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Katz: This is a must win game for the Vikings if they want any shot at the 1 seed and the Packers have given up on 2017 with Aaron Rodgers on IR.
Rabbitt: I am always wary of the team with nothing to lose. That being said, I'm not sure how that packers defense can stop the Case Keenum juggernaut. Will pride allow the packers to stay within 9? History says yes. My eyes tell me no.
Savage: I won't bet this and it probably won't be in my blazing 5, but this is an insane amount of points. I thought Minnesota would be favored in the 6 or 7 range.
First of all, this is a Saturday night game right before the holidays. A lot of Packer fans bought tickets to this game a week or 2 in advance thinking they'd see Rodgers do his "run the table" act. It will be a full house of fans who have spent their entire day drinking away their sorrows and want revenge from the team that broke the franchise's collarbone. The Packers may mail it in in week 17, but I'd expect them to play angry in this one.
Second, Minnesota has 6 wins by 10 or more points this year. 5 of those came at home. The only non-home blowout was the game in London against the Browns, not a true road game against not a true NFL team. They're very good, but I still don't buy them as good enough to cover larger spreads on the road.
RC: My fear is – this is the first time GB is playing this season officially ‘dead’ for the playoffs. Not sure how hard they will rollover, and Minnesota everything to play for. But it is a lot of points.
Rabbitt: The more I think about this, the more I lean GB to stay within 7. Despite the talent disparity between the two teams I think the chance to "spoil" the Vikings season looms large to at least keep the game competitive.
Katz: Mike McCarthy is absolutely terrible at his job...for the most part. But if there's one thing I can see him doing well, it's convincing his team to actually try this week. Rodgers is done. Davante is done. Jordy is a different kind of done. Everything points to a Vikings blowout. But it's Saturday night. Christmas weekend. The Packers are home. Maybe Brett Hundley has got his pole and is ready to deliver a Festivus miracle.
Savage: The other thing is, the Packers are so banged up that the guys left playing are mostly young guys playing for a job in 2018, whether with Green Bay or somewhere else. We've seen other young teams like the Colts, 49ers, and Browns give a good effort every week despite a lack of talent and no playoff hopes. The teams we've seen quit this year tend to be veteran teams that know their coach is not coming back ext year, like the Bengals, Giants, and Bucs. The Packers could easily get blown out because of the talent gap, but I highly doubt it will happen due to a lack of effort.
Skolman: I think the Rogers situation and the many other injuries on both sides of the ball are very relevant but the biggest deal to me is single digit weather in GB. Under 41 anyone?
I have no doubt the Packers will give effort but this just feels like a low scoring game the Vikings win going away. A spirited first half then the 6 degree weather freezes the motivation for a back door cover. Huge advantage in the running game for Minnesota...so many injuries to an already so-so GB defense.
Perhaps RC’s prediction of the Vikings 2018 demise comes true and the Packers get their revenge next year. On the eve before Christmas Eve I’ll take the team that is much, much better this holiday season.
RC: The worst news for the Vikings is that I am endorsing them now. I’m a believer. What’s also crazy…is it possible the Vikings became better without Dalvin Cook? If not for the Dalvin injury would MIN have gone the way of KC/K.Hunt?
Skolman: If you guys don’t want to lay 9 with the Vikes...I think SD St -6.5 is an early Christmas present. 3:30est.
I’ll be wrapping and watching so If it turns out to be a lump of coal, there will be no crisp edges...just loose paper and lots of tape.