It goes without saying how intense the rivalry is between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are 53-60-2 all time against the Packers, but have won 4 of the last 5 games. In the last 11 seasons, the Vikings or Packers have won the NFC North Division 10 times, with the Chicago Bears somehow winning one division title in that span. The Vikings have won the division 2 of the last 3 seasons and are favored to win it again this year.
All this is to say that Sunday’s matchup between the Vikings and the Packers carries significant meaning. Both teams come into the game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay 1-0 looking to get a leg up in the race for yet another NFC North title (Sorry Bears, you need another year of development. Sorry Lions, you need….. A lot of help).
If you examine the rosters and compare them, you will find some unflattering data if you are a fan of the Packers. The Vikings have an edge in talent in every position group except for offensive line and the big one – quarterback.
As exciting as Kirk Cousins is, Aaron Rodgers is legitimately in the conversation as the best quarterback in NFL history. Another example of Rodgers being…. Rodgers: This past Sunday, he was be carted off in the 1st half down 20-0, and he came back in the 2nd half on one knee to beat the Bears 24-23.
However, we need to talk about this knee. The Packers are saying that he has a knee sprain. The good news is that the fear of any ligament damage like an ACL tear is gone. Rodgers, though, is working out with the training staff rehabbing all week and will not practice.
To be fair, if there are any quarterback’s that don’t need to practice, Rodgers is definitely at the top of the list. However, this should scare Packer fans a little bit.
Rodgers is at his best when he is scrambling out of the pocket and making plays happen. This is very difficult to do with one knee. In addition to that, he is going up against the best defense in the NFL. A defense that definitely takes pride in trying to put Rodgers in his place (but not injure him, we aren’t savages. Well, most of us aren’t).
On a side note, we know that the refs will be watching Rodgers with a magnifying glass, making sure that if he is touched at all, a flag will be thrown. Be ready to accept these ridiculous roughing the passer penalties Vikings fans.
Now, we know that Rodgers is going to play – nothing could keep him from trying to destroy the Vikings (except for a broken collarbone. Cue drum hit cymbal crash). But is this the best decision for the Packers long term?
I know that it is pivotal to get a win at home against the hated division favorite. However, what if his knee gets a set back in this game? What if he has to sit out a few weeks after being in a dogfight against a hungry Vikings defense?
Next on the docket for the Packers are: Redskins, Bills and Lions, games they might be okay without Rodgers. However, they follow that up with match ups against the 49’ers, Rams and Patriots, games they definitely need a healthy Rodgers to win.
Rodgers is going to have a gritty performance this Sunday against the Vikings. He might even lead the Packers to a victory, although I certainly don’t think that will be the case. But the real question is: at what cost? Is beating the Vikings in one game worth risking the health for the rest of the season of your $100 million quarterback?