The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings will meet in Green Bay in the regular-season finale for just the second time (1996).
This will mark the third consecutive year Green Bay will play for the NFC North title in Week 17, and it will be against the third different opponent (Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota).
Dating back to 2006, Green Bay is 8-1 in Week 17 games, including 5-0 at home.
The Packers’ eight wins in Week 17 are tied for the most in the NFL from 2006-14 (Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco).
Green Bay has scored 276 points in Week 17 games since 2006, tied with New England for the most in the NFL over that span.
Sunday will be the first time the Packers and Vikings have met in the regular season when both teams entered the game with a double-digit win total. Since the Vikings entered the league in 1961, there have been only five seasons where both teams had 10-plus wins in the same season (1989, 1998, 2009, 2012, 2015).
Of the past 27 regular-season meetings between the Packers and Vikings, 18 of those games have been decided by seven points or less.
Through 110 meetings, which includes two postseason contests (1-1), the Packers hold a 59-49-2 edge over the Vikings in the all-time series.
The Packers are 10-1-1 in the last 12 games between the teams during the regular and postseason, including 5-0-1 at home. The Packers’ only loss during that span was by three points in 2012 at Minnesota in Week 17.
The Packers have scored 30-plus points in seven of their last 10 regular-season games against Minnesota, averaging 33.2 points per game over that span. That included a 30-point effort in the first meeting this season, a 42-point game last season, a 44-point outing at Minnesota in 2013, the most points ever scored by Green Bay at the Metrodome, and a 45-point effort at Lambeau Field in 2011.
Since Head Coach Mike McCarthy took over in 2006, the Packers have a 14-4-1 record (.763) against the Vikings in the regular season.
The Packers have swept the regular-season series against the Vikings five times under McCarthy (2006-07, 2010-11, 2014).
Since 2006, the Packers have scored 20-plus points against the Vikings in 18 of 19 regular-season games. The Packers’ 549 points scored in the regular season since 2006 are the most against the Vikings in the NFL, and Green Bay’s 28.9 points per game leads the league among teams that have played Minnesota at least four times over that span.
Including the postseason, Green Bay is 11-4 against Minnesota with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback, and has won 10 of the last 11 contests.
In 16 games against the Vikings (including playoffs), Rodgers has completed 326 of 470 passes (69.4 percent) for 3,976 yards, 34 TDs and four INTs with a passer rating of 115.7. His passer rating is the highest of any opposing quarterback vs. Minnesota (min. 100 att.).
Rodgers has recorded a 100-plus passer rating in 10 of the last 13 games against the Vikings, including the postseason. He recorded three passing touchdowns and a passer rating of 138.7 in a Week 5 victory over Minnesota at Lambeau Field last season. It was his fourth-highest rating against the Vikings in his career.
In 2010-11, Rodgers posted a passer rating of 140.0 or better in three contests against Minnesota (146.5 at MIN in 2011 / 141.3 at MIN in 2010 / 140.3 vs. MIN in 2011), becoming the first NFL quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to register a 140-plus passer rating in three consecutive games against the same opponent (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).
WITH THE CALL
NBC will broadcast the game to a national audience. Play-by-play man Al Michaels joins color commentator Cris Collinsworth in the booth with Michele Tafoya reporting from the sidelines.
Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 21st season calling Packers’ games. McCarren has four times been voted Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 17th season of broadcasts together.
Westwood One Sports will air the game across the country. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and James Lofton (analyst) will call the action and Scott Graham will host pre-game and halftime shows.
The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
If the Packers win, it will mark their fifth consecutive division title, extending a franchise record. It would also make them the only team in the NFC to win its division each of the last five seasons. The only two teams to win five or more division titles in a row in the NFC Central/North were the Minnesota Vikings from 1973-78 and the Chicago Bears from 1984-88.
Sunday will be the fifth regular season home game in the month of January in team history. The Packers are 4-0 all-time at home in January during the regular season.
A victory would make Green Bay 4-2 against the division this season and give it four or more regular-season wins against division opponents for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons.
A win would mark the sixth season Head Coach Mike McCarthy has guided the Packers to 11-plus wins (2007, 2009, 2011-12, 2014), extending his franchise record.
Green Bay has posted eight zero-turnover games this season, tied for No. 1 (2009) in franchise history (since 1933).
Under McCarthy, the Packers are 80-38-1 against NFC opponents during the regular season. Green Bay’s 80 wins are nine more than any other team over that span (New Orleans, 71-48).
The Packers are 7-4 against NFC teams this season. It is the eighth regular season since 2006 that Green Bay finished with seven-plus wins against NFC opponents. A win would mark the seventh time the Packers recored eight-plus regular season wins over NFC opponents since ‘06.
Dating back to 1963, the Packers’ three six-plus sack games ties a single-season franchise record (1966, 1978, 1991).
