Minnesota Vikings: Takeaways from decisive loss to Packers


Before yesterday, the Minnesota Vikings hadn’t lost a football game since October 5th.

However, the Green Bay Packers changed that, quite decisively, I might add, by defeating the Vikings 30-13 in a pivotal NFC North battle. With the win, the Packers leap frog the Vikings to first in the division at 7-3, while the Vikings slip to second place in the division at 7-3 now having a disadvantage in the tiebreaker.

Simply put, the Packers dominated the entire game. In all three phases, the Packers made the plays necessary to win games, while the Vikings left much to be desired.

Will the tough schedule remaining for Minnesota, the chances of winning the NFC North do appear rather slim. Still, if they can stay within one game of Green Bay going into the Week 17 matchup, they’ll at least have a chance to grab the division crown.


— First and foremost, anybody who’s putting any blame on Teddy Bridgewater for the loss yesterday is expecting way too much from him. He wound up throwing for 296 yards while completing 25 of 37 pass attempts and constantly avoiding a Packers pass rush that never had any trouble with the Vikings’ offensive line. In fact, Bridgewater was one of the few players who really came to play yesterday. If you want to nitpick, fine, he held the ball a bit too long on a couple plays and maybe, maybe could’ve thrown it away a couple times to avoid a sack.

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Bottom line, though: If you’re blaming Bridgewater for anything, you weren’t watching the same game as I was. There were so many other issues that made a bigger difference than some very minor mishaps from Teddy.

— I’ll point out a couple of players who actually impressed me yesterday. Kyle Rudolph, who had been slumping for some time, made a few very nice plays yesterday. He really looked like the 2012 version of himself that we all came to know and love.

Additionally, Danielle Hunter had himself quite a game yesterday when his number was called. He was able to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers a couple of times and make some nice plays in the run game. He’s going to be a solid replacement for Brian Robison when he eventually calls it quits.

— Aaron Rodgers didn’t light up the stat sheet, and he actually missed a few throws he should’ve made. But man, that guy is good. He’s really good. In my game preview, I mentioned that the Vikings need to keep him in the pocket because he’s dangerous when he escapes. This didn’t happen, and me made a number of plays outside the pocket.

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— For a wide receiver group that struggled mightily to get open against the Detroit Lions secondary last week, the Packers receivers were able to get easy separation all game long. Whether this is more attributed towards the receivers fixing some issues or the Vikings defensive backs having a rough game, I’m not entirely sure. I’d bet it’s a little bit of both, but I was surprised to see the Packers’ receivers have such success.

— The offensive line…ugh. I’m not even going to start. They were really bad.

— Mike Wallace is turning more and more people against him every week. In his last four games, he’s been targeted 14 times. With those targets, he’s caught exactly two passes for 26 yards. And one of those catches was a 22-yarder on a screen. So, yeah, Wallace is struggling. That’s putting it VERY nicely.

— So. Many. Freaking. Penalties.

— I swear Eddie Lacy only plays well against the Vikings. He was pretty good yesterday, something I really didn’t expect to happen.

Silver Lining

Sure, it sucks to lose to the Packers and give up the NFC North lead. However, there are six weeks left in the regular season. The Vikings are 7-3. I’d bet on a 10-6 record making the postseason, which means the Vikings just have to play .500 football for the remainder of the season. If you ask me, making the postseason would be a tremendous success this season.

Next: RECAP: Packers 30, Vikings 13

If the Minnesota Vikings are able to play better than .500 football, and they certainly could, they may get another shot at the NFC North title in the final week of the season…

…against the Green Bay Packers.