Discussion Board
Welcome Guest! You can login or register. Login or Register.

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
walleye  
#1 Posted : Saturday, September 6, 2008 6:37:02 PM(UTC)
For only the second time in franchise history, the Packers will open up their season at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. That the first game of '08 comes against a chief division rival only adds to the excitement level.

Green Bay's only other season-opener at home on MNF came on Sept. 1, 1997, against the Chicago Bears when the Packers were the defending Super Bowl champions.

Now the Packers are the reigning NFC North Division champions, and host a Minnesota Vikings team that many believe will provide the biggest challenge in the division this year, on a prime-time stage no less.

"It's big for us," wide receiver Donald Driver said. "This is a rival game that we know that everyone is watching, especially on Monday Night Football. No one else is playing football but us, so we've got to show the world."

Last year the Packers won both games against the Vikings for the first time since '04, including the first shutout in the history of the series with a 34-0 win at Lambeau in November.

Since Mike McCarthy took over as head coach in 2006, the Packers have won all four games against Minnesota, and the four-game winning streak is their first since sweeping Minnesota in 1987 and '88. With a win on Monday, Green Bay would post its first five-game streak against the Vikings since 1983-85.

A storyline was added this offseason when the Packers filed tampering charges against the Vikings regarding their contact with then-retired quarterback Brett Favre. The NFL dismissed the allegations in an early August ruling.

"It's about the players that are on the football field playing the game," Vikings head coach Brad Childress said. "The rivalry is the rivalry. I don't think people live in a vacuum, however. It's a North Division rivalry and we're playing the champions of the North.

"Obviously it means a little bit more because anytime you can beat a division opponent you get another game up in the NFC but you also do on a divisional opponent."

The two teams have clearly been the class of the division in recent years, with either the Packers or the Vikings capturing the Central/North Division title 10 of the last 14 years.

"This is a very, very good way for us to start the season," defensive end Aaron Kampman said. "It's a great challenge and they've continued to improve, as we have, so it should be a great, great battle on Monday night."

The Vikings, who finished second in the division behind Green Bay last season with an 8-8 record, made perhaps the most notable offseason acquisition in the league, adding NFL-sack leader Jared Allen in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to an already formidable defense. The offense features last year's NFC-leading rusher, Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson.

"We're been waiting for this for a long time," defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. "This whole offseason we have been talking about this game, so we're very excited to showcase we can do. We want to be the No. 1 defense in the NFL this year, so it starts off if we can make a statement this week."

The teams also have a great deal of familiarity from facing each other twice a season, including players and coaches that have been on both sides of the rivalry. Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell spent six seasons (2000-05) on Green Bay's staff before joining Minnesota, and safety Darren Sharper (1997-2004), kicker Ryan Longwell (1997-2005) and wide receiver Robert Ferguson (2001-06) all began their careers in Green Bay.

"We know them well and they know us well," cornerback Charles Woodson said. "We know their personnel. It will be a fun game, a tough game, and it's a Monday night game. This will show how people act under the lights.

"This is the biggest and brightest during the season, the Monday night game, so we'll definitely see where we are at as a football team going into a tough season."

Green Bay benefited from a fast start in 2007, winning the first four games on their way to a 13-3 record and the division crown. With a schedule that includes six playoff teams from last season, the Packers know the importance of getting out of the gates this year with some success.

Advertisement

"I stay away from saying it is a tone-setter, but I would say that we always want to start fast," Kampman said. "Every season we want to start fast. We're at home, against a rival, a divisional opponent, so those are all things you want to do well against obviously."

While admitting that he couldn't think of a better way to open up the season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who will be making his first career start, was one of several players who said it is a little too early to gauge how the pecking order in the division will stack up based on just one game.

"It's the first game and a lot can happen during the season," Rodgers said. "There are injuries, momentum swings. You can get on a hot streak as a team, like the Giants did last year.

"The first game is good to see where you are at individually, but it takes really six, seven, eight weeks to see how a division is going to shape up."

Even though it is only the first game of a long season, the Vikings' Allen, who will be one of a handful of players on the field experiencing the rivalry for the first time Monday night, echoed the same feelings that many Packers players expressed this week as they looked ahead to the border battle.

"I think the more emotion you can put into a game, especially from the fans' standpoint, it just makes the game that much more fun," Allen said.

