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What'd They Say: Packers Talk About Vikings

The Packers have been eliminated from the playoffs, but they and the Vikings alike are expecting a tough, gritty matchup typical for the division rivals on Saturday.

Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark said he's looking forward to the 115th Border Battle even though a postseason berth isn't on the line. 

"I'm just excited to play the Vikings again," Clark said. "It was a pretty good game, and it felt like we left some things out there when we played them [in Week 6]. Our defensive line, we had a really good game against them when we played them, so I'm excited to play them again. I know they'll be up for it, and it's a big game for them."

Rookie running back Jamaal Williams also is anticipating another opportunity to play against Minnesota.

Williams said he embraces the challenge of playing against a dynamic Vikings defense.

"Oh yeah, [I'm excited]. They're like top two in everything, so it's a great challenge for us," Williams said. "Even though we're not making the playoffs, it's still something you still have to play for. You just have to make sure you put it in your heart and just play your all."

Fourth-year offensive tackle David Bakhtiari expressed similar sentiments.

The lineman called missing the playoffs with Green Bay "uncharted territory" but added that he's expecting a fun battle with Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen.

"We have some fun when we match up against each other, and I think he knows it, too, on his side," Bakhtiari said. "We're going to have some fun."

The two played on the same team last season when both were voted into the Pro Bowl. And while Bakhtiari wasn't voted in this year, he told media members that he helped Griffen reach the all-star game for his third consecutive season.  

"I think he's an amazing player. He actually was the top d-end I voted for," Bakhtiari said. "He's a great competitor, it shows on film. He's not only a very good d-end, but he plays hard."

Here are other highlights of Packers talking about the Vikings this week:

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Minnesota's defense:

"I think they're very well coordinated. They play with tremendous discipline, the continuity is clearly the highest that we've seen all year. We saw a very good, an excellent defense in Carolina last week, but Minnesota, particularly in their disguise and their discipline … I think they're doing a heck of a job. I think their statistics pretty much speak for themselves, quite frankly. They're playing at an extremely high level."

McCarthy on Harrison Smith:

"He's an instinctive football player, smart player, you can see that they're doing a really good job on looking for tips on formations and mannerisms, timing and cadence off the 40-second clock. You know, all the little things that the really good defenses, the really good pros do, and Harrison's definitely, he's probably at the front of the line there. He's an instinctive player. You definitely have to be aware of him. When he sees something, he doesn't hesitate, and he's always playing 100 miles an hour."

Packers QB Brett Hundley on Vikings defense:

"They do what they do very well. They're one of the best defenses in the league, and they're good at it.

"They're just sound. They're not going to get out of their fits, their run assignments – just a sound defense, really. Really good guys, too."

Hundley on Smith:

"Harrison Smith is a great safety. He's all over the field, and you always have to account for him. We'll have something – it won't be like last game where he's free, running around. We'll have something."

Clark on Vikings offensive improvements in 2017:

"They're doing a lot of great things. They can run the ball, play-action, their receivers are really good – they can get some quick passes to those receivers and get them out into space. So they do a lot of good things.

"Case Keenum is doing a really good job of controlling everything at the line and keeping them in position to win football games. The running backs are doing a great job, the offensive line's doing a great job, so we have a task in front of us. We have to just be able to stop the run and get after the passer."

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