Packers Periscope: Week 10 at Minnesota Vikings

Up periscope looking at the Packers week 10 opponents, the Minnesota Vikings.

The Past

Perhaps the best part of the last game the Packers played against the Vikings was that we all didn’t have to hear that stupid horn sound echo across the stadium.  With the football stadium at Mall of America covered in snow due to a collapsed dome, the Packers and Vikings played at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Stadium for much of the 2nd half of the 2014 season and probably lost some home field advantage due to it.  The Packers managed to squeak by the Vikings 24-21.  Aaron Rodgers had a relatively quiet day with 209 yard and 2 TDs but Eddie Lacy did a ton of damage, rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown while adding another touchdown through the air.  On the other side of the ball, rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater did fairly well, throwing for 210 yards and 2 TDs but also gave an interception away.   

The Present

Overall Team Efficiency

Packers

Vikings

14.9%

-6.5%

Offense

Overall

13.2%

-7.5%

Run

-3.8%

-5.4%

Pass

34.3%

-2.6%

Defense

Overall

-3.0%

3.4%

Run

-10.5%

-2.1%

Pass

-3.1%

7.6%

Special Teams

-1.3%

4.4%

Quarterback (DYAR)

630

-35

 

(All statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders, click here for a detailed description of DVOA and DYAR.  And as always defensive DVOA is the inverse of offensive DVOA so negative numbers are better.)  

As you might have guess, losing to a statistically inferior team such as the Lions will drop a team in the rankings; the Packers have now fallen to 8th in overall DVOA, slipping two spots from their loss to the Panthers.  The biggest drop was on special teams which slid 7 spots to take its place (as is usual with the Packers) at the bottom of the league. 

While losing to previously undefeated teams such as the Broncos and Panthers wasn’t a huge hit due to their previous strong performances, losing to a weak team in midst of a rebuild is a huge vote of no confidence. 

Add that with a Vikings win last week means that the division is officially a 50-50 split between the Packer and Vikings.  The Vikings saw a almost 30% jump in winning the division while the Packers saw a drop of nearly 15%.  While the Packers are still hold the lead in winning the division and making the playoffs, this weeks game could very well decide the Packers playoff chances; Beat the Vikings and at the very worse the Packers have beaten more common opponents, lose to the Vikings and the Packers have to rely on winning the last game of the season. 

In terms of the Vikings statistics, it’s kind of like the Lions but better.  While they aren’t particularly good at anything (save maybe special teams) they aren’t miserable at anything like the Lions.  While Adrian Peterson is obviously the focal point of the offense, surprisingly the Vikings are only an average running team, ranking 11th in the league.  Ironically, Petersons DYAR (defense adjust yards per rush) is ranked 24th in the league while James Starks is ranked just behind him at 26th (Eddie Lacy is 30th for those interested).

 

The Future

The Vikings seem to have finally progressed out of the “win-it-all” period with Brett Farve at the helm to a young team with lots of potential, but so far not a lot to show for it.  Perhaps most importantly, the Vikings hope they’ve finally found their franchise quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater; while I don’t think he’s going to become the best quarterback in the league by any means, he’s likely the best quarterback in the division outside Rodgers. 

Getting Adrian Peterson back this year should also help the sophomore signal caller, but the Vikings have to know that the writing is on the wall for Peterson and they should start trying to find ways to win without him sooner rather than later.  Peterson has two years left on his contract but only $3 million is guaranteed each year and only by the 3rd day of the league year, meaning the Vikings can take their time and cut Peterson without incurring any dead money.  The league has always considered Peterson’s contract something of an outlier, much like Calvin Johnson’s contract has been untouchable by all other free agent wide receivers, Peterson’s is the same but much worse since the running back position is valued so low by the league. 

The Vikings have a couple players down the line they’d probably like to resign, namely Sharrif Floyd and Harrison Smith and perhaps Matt Khalil depending on how they view his rookie year versus everything else so far.  Luckily the Vikings are pretty much average in terms of future cap space and the release of Peterson will likely also give them a lot of leeway in how they want to attack free agency.  Of course, the Vikings might give a sentimental contract to Peterson and ruin it all but even the Vikings have to know that running backs simply aren’t worth that much and Peterson is past 30 with a ton of wear on his tires. 

