Playoff Hopes Possibly Lost Between Packers and Vikings on Sunday Night Football
In the NFC North division, the Green Bay Packers sit in third place with a 4-5-1 record. While the Minnesota Vikings sit in second place with a 5-4-1 record. There’s only a couple weeks left of football so the playoff race is beginning to tighten up.
These two teams will be fighting for their playoff hopes during Sunday Night Football.
Week 2 Meeting
During Week 1, the Green Bay Packers came off of an outstanding win at home against the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers brought the team back from a 17-0 deficit at halftime after suffering a knee injury in the first quarter.
The Minnesota Vikings had just handed Jimmy Garoppolo his first loss as a starter and Kirk Cousins’ first win as a Viking. The Vikings’ defense looked strong forcing four turnovers and holding the San Francisco 49ers to only 16 points.
Although the game ended in a tie, this was a heartbreaker for the Packers and their fans. After so many things that went wrong for the Packers, they were still able to maintain the lead throughout the game.
In the fourth quarter, Kirk Cousins was in desperation mode trying to score to force overtime or win the game in Lambeau Field. Cousins’ pass was intended for wide receiver Stacy Coley but was intercepted by rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander. Unfortunately, a flag was thrown on veteran linebacker Clay Matthews for roughing the passer. The call was questionable, but there was no way to overturn it.
The result of the call gave the Vikings 15 yards and a first down, nullifying the interception. This led to a Vikings touchdown and took the game to overtime, ultimately leading to the tie.
For the Green Bay Packers, this is really a must-win game to keep their playoff hopes alive. With the Chicago Bears leading the division at 8-3, there is a small chance of catching them for the division if they lose this week. Most teams with seven losses seem to be out of the playoff picture already.
Teams with only five losses are vying for the wild card. A win will keep Green Bay very much alive in their chances to make the playoffs. As well as possibly gaining on the Bears and winning the North.
For the Vikings, this is not as dire as it is for the Packers. A win would keep them in the NFC North divisional race and begin to pull themselves away from the other half of the North. A loss would put them two and a half games behind the Bears and in third place in the division. As well as bump them out of the wild card spot they are placed in as of right now.
On the season, Rodgers is averaging 307.3 pass yards per game. He has 19 touchdowns with only one interception. So far this season he has put up a 102.2 passer rating. Cousins is averaging 294.7 pass yards per game. He’s thrown 19 touchdown and seven interceptions and put up a 99.3 passer rating.
Cousins seems to have a hard time in prime time games. He is 4-10 in primetime since 2015 and 0-4 in his last four appearances. Although, with only six games left, the Green Bay Packers have yet to win a game on the road.
A Big Game For Both Teams
This matchup will be an all-out brawl. These two rivals know what is on the line and the importance. The Vikings’ defense is not what it was last year but still has great power.
Everyone knows that this is the time where Rodgers knows what is on the line and puts his team on his back and runs the table. He was able to the lead his 4-6 team to six straight wins and a wild-card spot in 2016.
This could be the game to start that. In fact, Rodgers has a 110.4 career passer rating vs. Vikings, including the playoffs. That is the highest passer rating of any QB vs. one opponent since the merger in 1970.
Featured Image courtesy of Rich Moll
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