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Opinion

Border battle rivalry heats up

November 9, 2006

If things go my way, I will have my eyes glued to the television on Sunday, as one of the most heated rivalries in all of professional football gets underway when the green and gold take on my beloved purple and gold.

I have been waiting for a long time to see the Minnesota Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers at one of my favorite places in the world, the Metrodome. Although I have never been to the Dome for a football game, I can only imagine that this Sunday, the place is going to be a rockin’ for the entire duration of the game.

Last season, I made a prediction that the Vikings would beat the Packers by three. And I was right, twice. Both games, decided by field goals, were won by the Minnesota Vikings at home and all the way in Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

This weekend, I’d like to say the Vikings are poised to beat the Packers again, but I’m not so sure.

It seems like no team is the sure favorite going into this weekend’s game. While the Vikings started out at 2-0, it doesn’t seem to matter as the team has only won two more games since. And the Packers have only won three games overall.  There is only one team that both Minnesota and Green Bay have beat, and that’s the Detroit Lions. While the Packers’ offense had a slight advantage in the 31-26 victory over the Lions, the Vikings held the edge in defense, beating Detroit 26-17.

Defense has seemed to be the advantage of the Vikings this year. Even though the team is not allowing the other teams to score a large amount of points, the offense can’t always win the game. In the last two weekends against the Giants and the Patriots, respectively, the Vikings were only able to manage 10 points total, and the defense only gave up 40 total points.

The Packers, on the other hand, are scoring more points. In the final two games, one of which was a win over the Cardinals, Green Bay squeezed out 41 points, including 31 points in the win alone. In the two games, the Packers’ defense gave up 38 points, which is comparable to the Vikings, but Minnesota still can’t put opponents away.

Neither of the teams are spectacular this season in any respect. The Vikings’ overall record going into this weekend is 4-4, while the Packers are two games below .500 at 3-5. The Vikings started out the regular season with two consecutive wins, and the Packers began the early season with two losses. The beginning of the season was a sign of things to come for a sub-par season for the Green Bay Packers.

In years past, both teams have been near the top of their league, if not at the very top, so it’s strange to see them towards the middle and bottom of the NFC North division.

It seems like the only good team in the league is the Chicago Bears, which is unusual. The Bears’ overall record is 7-1, which includes a 19-16 win over the Vikings and a 26-0 win over Green Bay. I’ll give Minnesota credit for keeping it competitive; in fact, it wasn’t even until the end of the game where Minnesota lost composure, giving the Bears the victory.

Even though neither team has been amazing this season, I still think that the battle this weekend is going to be one to remember. These two rivals always come out ready to play, no matter what point in the season it is and where the season may be going. I’m not going to say either team is going to have perfect defense or if there will be an offensive onslaught by one team, but it’s still going to be fun.

And with that all being said, I’m going to pick Minnesota for the 20-13 win over the Packers, mainly due to the fact that the Vikings will have home field advantage.

Sarah Packingham is a former member of the Student Voice staff.