It is always a fascinating time when longtime rivals renew acquaintances. In Week 6 of this NFL season, there are four divisional matchups. But perhaps none looms bigger than the clash in the Twin Cities between the 4-1 Green Bay Packers and the 3-2 Minnesota Vikings. Mike McCarthy’s club has gotten its act together after a slow start and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has regained the hot hand. He comes into this weekend leading the league with 13 touchdown passes. But can he stay hot against one of the best defensive units in the game?

Interesting history

Some may recall that the first start of Rodgers’ NFL career came on a Monday night at Lambeau Field against the Minnesota Vikings back in 2008. That evening, the soon-to-be superstar connected on 18-of-22 passes for 178 yards and one score plus ran for 35 yards and a touchdown in a 24-19 win. Amazingly, Rodgers was not sacked in the game. And as you will soon see, that’s really been the exception and not the rule when it comes to this series between the star signal-caller for the Green Bay Packers and the rival Purple Gang.

All told, Rodgers has actually played in 19 total games vs. the Vikings. He faced them in a relief role in 2007 and also battled Minnesota in a 2012 playoff game.

It adds up to 4,827 yards through the air to go along with 40 touchdown passes. He’s only thrown six interceptions in those 19 contests. However, Rodgers has been sacked an astounding 59 sacks in those outings. But as you can see, he’s done a pretty good job of taking care of the football despite all of those hits.

What about Sunday?

The Green Bay Packers have reeled off three consecutive victories since that Week 2 loss at Atlanta. After rallying from a 21-7 second-quarter deficit at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, McCarthy’s club has totaled exactly 35 points in wins over the Chicago Bears (3-14) and Dallas Cowboys (35-31). In those last two triumphs, Rodgers threw for a combined 400 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

That’s a nice bounce back stretch after the 13-year pro served up six scores and three picks during the club’s so-so 2-1 start.

As for this meeting with the Vikings, Rodgers certainly wouldn’t mind putting up the same numbers and getting the identical result from the last time he faced this NFC North rival. In a wild 38-25 Week 16 victory over Minnesota at Lambeau Field, he hit on 28-of-38 throws for 347 yards and four scores. And not surprisingly, Rodgers was sacked four times in the win. All told, McCarthy’s club owned a 28-13 lead at intermission. It’s safe to say that the Pack and their quarterback would be quite content with a similar scenario.