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There was some good-natured back-and-forth trash-talking this week between Vikings pass-rusher Everson Griffen (above) and Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari, an exchange which began with Griffen telling Twin Cities reporters that Bakhtiari is one of the best tackles in the league — at holding.

“He holds pretty good,” Griffen told reporters with a laugh. “He still holds. He finds a way. He’s a good holder, but he gets it done. But he’s a good player, too. David Bakhtiari, I rank him on the top. Each and every year, we have a battle. He is one of the top. He’s my top-three tackles in the game, for sure.”

How Bakhtiari, who missed some practice time during the week with a back injury that landed him on the injury report as questionable, handles Griffen will be crucial to the Packers’ passing game. Griffen has 11.5 career sacks in 18 games against the Packers, and he got his first sack of the year last week in the Vikings’ season-opening win over Atlanta.

“We've built an interesting relationship over the past years,” Bakhtiari said. “I've got an immense amount of respect for him. I'm excited for the time he eventually gets out of our division, if that'll ever happen. It's always fun going against him because the one thing with our relationship, we both know that we both bring it, four quarters, 60 minutes, and it's just a heavyweight battle. It's fun.

“There are times we always lock eyes (during) the game, give each other a little head nod. It's like, 'OK.' When boxers get in the ring, it's mano-a-mano. Let's go. Let's have some fun.”

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