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Black and Blue Division classic: Vikings vs Packers

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Ah, the Black and Blue Division. We remember it well.

So do the Vikings and Packers, who meet at Lambeau Field on Sunday night to determine the champion of the latest incarnation of the Black and Blue, the NFC North.

The visitors enter the game with a lot more positives than the hosts. Minnesota (No. 9 in AP Pro32) comes off routs of the Bears and Giants to get to 10-5. Green Bay (No. 10, AP Pro32), also is 10-5, but began the year 6-0 and comes off being annihilated by Arizona last week.

The Vikings are 3-point underdogs in a place where they haven't won since 2009.

''This is what it's all about this time of the year. It's time to buckle up and keep grinding. We know the opportunity is there in front of us,'' said linebacker Chad Greenway, one of three players on the active roster who were around for the last Vikings division title in 2009.

It's also time for the Packers to wake up, particularly on an offense that has stagnated despite having Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

''I have faith in the football team regardless of what happened (in Arizona),'' coach Mike McCarthy said.

So do we.

PACKERS, 23-17


KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: Anyone who has survived in a knockout league to this point is a genius. Pro Picks is not and fell again last week with PITTSBURGH. We'll finish off the season with DENVER.


No. 21 New Orleans (plus 3 1/2) at No. 14 Atlanta

Falcons are primed to end season the way they began it.


No. 19 Detroit (plus 1) at No. 23 Chicago

The other NFC North game, a who-cares affair.


No. 20 Philadelphia (plus 3) at No. 22 New York Giants

Got feeling Giants will play harder for Tom Coughlin than Eagles will for interim coach.

GIANTS, 30-28

No. 7 New York Jets (minus 3) at No. 17 Buffalo

Got feeling Jets will play harder for Todd than Bills will for Rex.

JETS, 21-20

No. 11 Pittsburgh (minus 10) at No. 30 Cleveland

Last place that Steelers want to end their season is in Cleveland. Sorry.


No. 8 Seattle (plus 3 1/2) at No. 1 Arizona

Simply put, Cardinals are the better and healthier team.


No. 27 San Diego (plus 9) at No. 4 Denver

Broncos desperately need a bye in playoffs and will grab it.

BRONCOS, 26-13

No. 15 Oakland (plus 7) at No. 5 Kansas City

Can't see Chiefs slowing down against archrival, but it will be tight.

CHIEFS, 17-13

No. 24 Tampa Bay (plus 10) at No. 2 Carolina

Panthers made things tough on selves with first loss, must play regulars now.


No. 3 New England (minus 9) at No. 29 Miami

Patriots made things tough on selves with loss to Jets, must play regulars now - if they have enough of them.


No. 25 Baltimore (plus 7) at No. 6 Cincinnati

Bengals still kicking selves after blowing 14-point lead in Denver.

BENGALS, 20-10

No. 26 Jacksonville (plus 6) at No. 13 Houston

Texans could stumble here and blow division, but we see them squeezing in.

TEXANS, 23-21

No. 32 Tennessee (plus 6) at No. 18 Indianapolis

Colts need too much to happen to get AFC South crown. Losing here ends any hopes.

TITANS, 19-14

No. 16 St. Louis (minus 3) at No. 31 San Francisco

We like how Rams have looked last three weeks, especially on defense.

RAMS, 16-10

No. 12 Washington (plus 3) at No. 28 Dallas

Redskins have little motivation other than momentum.

COWBOYS, 17-16


2015 RECORD: Against spread: Week 7-7, Season (113-110-6). Straight up: Week 9-7, Season (147-93)

Best Bet: 7-8-1 against spread, 9-7 straight up.

Upset special: 8-8 against spread, 5-11 straight up.


AP website: and