According to STATS LLC, Green Bay has 36 pass plays of 25-plus yards this season. If they record four more, it will mark the fourth time since 1994 that Green Bay has registered 40 or more pass plays of 25-plus yards in a season (46 in 2011 / 44 in 2013 / 42 in 2010).
If QB Aaron Rodgers throws for 300-plus yards, it will be the 44th 300-yard passing game of his career during the regular season.
In primetime games against Minnesota, Rodgers is 124 of 169 (73.4 percent) for 1,548 yards and 14 TDs with three INTs for a 121.6 rating. He has registered a rating of 110-plus in five of six games, including 130-plus in each of the last three. In the last three, he has totaled 691 passing yards, nine touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 144.0.
Rodgers looks to throw for multiple touchdowns for the 11th time this season. It would mark the fourth time in his career he has recorded 11 or more games with multiple touchdowns in a single regular season (14 in 2011 / 11 in 2012 and 2014).
Rodgers reached 30 passing touchdowns for the fifth time in his career. He ranks second in team history behind Brett Favre's eight. Rodgers’ five 30-plus passing touchdown seasons since 2009 are tied for the second most in the NFL over that time span (NE Tom Brady and IND/DEN Peyton Manning, five / NO Drew Brees, seven).
Rodgers ranks No. 2 in the NFL with seven games this season with two-plus touchdown passes and zero INTs (New England QB Tom Brady, nine).
Since the start of the 2014 season, Rodgers has thrown 68 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Rodgers (332) is 25 yards away from eclipsing his single-season career high in rushing yards, 356 in 2010.
WR Randall Cobb needs one catch to extend his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a reception to 56, the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. He trails WR James Lofton (58, 1979-83) for fourth place in team history.
WR James Jones (788) is 30 yards away from surpassing his single-season career high of 817 receiving yards he set in 2013.
Jones (46) is four catches away from his fourth consecutive season with 50-plus receptions.
TE Richard Rodgers needs four catches to become only the fourth tight end in team history with 55-plus receptions in a season: Jermichael Finley (three), Paul Coffman (two), Jackie Harris (one).
RB Eddie Lacy ’s 416 rushing yards since Week 11 are the sixth most in the NFL over that span.
Lacy is one 100-yard rushing game away from tying his single-season career high of four (2013).
With 3,041 rushing yards, Lacy is one of only two players in team history (RB John Brockington, 3,276) to rush for 3,000-plus yards in his first three seasons in the NFL.
RB James Starks has set new career bests in receptions (40), receiving yards (374) and receiving touchdowns (three) this season.
Starks has recorded 100-plus yards from scrimmage four times this season. His 951 yards from scrimmage are a new career high, surpassing the 794 yards in 2011.
Starks is three yards away from surpassing his single-season career high of 578 rushing yards from 2011.
If Starks (577) records 23 or more rushing yards he would reach 600 for the season and give the Packers two players with 600-plus rushing yards (Eddie Lacy-724) in the same season for the first time since 1985 (Jessie Clark-633 / Eddie Lee Ivery-636).
LB Clay Matthews needs two tackles to surpass his previous career high of 83 (2010).
Matthews has 13 career games with two or more sacks. He is one shy of tying Tim Harris (14, 1986-90) for No. 3 in team history (Reggie White, 16; Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, 15).
LB Julius Peppers leads the team with 9.5 sacks this season. Dating back to last season (including playoffs), Peppers has 14.0 sacks in the last 19 games.
Peppers is a half a sack away from his ninth season with 10-plus sacks, which would tie John Randle for the fourth-most 10-sack seasons since 1982 (Bruce Smith, 13 / Reggie White, 12 / Kevin Greene, 10)
Peppers (135.0) trails Jared Allen (136.0) for the ninth most on the all-time sacks list (since 1982) and both Richard Dent and John Randle (137.5) for the seventh most.
P Tim Masthay has recorded a net average of 40.3 yards, which is on pace to beat his career high and franchise record (since 1976) of 39.0 (2013).
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Vikings:
All-time regular season: 58-48-2
All-time, postseason: 1-1
All-time, at Green Bay: 31-23-2
Streaks: The Packers have not lost in their last six meetings against Minnesota at Lambeau Field.
Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 22, 2015, at TCF Bank Stadium; Packers won, 30-13
Mike McCarthy: 111-59-1, .649, (incl. 7-6 postseason); 10th NFL season
Mike Zimmer: 16-14, .533, 2nd NFL season
Head to Head: McCarthy 3-0
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 15-4-1 vs. Vikings; Zimmer 0-3 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in his 10th year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.
Joined Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches to guide the Packers to a Super Bowl title with a win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
Led the Packers to their seventh consecutive playoff appearance this season, joining New England as the only two NFL teams to do so over that span. Has also led the team to eight playoff appearances (2007, 2009-2015) and seven double-digit win seasons in the last 10 years.
Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring each of the past eight seasons (2007-14), joining the Patriots as the only other team to accomplish the feat; Packers finished first overall in scoring in 2014.
His .661 winning percentage during the regular season (104-53-1) is ranked second among active NFL coaches (min. 50 games).
Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head-coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
MIKE ZIMMER…Is in his second year as the Vikings’ ninth head coach.
Led the Vikings to a 7-9 record in his first year at the helm in 2014.
Oversaw a defensive unit that ranked No. 7 in the NFL in passing defense and No. 5 in the NFL in fewest plays of 20-plus yards last season.
Spent 20 seasons as an assistant coach in the NFL, including 14 as a defensive coordinator for Cincinnati, Atlanta and Dallas.
From 2008-13, he was the defensive coordinator for a Bengals defense that ranked in the top 10 four times. In the 18 years prior, Cincinnati had only cracked the top 10 once.
Has had eight defensive players selected to the Pro Bowl a total of 23 times.
THE PACKERS-VIKINGS SERIES
This marks the 111th overall meeting between the border rivals.
The Packers own a 59-49-2 advantage over the Vikings (including playoffs) in the all-time series.
Green Bay’s five-game winning streak that was snapped in the 2012 finale was the longest by the club since a five-game streak against Minnesota from 2006-08. Prior to that, the longest streak for either team was Green Bay’s five-game winning streak from 1983-85.
The series began when the Vikings entered the league in 1961, and Vince Lombardi’s Packers won nine of the first 10.
Over the last 22 seasons (1994-2015), these teams have accounted for 17 NFC Central/North division championships.
Packers DT Letroy Guion played for the Vikings from 2008-13 after originally being selected in the fifth round...Packers VP of football admin./player finance Russ Ball served as the senior football administrator for the Vikings from 1999-2000...Vikings WR Charles Johnson was drafted by the Packers in the seventh round (216th overall) in 2013 and spent the early part of that season on Green Bay’s practice squad...Vikings special teams coord. Mike Priefer’s father, Chuck, was an asst. coach for the Packers from 1984-85...Packers RB John Crockett is from Minneapolis...Vikings CB Trae Waynes is from Kenosha, Wis. ...Packers HC Mike McCarthy was the OC, TEs coach Jerry Fontenot played C and secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry played FS for New Orleans while Vikings head of strength and conditioning Evan Marcus was the asst. strength and conditioning coach from 2000-02...In 2007, Packers secondary-cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. was the asst. DBs coach for Atlanta while Vikings HC Mike Zimmer was the DC and asst. DBs/quality control coach Jonathan Gannon was a def. asst./quality control coach...From 1991-93, Packers def. quality control coach John Rushing played DB at Washington State while Zimmer was the DC...Packers DC Dom Capers and Vikings DC George Edwards were on the Dolphins defensive coaching staff together in 2006-07...In 1991, Packers senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith played RB for the Cowboys while Vikings OC Norv Turner worked in the same position...Highsmith played for Tampa Bay while Vikings WRs coach George Stewart coached special teams...Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac and Vikings OL coach Jeff Davidson coached on the staff in Carolina...Trgovac coached the DL for Washington while Turner was the HC and Vikings RBs coach Kirby Wilson worked in the same role in 2000...Packers RBs coach Sam Gash played FB for New England while Davidson, Wilson and DL coach Andre Patterson were on the coaching staff in 1997...Packers QB Scott Tolzien spent training camp with San Diego in 2011 while Turner was the HC...Packers assoc. HC/offense Tom Clements (OC, 2004-05), Gash (FB, 2003) and QBs/WRs coach Alex Van Pelt (QB, 1995-2003, volunteer off. quality control, 2005) were all with the Bills while Vikings DBs coach Jerry Gray was the DC (2001-05)...Packers asst. OL coach Mike Solari coached alongside Stewart in San Francisco (1996)...Solari also spent time with Vikings asst. strength and conditioning coach Jeff Hurd and Priefer in Kansas City...In 2009, Packers LB Julius Peppers was teammates with Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn in Carolina...Former college teammates include Packers LBs Clay Matthews andNick Perry and Vikings DE Everson Griffen, TE Rhett Ellison and T Matt Kalil (Southern California), Packers S Chris Banjo and Vikings FB Zach Line (SMU), Packers LB Jayrone Elliott and Vikings G Zac Kerin (Toledo), Packers S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and RB Eddie Lacy and Vikings T Austin Shepherd (Alabama), and Packers DE Datone Jones and QB Brett Hundley and Vikings LB Anthony Barr, P Jeff Locke, G Mike Harris, LB Eric Kendricks and LS Kevin McDermott (UCLA).
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
Nov. 22, 2015, at TCF Bank Stadium; Packers won, 30-13.
QB Aaron Rodgers completed 16 of 34 pass attempts for 212 yards and two TDs (86.9 passer rating).
WR James Jones came down with six receptions for 109 yards (18.2 avg.) and one TD.
QB Teddy Bridgewater passed for 296 yards and one TD on 25-of-37 passing (100.7 passer rating).
TE Kyle Rudolph had six receptions for 106 yards (17.7 avg.) and one TD.