running back Adrian Peterson (groin) sat out again, but coach Leslie Frazier said they both should be ready for the game. Peterson, who vowed to break the NFL’s single-season rushing mark before the campaign began, won’t come close to that mark as he has only 851 yards and nine touchdowns. Lambeau Field has been rather unfriendly to the Vikings, who have lost three straight and 15 of the past 19 regular-season meetings on the “Frozen Tundra.”
ABOUT THE PACKERS (5-5): Green Bay players aren’t afraid to call this a must-win as the Packers sit a game behind both Chicago and Detroit in the division race. Green Bay has won seven of the last eight matchups with Minnesota, including a 24-10 victory in last season’s playoff opener at Lambeau Field. The Packers, who lost tight end Jermichael Finley for the season and have to wait until Week 15 for the return of wide receiver Randall Cobb, have relied on the legs of rookie back Eddie Lacy, who ranks eighth in the league in rushing with 696 yards.
1. Green Bay will have short turnaround, playing at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.
2. Minnesota C John Sullivan has yet to be cleared from a concussion and remains questionable.
3. Green Bay hasn’t lost three straight games at home since 2006.
PREDICTION: Packers 27, Vikings 20