"Monday Night Football is always a fun game, and when you've got these kinds of rivalries, the atmosphere always gets cranked up another level. This is why we play football as football players."
Rss Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Notification

Icon
Error

Fan Shout
Zero2Cool (10h) : We should hope it does not happen.
hardrocker950 (25-Mar) : I doubt that happens...
Smokey (24-Mar) : GB needs to trade up in the draft to get THE Ohio State CB - Marshon Lattimore !
Zero2Cool (24-Mar) : QB Mark Sanchez joining the Bears.
Zero2Cool (24-Mar) : double it up
Zero2Cool (24-Mar) : I'm kidding, relax....
Zero2Cool (24-Mar) : and now he has been cut
uffda udfa (23-Mar) : Per Schefter: Former Skins DT Ricky Jean Francois signed a one-year, $3M deal with Packers, per source.
uffda udfa (23-Mar) : Per Schefter: FormerSkins DT Ricky Jean Francois signed a one-year, $3M deal with Packers, per source.
Zero2Cool (23-Mar) : lol by .01 not what i thought
Zero2Cool (23-Mar) : he's faster than Montgomery
uffda udfa (22-Mar) : Packers re-sign Christine Michael
Smokey (22-Mar) : Easier said than fixed .
Nonstopdrivel (22-Mar) : The web version lists who started the thread; the mobile version lists who last updated it.
Nonstopdrivel (22-Mar) : Also, there's a weird disparity between the web version and online version of this site.
Nonstopdrivel (22-Mar) : ;-)
Zero2Cool (21-Mar) : Packers wanted D. Ware in 2005. Thank you Cowboys!
Zero2Cool (21-Mar) : lol Rourke
Nonstopdrivel (21-Mar) : I HATE HATE HATE the way all threads get marked as read after viewing a few of them in one session. It's obnoxious.
Smokey (21-Mar) : Check out this site, NFLdraftscout.com , a great resource site.
Smokey (20-Mar) : Jared Cook signs with Raiders .
Smokey (20-Mar) : I did watch SB 45 on YouTube the other night, very eye opening .
Smokey (20-Mar) : Watching Spring Training Baseball, Nationals vs Yankees, very interesting .
Zero2Cool (19-Mar) : B1G making some noise in that bracket
Zero2Cool (19-Mar) : The more join, the more talk, the better. including John
Zero2Cool (19-Mar) : no forum should need one person, we have others, speak up!
gbguy20 (19-Mar) : slow forum needs more uffda
Smokey (19-Mar) : There's always next year .
Smokey (18-Mar) : Virginia is still in it !
Smokey (18-Mar) : On Wisconsin
Zero2Cool (18-Mar) : Down goes Villanova!! Badgers!!!
Zero2Cool (18-Mar) : Might have went into your SPAM or JUNK folder??
yooperfan (18-Mar) : Funny I never got the invite
wpr (17-Mar) : Ignoring the Signing Bonus, Jones' base is only $725K above the vet min
Zero2Cool (16-Mar) : Not many seem interested, but I did invite those from last year.
Please sign in to use Fan Shout
2016 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 11 @ 12:00 PM
at Jaguars
Sunday, Sep 18 @ 7:30 PM
at Vikings
Sunday, Sep 25 @ 12:00 PM
LIONS
Sunday, Oct 2 @ 12:00 AM
BYE
Sunday, Oct 9 @ 7:30 PM
GIANTS
Sunday, Oct 16 @ 3:25 PM
COWBOYS
Thursday, Oct 20 @ 7:25 PM
BEARS
Sunday, Oct 30 @ 3:25 PM
at Falcons
Sunday, Nov 6 @ 3:25 PM
COLTS
Sunday, Nov 13 @ 12:00 PM
at Titans
Sunday, Nov 20 @ 7:30 PM
at Redskins
Monday, Nov 28 @ 7:30 PM
at Eagles
Sunday, Dec 4 @ 12:00 PM
TEXANS
Sunday, Dec 11 @ 3:25 PM
SEAHAWKS
Sunday, Dec 18 @ 12:00 PM
at Bears
Saturday, Dec 24 @ 12:00 PM
VIKINGS
Sunday, Jan 1 @ 7:30 PM
at Lions
Think About It
Think About It
Recent Topics
2h / Green Bay Packers Talk / wpr

2h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

10h / Fantasy Sports Talk / Zero2Cool

13h / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

25-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / buckeyepackfan

25-Mar / Around The NFL / Smokey

24-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / PackFanWithTwins

24-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / sschind

23-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / PackFanWithTwins

23-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

23-Mar / Announcements / Zero2Cool

23-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

23-Mar / Fantasy Sports Talk / wpr

23-Mar / Fantasy Sports Talk / Smokey

22-Mar / Green Bay Packers Talk / Nonstopdrivel

Headlines