By Drew Olson Special to Published Oct 05, 2009 at 7:12 AM

Put the beer on ice. Order the chicken wings. Stake out your seat at the bar or on the sofa. The latest NFL Game of the Century kicks off in a few hours in Minneapolis, where the Packers face off against legendary quarterback Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.

Here are some nuts and bolts to help get you ready:


When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

Weather: The game will be indoors, but tailgaters will experience cold, damp temperatures in the upper 40s.

Broadcasts: TV -- The game will be televised nationally on ESPN, and simulcast on Channel 12 (WISN-TV) in Milwaukee. Radio -- WTMJ (620 AM) and a statewide network.

Line: Vikings by 3 1/2.

The series: Green Bay leads the all-time regular-season series, 49-45-1. The Vikings won the only playoff meeting. The Packers have won five of the last six overall meetings, but Minnesota holds a 24-23 advantage at home, including 14-12 at the Metrodome. In 2008, both teams won with the home-field advantage.

Coaches: Green Bay's Mike McCarthy is 30-23 (1-1 playoffs) in his fourth season; Minnesota's Brad Childress is 27-25 (0-1 playoffs) in his fourth season. McCarthy owns a 5-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings.

Injury report: PACKERS -- Out: S Atari Bigby (knee), RB Brandon Jackson (ankle), LB Jeremy Thompson (knee). Questionable: T Chad Clifton (ankle). Probable: DE Cullen Jenkins (groin), WR Greg Jennings (wrist), DE Johnny Jolly (abdomen), NT B.J. Raji (ankle), CB Charles Woodson (foot).

VIKINGS: Doubtful: LB Erin Henderson (calf), WR Darius Reynaud (hamstring). Questionable: G Steve Hutchinson (back), FB Naufahu Tahi (back). Probable: QB Brett Favre (foot), CB Cedric Griffin (hand), LB E.J. Henderson (shoulder), TE Jim Kleinsasser (hand), P Chris Kluwe (illness).


Center of the storm: Fans in Wisconsin and Minnesota have been looking forward to this game for weeks. The national sporting public has been drooling for days. But, nobody has looked forward to this night more than Brett Favre, who faces his former team for the first time since the messy divorce a little more than a year ago. Though he had a reputation for being a little "too geeked" early in marquee games during his Packers days, Favre has been solid and steady in stints with the Jets and Vikings. He might not be able to make all the throws that he did five years ago, but he can do enough. The Packers will try to flush him from the pocket.

All day: Favre will dominate the isolation cameras, but Vikings running back Adrian Peterson may dominate the action. Peterson is one of the best backs in the league and has gained 357 yards in 59 carries (a 6.1-yard average) and scored four touchdowns through three games. If he's in top form, Favre won't need to dazzle and the Packers are in trouble.

Lining up: The Packers have to be nervous about the prospect of Daryn Colledge starting at left tackle in place of Chad Clifton, who is battling an injured ankle and may not find out until kickoff whether he's ready to play. Vikings pass rushing specialist Jared Allen could have a field day if the Packers don't use a running back or tight end to chip Allen. Doing so, however, could hamper the timing and flow of the offense.

Target talk: Vikings veteran Bernard Berrian has been hampered by a leg injury this season, but rookie Percy Harvin is getting more involved with the offense. The Packers' core -- Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Co. -- should be able to get open against a somewhat shaky secondary. The question is whether Aaron Rodgers will have time to get them the ball. McCarthy has been relying on the deep ball a lot this season, but a return to the slant game could be a key to moving the chains.

For kicks: Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell, the best kicker in Packers franchise history, hasn't lost a bit since leaving Wisconsin. His counterpart, Mason Crosby, hasn't been brimming with confidence lately. In this series, particularly in this stadium, kickers can play a huge role.

Double-D: Driver needs five catches to pass Sterling Sharpe as the Packers' all-time receptions leader (595).

Cornering the market: Packers cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson would love to intercept some passes from Favre tonight. Their coverage could give the Packers' pass rush more time to do its job. But, Harris and Woodson also will be called upon to help tackle Peterson, which is never easy.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.