This weekend's marquee matchup in the NFL features a pair of old NFL North rivals, as the Green Bay Packers head to the Twin Cities to take on the Minnesota Vikings.
This season, it appears that these two teams are headed in opposite directions, as the Packers are 6-3, with a three-game winning streak, and are tied with the Chicago Bears for the division lead; the Vikings are 3-6, coming off a loss to Chicago, and struggling with injuries and internal turmoil between the players and head coach Brad Childress.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has not been doing himself any favors this season; his passer rating of 72.2 places him near the bottom of the pack. He's thrown for 2,066 yards and 10 scores, but has also thrown 16 interceptions. Adrian Peterson has had a solid year, however; he's rushed for 908 yards (without a single fumble) and seven TDs. Second-year receiver Percy Harvin has struggled with injuries but still leads the Vikes with 44 receptions and 583 receiving yards, coupled with four receiving TDs.
For the Pack, Aaron Rodgers has been having a steady season at QB, completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,300 yards and 15 touchdowns, against just nine INTs, and a solid passer rating of 90.6. Rodgers' primary target has been Greg Jennings, who has 39 catches for 551 yards and six TDs. James Jones and longtime Pack vet Donald Driver have also been solid receivers. The rushing game has been a lesser threat for Green Bay; Brandon Jackson is the primary ball carrier, accumulating 460 yards and three scores.
Other key games this week include: Seattle visiting New Orleans; the New York football Giants traveling to Philadelphia for a key NFC East supremacy battle; and a pair of classic matchups featuring divisional leaders in the AFC, as the AFC South-leading Colts travel to AFC East co-leader New England, and the AFC North co-leader Pittsburgh Steelers host the AFC West co-leader Oakland Raiders.