Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) shares a laugh with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings (85) after the Packers beat the Vikings 24-10 in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Five Things To Know About the Vikings Week 8 Game

The Vikings are preparing for another prime time match this week.  This time, it is against the division rival Green Bay Packers.  Here are five things to know about the game:

  1. November 18, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Network television reporters Cris Collinsworth (left) and Bob Costas (right) on the field performing the pre-game broadcast of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers game at Heinz Field. The Baltimore Ravens won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    The game will be called by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.  Michaels has been an NFL commentator for almost 30 years, including ABC’s Monday Night Football and NBC’s Sunday Night Football.  Collinsworth is a former NFL wide receiver who became a reporter for HBO’s “Inside the NFL” before eventually being hired by NBC in 1990 to follow college and some professional sports.

  2. Sept. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt (left) talks with NFL side judge Larry Rose (128) and referee Scott Green (19) talk prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    The head referee for the contest will be Scott Green.  Green got his start as an NFL official back in 1991.  Since then, he has officiated three Super Bowls.  He is also the head of the NFL Referee Association and led negotiations during the 2012 referee lockout.  When he’s not a referee, Green works for a form that he co-founded as a lobbyist for criminal justice agencies in Washington, D.C.

  3. Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) warms up prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Injuries are decimating both teams.  Packers out or doubtful for Sunday’s game: TE Finley, LB Matthews, TE Taylor, and WR Jones.  On IR are OT Bulaga, WR Cunningham, WR Dorsey, LB Francois, RB Harris, OL Van Roten, and WR Cobb (designated to return). Vikings out or doubtful: RB Asiata, TE Ellison, QB Freeman, and WR Smith. On IR are FB Line, LB Bishop, CB Felder, and S Smith (designated to return).

  4. Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) warms up prior to the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

    Christian Ponder gets an unexpected start at quarterback.  The Vikings have used three different quarterbacks in their first six games.  Last week, Josh Freeman got the start, but now because of a concussion, Freeman will have to sit out this contest.  Two week starter, Matt Cassel will act as Ponder’s backup on Sunday.

  5. Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler (46) celebrates a fumble recovery after New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle (not pictured) fumbled a punt return during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants won the game 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    The Vikings NEED a win this week.  This has been a part of this countdown the last three weeks, but a win over the division leader would be a great confidence booster to a team that is really struggling to get going.  The Vikings offense has been pathetic the last couple weeks putting points on the board, while last week the team’s defense was better than expected.

You can catch the game between the Vikings and the Packers on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm central time from Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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