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Packers Notebook - Shootout In The Works?


With two of the NFL's top ranked offenses on display at Lambeau Sunday (the Vikings are #1 and the Packers #4), many people are expecting to see a high-scoring shootout in the battle for first place in the NFC North.

Count quarterback Brett Favre among those who are anticipating seeing a lot of offensive fireworks throughout the game. He knows that his offense is going to have to take advantage of every chance they get their hands on the football.

"I don't know how many we have to score," Favre said. "We have to have the mentality - as I always do - that every time we get the ball, we're scoring. Playing Minnesota, Kansas City, Indy, teams like that, you really should have that mentality. To waste a drive because of a mental mistake or just dropping a ball or missing a pass, you've got to execute. If they beat you defensively - if they make a good play or a good call against yours - you deal with it.

"You can't stop yourself when you're playing a team like this. If you look at the game the other night, it really came down to who had the ball last, but every play of every drive counts. When you're playing teams that can score at any time, you really have to focus in on not wasting anything. I think we're equipped to match them, but we'll find out."

Bubba Franks sees things shaking out differently, though. The tight end doesn't expect the scoreboard operator's hands to be in danger of cramping up from overuse.

"It's going to be a hard-fought game," said Franks. "You've got two pretty good offenses and two pretty good defenses. I don't see it as a shootout, though."

Whether the game turns out to be a high-scoring affair or not, Javon Walker thinks it will be entertaining nonetheless.

"It's going to be exciting," said the NFL's leader in receiving yards. "It's a big game; we're looking forward to it. It's going to let us know where we stand, if we can compete with these guys. Obviously they're a great team - great offense, great defense - so we're looking forward to see how it works out this Sunday.

"If it comes down to that, then so be it, but it's just going to be a great game all around. Their offense, their defense, our offense, our defense - it's just going to be a great game on Sunday."

Familiar Faces Across The Field

With the rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings intensifying with each passing year and the meetings coming twice every season, these two teams are definitely not strangers.

For a few guys in the Lambeau Field locker room, though, those faces inside the purple helmets on the visitors' sideline Sunday will be very familiar.

Linebacker Nick Rogers and tight end Ben Steele and both joined the Green and Gold in September after stints with the Vikings. Rogers started 16 games for Minnesota in two seasons after being drafted by the Vikings in the sixth round in 2002, while Steele took part in each of the Vikings' past two training camps.

Both are looking forward to seeing some old friends, but don't carry any grudges against their former employer.

"It's definitely going to be fun to play against a lot of my buddies and old teammates from over there and I look forward to that," said Steele. "But I've been approaching it as just any other game. I need to do my part to help the team win."

"I look more at it from a team perspective," Rogers said. "It can help our team out a lot because it's a division game, so I think it's big just for that reason."

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