It’s amazing how much can change in one month in the NFL. Four weeks ago, the Green Bay Packers had defeated the Minnesota Vikings 44-31 and used their 5-2 record to take sole control of first place in the NFC North. The following week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, an injury that’s sidelined him since and relegated the Packers to three losses in a row. Today the Packers and Vikings have a rematch, and the outcome before kickoff is anyone’s guess. Minnesota (2-8) has an abysmal record, so if ever a team were unable to capitalize on the Packers’ misfortune, it could very well be the Vikings. Then again, with running back Adrian Peterson on your side, you never want to discount your chances. The 1pm EST / 10am PST game is being broadcast on FOX, or you can watch Vikings vs Packers online free live using one of several different methods.
When the Packers and Vikings last met, the Vikings had just re-named Christian Ponder their QB. Although Ponder has had plenty of time to adjust to his starting QB role, Ponder has been terribly inconsistent. Yes, he was injured against the Washington Redskins, but even so it’s been clear that he’s not the Vikings’ long-term answer at quarterback. As a result, Josh Freeman, whom the Vikings picked up after he was waived by the Buccaneers, may once again get some reps today against the Packers. Freeman had a poor performance against the Giants, but with Ponder’s bad play and the Vikings needing someone to show signs of life and alleviate the pressure on running back Adrian Peterson, Freeman could just be the answer, even if not a starting-series one.
Meanwhile, the Packers’ substitute QB, Scott Tolzien, has played well for the most part, although he’s had some nasty turnovers. Last week alone, Tolzien tossed three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Jason Pierre-Paul. You’d be hard-pressed to find a suitable substitute QB for Aaron Rodgers, but no matter who’s quarterbacking the Packers, turnovers like that aren’t something Packers fans are used to seeing. Things may very well improve in that regard this week, as the Vikings are terrible at generating takeaways, but he’ll need to keep up his torrid pace throwing the ball deep to his receivers. He’ll also need to help Green Bay improve its results in the red zone; the Packers have scored just two touchdowns inside the 20 yard line the past nine times they’ve been in scoring position.
One thing to take note of as you watch Vikings vs Packers online free is how often Ponder (or Freeman) tries to go deep to wide receiver Greg Jennings, whom the Vikings signed this off-season from none other than the Green Bay Packers. If he plays, that is. Jennings was inactive for last week’s game, but it was unclear whether it was a bout of the pouts or a legitimate injury. Jennings has never been durable, but the Vikings need him to not only suit up but be an impact player today when he makes his first return to Lambeau Field. Jennings didn’t do much of anything in these two teams’ first meeting a month ago, but he’s bound to have some extra motivation to deliver today — presuming he plays.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is another one to keep tabs on, as he said after last Sunday’s game that his groin injury was bothering him. Peterson had already been having an average-Joe season, but if his injury’s got him down, this could be one brutal road game for the Vikings.
The Packers, of course, would love for that to be the case, and their offense may have a lot to do with that. With the Vikings basically holding out for Peterson to work magic on the ground, Minnesota will likely be unable to make quick-hitting drives. The Packers, then, will need to control the ball to keep the Vikings’ offense off the field. With running back Eddie Lacy in the backfield, that may be doable. For the season, Lacy has rushed 172 times for 696 yards and five touchdowns. If he can grind out some sustained drives against a Vikings defense that allows more than 100 yards rushing per game, he could alleviate some of the pressure from Tolzien and keep Peterson off the field for Minnesota.
You can watch Vikings vs Packers online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 1pm EST / 10am PST NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.