For an NFL defense, challenges don’t get much greater than facing Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen knows that all too well from many NFC North encounters with Rodgers through the years.

‘He makes his best throws when he’s outside the pocket’

And he and fellow Viking defenders realize what it takes to conquer that massive chore.

“You’ve got to be smart,” Griffen told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “In this game, we’ve got to be very smart in how we approach this game. He makes his best throws when he’s outside the pocket, so our goal is to keep him contained in the pocket. We have to be disciplined. He has a great hard count, a very good hard count, probably one of the best in the league.

‘His wide receivers, they will go deep if he catches you offside’

“And he’ll get the ball down the field. His wide receivers, they will go deep if he catches you offside. So the biggest thing for us is be smart and very detailed in the work that we do and go out there and rush him the right way.”

Before the Vikings’ defense worries about turning up the heat on Rodgers, though, it had better take care of something else.

‘We’ve got to stop the run, because they’re going to try to run the ball’

“First and most of all, you’ve got to make them one-dimensional,” Griffen said. “We’ve got to stop the run first. We’ve got to stop the run, because they’re going to try to run the ball.”

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