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Pro Football Week 5 | Tonight's Game

October 05, 1998|JERRY CROWE

MINNESOTA AT GREEN BAY

* Kickoff: 5:15 p.m.

* TV: Channel 7.

* Records: Vikings 4-0; Packers 4-0

* Story line: The battle for first place in the NFC Central will be played out in Lambeau Field, where the Packers have won 25 in a row and the Vikings haven't won since 1992. Both teams have Super Bowl aspirations--and with good reason. They're both winning despite key injuries. With Dorsey Levens sidelined because of a knee injury, the Packers are averaging only 2.6 yards a carry, but their lack of a consistent ground game has hardly been noticed because of the play of quarterback Brett Favre and their stellar defense. Favre has passed for 10 touchdowns, including five last week in a 37-30 victory over the Panthers, while completing an NFC-best 66.2% of his passes. The Packer defense ranks No. 1 in the NFL. The Vikings, meanwhile, have rallied behind reserve quarterback Randall Cunningham, who has completed 59% of his passes for 536 yards and six touchdowns, with no interceptions, since taking over last month after starter Brad Johnson suffered a broken leg. Wide receiver Cris Carter and his rookie teammate, Randy Moss, are tied for the NFC lead with four touchdown receptions. Defensively, the Vikings have made key interceptions on the road, including a third-quarter theft by Corey Fuller last week that helped Minnesota to a 31-28 victory over the Bears. "This is a game America has been waiting for," said Packer defensive back Leroy Butler. "We've been waiting for it too."

* Line: Packers by 7

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