Overall, my personal opinion is that the Vikings are the team in the division that should worry the Packers the most in the next couple years.  Detroit is a complete mess top to bottom and will likely be entering a full rebuilding mode that should last several years.  Chicago still has to figure out what it wants to do with Jay Cutler and they’ve got too many older players taking up too much valuable cap space.  While the Vikings don’t have much to show for their current rebuild, they probably have the highest potential to catch the Packers.   

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Comments (23)

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Bearmeat's picture

November 20, 2015 at 01:25 pm

I hate everything about this team. Their annoying fans most of all. Their stupid mascot is high up the list too. Their child beating star RB. That monolithic indoor stadium they fleeced the taxpayers of Minnesota out of. Their team colors. True Vikings would have never have worn purple and yellow.

Did I mention their stupid fans?

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Tundraboy's picture

November 20, 2015 at 01:29 pm

Hope Packers feel that way Sunday!

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Bohj's picture

November 20, 2015 at 01:55 pm

It's wierd. But I like zimmer. Solid coach. Does it the right way. I loathe that the vikes got him. With that being said......their fans are the worst. I respect the bears rivalry and their fans.....vikes fans???...not at all. Just so you know, I went to TCF bank stadium and watched Michigan beat the Gophers on a last second play. I was able to stash a Packers Jersey in the bleachers to jinx the vikes. Unfortunately it will only last this season until they move into their Hormel chili dome.

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hobbes's picture

November 20, 2015 at 05:46 pm

I've always felt like the VIkings were the little brother who never got any attention from his bigger brothers (Packers and Bears). Green Bay and Chicago have two of the oldest and most storied histories in the NFL, the Super Bowl trophy is named for Lombardi and the NFC trophy is named for Halas. Over the years the Packers have had fantastic teams that people remember fondly over. The Vikings just never got to that level, sure they've had good teams in the past but no one remembers them like the Packers and Bears and still haven't won a Super Bowl.

And just like that annoying little brother, Vikings fans can be pretty annoying.

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Samson's picture

November 20, 2015 at 05:23 pm

Do you even know any hardcore Viking fans?? --- I've known many, many Viking fans since the Tarkenton days. --- Get real.---Viking & Packer fans are all the same. --- Football fans are all the same. --Quit making up $hit.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 20, 2015 at 05:41 pm

Um. Actually, yes. I know many Viking fans. They suck.

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mxbraun's picture

November 20, 2015 at 09:53 pm

Your mascot hatred is outdated. Joe Juranitch (nee: Ragnar) has been watching the 2015 Vikings games from home, since the team didn't renew his contract. Apparently, the Vkings found his requested pay increase (he asked for $20,000/game in 2015, up from $1,500/game in 2014) about as appealing as opposing fans found Ragnar himself. The team insisted it had planned to move on anyway, but it's possible that Ragnar's "offer" made the decision to do so all the easier.

http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/minnesota-vikings-mascot-ragnar-wants...

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Razer's picture

November 20, 2015 at 01:42 pm

The Vikings have done a good job of rebuilding their team. They are young, talented and well coached. They should be our primary competition over the next few years.

As to this Sunday, If we can bottle up Peterson we will have a chance to win this game. If he allows the Vikings offense to control the clock and if Rodgers remains in his fog, we will drop another division game.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

November 20, 2015 at 01:48 pm

They have never been a team I liked even back in the 1960s do not like them at all.

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Archie's picture

November 20, 2015 at 02:47 pm

Fran Tarkenton & Chuck Foremen took over the division post Vince Lombardi. They both changed the history of the game - Tarkenton for his Russel Wilson like scrambling ability and Foremen for his Matt Forte like versatility in the passing game. The Purple People Eaters belong to NFL lore.

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hobbes's picture

November 20, 2015 at 05:50 pm

True, but I still think they are a level below the "Packers sweep" or the 52 defense.

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 21, 2015 at 05:42 am

Tarkenton didn't change anything. How long was there between Tarkenton and Vick? It doesn't help that Tarkenton has reached legendary status as an annoying TV personality. Pretty sure there were versatile, pass catching RBs prior to Foreman.

