I haven't really touched on the NFC this week as of yet, now it's time for the best bet!
Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at Green Bay Packers (11-5)
The Packers should really have an issue with the replacement referees that stole the win from them against Seattle in which wide receiver Golden Tate stole the ball from the defensive back and really didn't have possession of the ball at all.
At the time, Aaron Rodgers was visibly upset and stated on a radio show that I streamed, that this one game can hurt the city of Milwaukee, the stadium workers, and the Packers. It was a local ESPN call-in show which Rodgers is a guest on every week after every Packers game. This game definitely came back to bite the Packers because instead of resting on the bye week like San Francisco, the Packers are forced to play the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson.
This was the same team that defeated the Packers in week 17, 37-34. Adrian Peterson was trying to break Eric Dickerson's record of rushing yards in a season, but came up just 9 yards short. He rushed for 199 yards and 1 TD against the Pack. What's AP's consolation prize? - A trip to the playoffs and a rematch against the team that the Vikings just beat. What's to make me think that AP can't hit the Pack up for another 199 yards? They're the same team that he faced the week before.
Change of venue does make a difference. The home team, for some psychological reason, has an advantage. I can agree that playing at Lambeau Field give's the Packers an edge in this game, but a 9.5 point edge? I don't think so.
Is this the same Packers team that won the Super Bowl?
Before he won a ring, people underestimated Aaron Rodgers as he and the Packers swooped into Atlanta as a wildcard and defeated a near flawless Falcons team soundly. Rodgers has been spectacular this year, but I do see chinks in his armor.
The Giants Game...
I can go back to week 12 in which the Giants basically handed Rodgers his lunch to him in a 38-10 demolition at MetLife Stadium. Late in the 3rd quarter, it appeared that head coach Mike McCarthy basically threw in the towel. Green Bay was complacent in knowing that they weren't going to win that game, didn't want Rodgers to get beat up, and they started to take their time and just hand the ball off. Could you imagine Bill Belichick doing such a thing, or even Greg Schiano? I sure couldn't.
Rodgers is the ultimate competitor and he simply looked defeated, and gave up. That's not a hungry team to me!
The AP factor
What I saw last week from running back Adrian Peterson was pure heart and desire; Partially to break a record but mostly to make the playoffs. He's a hungry football player. He has every reason to feel defeated after a devastating knee injury last season, but AP has healed quickly, quick enough to make the playoffs and earn a NFL MVP Trophy. If Peyton Manning is handed this trophy, Peterson should have half of it handed it to him as the co-MVP.
Look for Adrian Peterson to have another big game against Green Bay. Let's also remember that Green Bay ranks 17th against the rush in the NFL. This is slightly below average. The Packers better tighten their chinstraps because Adrian Peterson is a hungry and very talented football player.
Let's also remember that Peterson came back from another devastating injury in college that saw him drop in the NFL Draft. He played on Oklahoma in a very famous and crazy game against Boise State that Oklahoma lost. The minute that I saw Oklahoma get the ball in the overtime session and Peterson ran in to the endzone on one play, I knew that he was underrated and destined for greatness. Now it's Green Bay's turn to find out! I'll be adding the Vikings to my NFL Picks ticket tonight!