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Vikings Keys to the Game: Week 11 vs. Green Bay

The 4-5 Minnesota Vikings return home after two road games to host the 8-2 Green Bay Packers.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

MINNEAPOLIS — WHO: Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 21 at 12 p.m. CT

WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN.

The 4-5 Minnesota Vikings return home after two road games to host the 8-2 Green Bay Packers. The Vikings stunned the Chargers in Los Angeles in Week 10 and the Packers shut out the Seattle Seahawks, in Aaron Rodgers' first game back after missing the week prior with COVID-19.

There is life. The Vikings showed that they have the talent to play with any team, after a gritty win on the road, just when fans started to grow weary. Alas, here come the Packers. Aaron Rodgers didn't quite look like himself last Sunday in his return to play after missing two weeks of practice. He's now dealing with a toe injury that has him limited in this week's practice. It provides a unique opportunity to take advantage of the situation. However, as much as the focus is on the offense, that Packers defense is playing at a championship level. So it certainly won't be easy though. It never is.

Here are three keys to the game for Sunday:

Keep the foot on the gas offensively. The Vikings offense scored two touchdowns in the second half of Sunday's game against the Chargers. That's the first time that's happened this season. The reason: incredibly aggressive play calling. Offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak made a concerted effort to get the ball in Justin Jefferson's hands. It was a smart move and paid off majorly. Jefferson hauled in 9 catches for 143 yards, including some huge grabs in clutch moments. The Vikings offense also rolled the dice on a couple fourth downs, scoring a touchdown on one and sealing the game on the other, thanks to the legs of Dalvin Cook late. More of all of that, please.

Get after Rodgers. Easier said than done right? A week after getting gashed by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, the Vikings defense rose to the occasion against Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense. That unit consistently kept pressure on Herbert - with two sacks and an incredible Eric Kendricks interception - and he passed for less than 200 yards in the game. With all due respect to Herbert, he's talented, but he's no Aaron Rodgers. The reigning league MVP is completing 66% of his passes this season and Vikings' co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson said they're still preparing for Rodgers being a threat with his legs as well. The signal-caller is 7-6 in Minnesota. Another thorough performance from the Vikings' defense could make him 7-7.

Finish again. The Vikings played like a team that's desperate against the Chargers, with the type of urgency fans have been clamoring for all season. They need to keep that same energy against the Pack. Minnesota is only averaging 14 points a game at home this season though. For some reason, it's just been tougher for the team at U.S. Bank Stadium. What better way to break through than with a statement performance against a bitter rival in the Border Battle? Buckle up. Game on.

The Vikings are 55-63-3 all-time against the Packers and Mike Zimmer is 6-7-1 during his tenure as head coach. Safety Harrison Smith and center Garrett Bradbury were activated from the COVID-19 list. Patrick Peterson was designated to return from injured reserve as well. These players' status for Sunday is fluid, but their presence could definitely help.

It's going to be a fun time at U.S. Bank Stadium and I'll be live tweeting (@ReggieWilsonTV) from the game. We'll have all of your game day coverage throughout the evening on KARE and make sure to stay up for Vikings Extra after Sunday Night Football.