The PPE's I agree with.

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Archie's picture

November 21, 2015 at 07:11 am

Tarkenton played before Vick was born. As a packer fan who lived through that era I am keenly aware of how good they were.

Foreman broke the mold.

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 21, 2015 at 06:04 am

Do you remember watching Tarkenton? I certainly do. He reminds of a friend who played QB for my college flag football team, circa 1980: Too short to throw over the line, scrambling all over the place for about 15 seconds while everyone else ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. It's a travesty that he's so high in the record books.

Since leaving football he's just become insufferable. He pops up every once in a while offering weird opinions on football and, sadly, other things. Now he's on some awful 30 minute commercial thing.

Changed the game? I don't think so. Air Coryell changed the game. Mouse Davis did also.

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Archie's picture

November 21, 2015 at 07:13 am

I will agree he may be insufferable now but what does that have to do with the topic at hand? The guy was virtually impossible to sack. Read about him on Wikipedia. You may be impressed.

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PortlandMark's picture

November 20, 2015 at 03:00 pm

"Teddy Bridgewater; while I don’t think he’s going to become the best quarterback in the league by any means, he’s likely the best quarterback in the division outside Rodgers. " I think that who the best QB is will often reflect how he is being used. Cutler is having a revival with a different coach. While Rodgers' number are still the best in the division by far, he is less effective this year. Zimmer seems to know how to use Bridgewater. Hopefully, MM figures out how to use the talent he has to get the offense moving. If he doesn't it's going to be a long second half of the season. If the Packers lose and the Bears win Sunday, the Bears will be playing for a division tie with the Packers on Thanksgiving. Who would've thought that?

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hobbes's picture

November 20, 2015 at 05:49 pm

In the short term would you rather have Bridgewater, Cutler or Stafford? I would pick Bridgewater. Cutler is going to have his days where he's one of the best QBs in the league followed by a month of being the worst QB in the league, often during the playoffs.

In the long term would you rather have Bridgewater, Cutler or Stafford? I don't think any sane individual would pick anyone other than Bridgewater.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 20, 2015 at 06:50 pm

I'd rather have Rodgers. Or Favre. Or Starr. Or hell, even Lynn Dickey. ;)

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WKUPackFan's picture

November 21, 2015 at 06:20 am

If Lynn Dickey was playing now he would be a top 10 QB in the league. The gentleman could really play, and was a lot of fun to watch. I'll never forget watching Lynn throw for well over 300 yards against the Bucs on the frozen tundra late in the season in the mid 80's. The poor Bucs were gathered around the blast heaters wrapped in coats. If there was ever a team that would have skipped the second half if they could it was those Bucs.

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Archie's picture

November 21, 2015 at 07:17 am

W/o the hip injury Lynn Dickey could have been a legitimate member of the 4 greatest Packer QBs of all time. And he was great guy. He stopped in the Parking lot one day to play pitch and catch with me with a nerf football. Dicket to Lofton was as good as it gets.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 20, 2015 at 07:41 pm

"At this point I'm going to admit I have no idea which Packers team is going to show up; they should destroy the Vikings in much of the same way the Packers should have destroyed the Lions. This game literally might decide the Packers playoff chances and they know it"

That about sums it up. Which Packer team is going to show up? We shall see. Hope it's one hungry pissed off bunch. Stranger things have happened. I am trying to be optimistic

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Archie's picture

November 21, 2015 at 07:19 am

Supposedly the Pack showed up ready to play last week. Great week of practice. Defense certainly showed up. ST not so much and offense not so much. Pack has a lot of problems right now but the biggest seems to be 12's health. He just is not throwing the ball as well. And he seems reluctant to run with it when the play breaks down and nobody is open. Until 12 gets back to his usual self, this is what the Packers are.

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Archie's picture

November 21, 2015 at 07:50 am

Supposedly the Pack showed up ready to play last week. Great week of practice. Defense certainly showed up. ST not so much and offense not so much. Pack has a lot of problems right now but the biggest seems to be 12's health. He just is not throwing the ball as well. And he seems reluctant to run with it when the play breaks down and nobody is open. Until 12 gets back to his usual self, this is what the Packers are.

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