Why the Packers Will Beat the Vikings and Why They Might Not

For the Green Bay Packers, there isn’t a much more disappointing feeling, then hosting the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16, with no playoff implications on the line. At least none for Green Bay. 

Minnesota, the NFC North champs, still have plenty to play for as they try to secure a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Yet, the Packers have nothing on the line, other than pride. Their loss to Carolina and the Falcons win over the Bucs saw to that.

So instead of seeing Aaron Rodgers take on the team that knocked him out, we will see Brett Hundley try to score his biggest win of the season, against a team that manhandled him in the first meeting.

However, even though a win won’t get the Packers any closer to a playoff berth, it would be a satisfactory way to close out the home schedule. And make no mistake, this team would much rather finish 9-7, then 8-8 or god forbid, 7-9.

The Packers have had just one losing season under Mike McCarthy and just three that finished at 8-8 or worse. So if Green Bay wants to avoid that bit of history, it needs a win tonight.

The question is, do the Packers have any hope of beating the Vikings without Rodgers? Let’s take a look.

Why the Packers will win:

It doesn’t take a genius to know the odds are stacked against a Green Bay victory. Not only is Rodgers out, so is the second-best skill player on the team in Davante Adams. And since he was Hundley’s go-to guy, that might hinder the offense as much as Rodgers being out.

Jamaal Williams is coming off a rough week against the Panthers. Aaron Jones had two really nice runs, then never saw the ball again. So it’s anyone’s guess who gets the carries tonight, but the ground game will need to produce if Green Bay is going to stay in it.

That also means Hundley needs to run more. At this point, there is nothing to lose. No playoff spot, just pride and the chance to knock off a hated division rival. So run him. Run the zone read and give Minnesota some different looks.

For once, I would love to see the Packers surprise and out-coach somebody, instead of the other way around.

While the ground game and Hundley will be the key offensively, on defense, it’s all about turnovers. Getting pressure on Case Keenum has been just about impossible, so I wouldn’t expect much of that.

Yet, in the first meeting, the Packers did force a couple turnovers, and they will need to do that again if they are going to have a chance. Realistically, Green Bay needs to be plus two or three in turnover margin to win this game.

Why the Vikings will win:

There seems to be a million reasons why the Vikings are favored in this matchup. They have the better defense, the better quarterback, the better coach (right now) and the better just about everything.

Everything has gone right for the Vikings this season and sweeping the Packers would be the cherry on top of their NFC North championship.

Minnesota has never swept the Packers during the Mike McCarthy era, but tonight, could mean the end of another milestone. The eight-year playoff streak is gone, we will see if MM’s dominance over the Vikings is too. 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (14)

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Bojan Glisic's picture

December 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

"Minnesota has never swept the Packers during the Mike McCarthy era"

They did it with Favre in 2009.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

December 23, 2017 at 01:28 pm

Yep I messed that up. Dunno how I forgot that season.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 23, 2017 at 03:13 pm

AH.... The mark of true Packer Fan. (I like to forget those games too :)

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The TKstinator's picture

December 23, 2017 at 04:43 pm

For the Green Bay Packers, there isn’t a more disappointing feeling than hosting the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 with no playoff implications on the line.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Records and streaks are meant to be broken and ended at some point. At the same time someone always seems to do more than expected based on previous display or decreased belief in ability.
I have said Hundley is not what many wished of him and certainly not near the trade value assigned or hoped for him.
I do believe that today vs the Vikings, Hundley will give rise to a new hope of him, though it will still be closer to false as is justified. But a win is a win and Hundley gives his supporters that win and reason to cheer and to trash talk their rival..for whatever that may be worth.
The defense will do all it can to save their jobs and place a little more hesitancy on MM to fire Capers. Though I don't think that happens until MM is extended as there is no reason to fire who you protected if your a lame duck.

GB 20
Minn-17

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 23, 2017 at 02:15 pm

Agree with this, except I am not at all sure the defensive players will be fired up to save Capers. I suspect the opposite.

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stockholder's picture

December 23, 2017 at 03:50 pm

They gave Capers a vote of confidence. I'm here to cheer for a win. Go Pack!

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rdent's picture

December 23, 2017 at 01:19 pm

I don't beleive GB will win this game, Mike McCarthy will more than likely use these last 2 games to evaluate players, just hope they avoid injury.

