Lombardi Ave is one of the top sources on the internet for information about the Green Bay Packers. So it is fitting that I talked with Dan Dahlke of Lombardi Ave about the upcoming game between the Vikings and the Packers on Sunday.
Tolzien has shown he can make the throws to move the ball on the field. He’s played pretty well for a guy just recently coming off the practice squad, but he’s thrown five interceptions in the two games he’s played in. The turnovers have been costly and kept the team from remaining competitive in the games. Tolzien needs to do a better job protecting the ball. But to be fair, the rest of the team needs to step up as well. The Packers have struggled to get the running game going the past two weeks and a solid ground game would really help out Tolzien. The defense also needs to eliminate giving up big plays and find ways to turn the ball over.
Since the last time the two teams met, the Packers defense has seemed to lost some of its confidence. They put together pretty strong performances over the team’s four-game winning streak, but since Rodgers went down, coincidently the defense has struggled as well. They’ve given up way too many big passing plays over the past three weeks and that has really been killing them. Their secondary needs to step it up, but they have been dealing with some injuries as of late. Their top cover corner, Sam Shields, may not play with a hamstring injury. Second-year man Casey Hayward, who led the team in interceptions last year, has already been ruled out.
I’ll give you one on each side of the ball. On defense, starting inside linebacker Brad Jones is coming off a great performance against the Giants where he recorded 13 tackles and one sack. He’s the Packers most versatile linebacker. He’s solid against the run and athletic enough to be effective in pass defense. He’s dealt with some injuries this season and has missed some time, but he appears to be back to full health and playing just as good as ever. Jones will be instrumental in containing Adrian Peterson on Sunday.
On offense, look out for wide receiver Jarrett Boykin. At the beginning of the season he was at the bottom of the depth chart at the receiver position. Because of injuries, he’s seen a lot of playing time the past several weeks, and he’s performed really well. He currently ranks second on the team in receptions (29), and since week seven, he’s had two games over 100 yard receiving and has averaged 15.6 yards per reception. During a season where the Packers have been decimated with injury, especially on offense, Boykin has been a pleasant surprise.
5) What is your prediction for an outcome and final score of this game?
This will be the first true cold-weather game at Lambeau Field this season, and I think it will be an ugly one. Both teams are dealing with a significant number of injuries and have had some issues at the quarterback position. I think this could really be anyone’s game. The team that withstands all the injuries and doesn’t turn the ball over will win. It will come down to whoever makes fewer mistakes between Tolzien and Christian Ponder.
Being that the game is at home, I give the Packers a slight edge (plus, I am a bit of a homer). I’ll take the Packers over the Vikings, 20-17.
If you;re looking to attend the game this week at Lambeau, make sure to grab Vikings vs. Packers tickets now!