The Vikings host the Green Bay Packers at home this weekend, as the team looks to protect a five-game winning streak, and first place in the NFC North. We scoped around the web to see what the experts are predicting for the rivalry matchup on Sunday.
*This is a huge game for both teams. If the Vikings really want to stake a claim as the best team in the division, they have to win this game. The Packers are having problems on offense. The Vikings are good on defense. So why do I think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers get it going? *
Packers 26, Vikings 23--Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
*This has the potential to be a big one in the NFC North standings, and the Vikings have reason to think they can take one from their rivals at home, especially in light of the Packers' run of preseason injuries. But the bet here is that by late November the Packers will have figured out how to function without Jordy Nelson. *
Packers 28, Vikings 23--Ben Goessling, ESPN
The Vikings have a huge opportunity to establish themselves as the favorites in the NFC North. With a win on Sunday, they'll have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker advantage over the Packers. I think Green Bay is going to get things turned around, however, and get back on top in the division.
Packers 24, Vikings 20--Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
As the Vikings prepared to face the Rams, folks said, "Win this one, and we'll believe in you." Then, after beating the Rams and preparing to face the Raiders, folks said, "Win this one, and we'll believe in you." Now, as the Vikings prepare to face the Packers after bearing the Raiders, folks are saying, "Win this one, and we'll believe in you." Come Monday, folks will say, "Well, the Packers stink now, anyway."
Vikings 34, Packers 19—Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
A few weeks ago, the NFC North was a much different place. Sure, the Vikings were a nice story, but it was the Green Bay Packers' world. The Vikings just lived in it.
Fast forward a bit, and as Andy Benoit of the MMQB wrote, things have changed ever so slightly:
America, meet the Minnesota Vikings, the best team in the NFC North—both in record and in actuality. During the summer, many predicted the Vikings would take that Next Step under second-year coach Mike Zimmer. But no one forecast that a Week 10 victory at Oakland would be their seventh of the year. This morning, they lead the North for three reasons:
1. Their offense has a distinct identity, centered around Adrian Peterson and the power running game.
2. Their defense is young, fast in all the right places and very well-schemed.
3. The rival Packers currently have a poorly coached, mediocre offense that happens to be led by a phenomenal quarterback. (And that quarterback has been inconsistent lately.)
This is it. A chance for the Vikings to take "the next step" and then some. To open up a two-game lead over the Packers. Send Green Bay to a fourth straight loss.
An opportunity for a true coming-out party for Zimmer's boys.
And in the opinion of the scribes here at Bleacher Report, the Vikings are going to avail themselves of that opportunity.
Vikings--Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report
Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's **NFL simulation engine* generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. The highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.*
Win Percentage: 51.8%, Average Score: Vikings 23.7, Packers 22.7--WhatIfSports.com
FiveThirtyEight's 2015 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team's chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.
Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 54%--FiveThirtyEight.com
5 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, CBS Sports
6 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, FOX Sports
6 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, Bleacher Report
6 of 7 experts pick the Vikings, USA Today Sports
5 of 5 experts pick the Packers, NFL.com