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Rossonero's picture

December 23, 2017 at 01:52 pm

I hope we lose so it drives closer to Dom getting fired and to get a better draft pick. Hundley plays horrific at home, will be under duress the entire game. Be prepared for a LOT of three and outs. We can try running it, but it'll go nowhere, so they'll just dare Hundley to throw.

There was an interesting article by Pete Dougherty in the Green Bay Press-Gazette about how Vikings GM Rick Spielman has completely schooled Ted Thompson in drafting defensive players. He noted that many of the Vikings' superb defensive players were guys that Ted passed on and instead chose busts or sub-par guys that took 3-4 years to develop.

That's the difference. All it can take is one draft class to catapult your team. Look at the 2016 Cowboys drafting Dak and Zeke. Ted has lost his touch, it's time for him to retire too.

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Vrog's picture

December 23, 2017 at 03:04 pm

He noted that many of the Vikings' superb defensive players were guys that Ted passed on and instead chose busts or sub-par guys that took 3-4 years to develop.
Were the Vikings not usually picking before the Packers?

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Rossonero's picture

December 23, 2017 at 07:44 pm

"Harrison Smith (No. 29 overall in 2012), Rhodes (No. 25 in ’13) and Barr (No. 9 in ’14) were first-round picks. Thompson had a shot at only one of them, Smith. The Packers’ GM picked one slot before the Vikings in ’12 and selected Nick Perry instead of the safety who has since been voted to two Pro Bowls.

But the other four Vikings standouts were on the board when Thompson picked.

Griffen, who would have been an outside linebacker in the Packers’ 3-4 defense, was a fourth-rounder (No. 100 overall) in ’10. That year Thompson picked defensive lineman Mike Neal in the second round (No. 56) and traded up for safety Morgan Burnett (No. 71) in the third.

Kendricks was a second-rounder (No. 45) in ’15. Thompson drafted Damarious Randall at No. 30, so he could have either picked Kendricks there or traded back, gained an extra pick, and still gotten him.

And Hunter was a third-rounder (No. 88 overall), also in ’15. Thompson drafted Quinten Rollins at No. 60 that year.

The defensive talent gap between these teams is stunning, and give all the credit to Spielman. He has hit on pick after pick over the last several years, whereas Thompson has hit only twice since 2010, on Daniels (fourth round) in 2012 and Clark (first round ’16).

Signing Joseph in ’14 also was a great use of free agency. The New York Giants thought they had enough talent on their defensive line to let Joseph walk, and Spielman ponied up $6.25 million a year for five years. It worked out so well the GM extended Joseph’s deal last August, adding four years and $50 million in new money, including $11.15 fully guaranteed.

Teams have wasted a lot of money in free agency over the years. But Joseph is proof there are good signings to be had."

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Nick Perry's picture

December 23, 2017 at 03:34 pm

"The Packers have had just one losing season under Mike McCarthy and just three that finished at 8-8 or worse. So if Green Bay wants to avoid that bit of history, it needs a win tonight."

Without going back to double check my work, the Packers have finished worse than 8-8 just 3 times since 1992, not 3 times under McCarthy.

2005....4-12
2008....6-10
2017.....?-?

Edit...I went back and looked and this is correct. In 2013 they were 8-7-1 and still managed to win the NFC North. Maybe you meant 3 times since the Packers were "Reborn" sort of speak when Wolf, Holmgren, and Favre came along.

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paxbak's picture

December 23, 2017 at 06:26 pm

We need losses right now - we need an earlier draft pick - we need an easier schedule - losses are just what the doctor ordered right now - I remember back in the 80s where we only needed one loss out of the next two games to get Aikman - instead we got manderich "the incredible bust" Lose Green bay lose - based on the inactives, a loss looks like the order of the day

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pacman's picture

December 23, 2017 at 06:59 pm

Why the Packers will win? Lambeau get caught in a time warp and is catapulted to Bizzaro world.

Why they might not? Every other reason.

It's been a very long time since I haven't had much interest in a Packer game.

My guess is last week's loss is on AR for having too big of an ego and some bad decisions. Will this humble and motivate him for next year. Maybe that will depend on who the head coach is?

9 more days to see who is 'retiring'. But at least GB has a new playground so I hope the board of directors are happy.

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