The Minnesota Vikings were able to sneak into the playoffs by edging the Green Bay Packers in Minnesota. Just a week later, the Vikings will have to beat the Packers in Green Bay to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, and it won't be easy.
The biggest challenge facing the Vikings won't be Lambeau Field or a hostile crowd. In fact, the outdoor setting probably favors the Vikings and their run-based offense over the Packers' air-based attack. The challenge the Vikings will face is developing a new game plan that will keep the Packers off base just a week after their season ending matchup.
The Packers were almost certainly disgusted in reviewing the game film from Sunday's game. Adrian Peterson gashed the Packers' defense all day long, and it was his success that took pressure off of Christian Ponder and the Vikings' passing game. It's likely that the Packers will be hell-bent on stopping Peterson early in their wildcard game Saturday night.
The Vikings will need to be able to throw the ball efficiently early on to slow down the Packers run defense. If Green Bay stacks the box with eight or more defenders, Minnesota has to be able to get rid of the ball quickly and successfully. Last weekend, Adrian Peterson set up Christian Ponder. To win the playoff version of that matchup, Ponder will have to set up Peterson.
The Packers weren't happy to lose, allowing the Vikings into the playoffs, but they get another shot at them this weekend, and their experience from a week ago gives them the clear edge in the strategic department, and it puts all the pressure on the Vikings' coaches to throw something new into the mix.