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Larrivee says Peterson not only thing Packers must stop Saturday

CREATED Jan. 2, 2013

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GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have found that the Minnesota Vikings are most dangerous when both their star running back and young quarterback are firing on all cylinders.

When the Packers beat Minnesota in early December, they let Adrian Peterson gain more than 200 yards, but turned normally mistake-free Christian Ponder into an inaccurate passer (less than 50 percent completions, two interceptions).

But Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Voice of the Packers" Wayne Larrivee explained on "Wisconsin's Morning News" that Ponder's improvement over their first meeting proved to be the critical element in Minnesota winning the regular season finale.

"The difference between the two teams the other day was the performance Christian Ponder (three touchdown passes, no interceptions)," said Larrivee.

"If he's going to play clean like that, and if Adrian Peterson's going to get his 200 yards or so, then the Vikings are going to be tough to beat.  I don't care if you're playing indoors, outdoors, Green Bay or Minnesota."

Larrivee's discussion of the conditions has to do with the fact that the Vikings have not won outdoors this season, but considering the Vikings' penchant for excellence in physical football, cold and harsh elements could actually deter the Packers' efforts and assist the Vikings Saturday night at Lambeau Field.

"If conditions that night aren't conducive to throwing the football, the running game is altogether important.  It's why the Packers have put such an emphasis on running the ball late in the season."