Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vikings Beat Packers, 37-34; Rematch Scheduled For Next Week At Lambeau

It's a weird quirk of the regular season schedule and final standings that brings the Green Bay Packers and the Vikings back together for another game to start the playoffs. The loss wasn't all that surprising since the Packers haven't had a lot of success at the Metrodome over the years. It's a tough place to play and the Vikings proved it with an outstanding home record this season.

While it would have been nice to have seen the Packers won and earned a week off, QB Aaron Rodgers wanted it to help Woodson and Cobb get back for the playoffs, I can't say I'm really disappointed. That rust last year during their playoff loss to the Giants was real and having to play an extra playoff game didn't stop their last Super Bowl run. The Packers secondary has shown their depth all season long, and WR Greg Jennings and WR Jordy Nelson looked like their old selves on Sunday.

The key to the Vikings' win, and what the defense needs to focus on next week: beat QB Christian Ponder. He had the best game of his professional career on Sunday. The good news is that he's been absolutely horrible in his two games at Lambeau Field, including his dud on December 2nd. RB Adrian Peterson is going to get his yards one way or another, but they won't score over 20 points if their passing game isn't working.

This back-to-back setup did remind me of the 2009 season, when the Packers traveled to Arizona on the final week to crush the Cardinals' reserves, only to get shredded by their starters a week later. Obviously it's not the same this time since both the Packers and Vikings were playing to win.

Both organizations have been completely turned over since 2004, but this is more like that season, when the Packers won in Minnesota to clinch the division title before losing the playoff game rematch two weeks later.

So maybe history isn't on the Packers' side, but history isn't going to help them win next Saturday. Beat Ponder and they'll beat the Vikings again at Lambeau.

1 comment:

PackFaninFl said...

I appreciate the level-headedness of your response to the game here. I was listening to the talk shows and the people were hyperventilating about this defeat.

Even when Minnesota was BAD last year, we only beat them by 6 points and we were 15-1 last year!

And the key is we lost on a last second field goal. After Minny probably played at their highest level possible.

So now we are home. And we are getting Cobb back and then maybe Woodson.

So I think we will get the W against them. It will be hard fought, but we'll get it.

And then it's on to the big, bad San Francisco 49ers.