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With a ton of divisional games on tap for week one, I think one more packs more punch than the others. The Green Bay Packers will host the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. With all of the off-season drama that surrounded these two teams and Brett Favre, this should be a great game.
There will be no number four on either one of these rosters. Well there will be, but John David Booty is not the number four the Vikings wanted. There will be no Brett Favre calling the plays or celebrating with teammates in the end zones, just two quarterbacks who are trying to prove themselves as starters. Aaron Rodgers and Tarvaris Jackson will be the opening night starters for the two clubs and both have something to prove. Both were sent signals during the off-season that they may not be the starter and a spoiled veteran would be taking the snaps. But know he is gone and they are the starters.
The rest of the offenses may be a little unknown as well. The Vikings have a young receiving corps that may hurt Jackson more than help him. Bernard Berrian is the only one with big game experience and even he is not that good. As for the Packers, they have a few veterans on the team that may be good for Rodgers as he tries to form his own hall of fame career.
In the backfield, Adrian Peterson will be getting the bulk of the carries and may be getting a few chances to catch the ball while Chester Taylor will back him up. If something were to go wrong with Peterson, Taylor can step in at a moments notice and take the bulk of the carries, as he showed last season. On the Packers side of the ball they will hand the ball off to Ryan Grant most of the time. He sometimes has a tendency to fumble the ball but is a good overall back and with a decent back up he can make it much easier for Rodgers and the rest of the Packers passing game.
On the other side of the ball, the Packers have a better team. They will be able to shut down the Vikings passing game and make them rely strictly on Peterson, forcing the Vikings into some tough situations. As far as the Vikings defense, that front line will be tough to exploit and the rest of the defense is pretty solid. This game will be a huge defensive battle.
My prediction: Packers over the Vikings 13-10.