Sunday, November 24, 2013

Packers and Vikings Play To A 26-26 Tie

Actually it's a ironic outcome that two very evenly matched teams played to a tie. Both feature bad defenses and offenses hamstrung by backup quarterbacks. Technically QB Christian Ponder isn't a backup, he's the starter since there's no one better on their roster, but he's effectively backup quality (both QB Scott Tolzien and Ponder entered Sunday's game with a negative DVOA ranking according to Football Outsiders).

And that's how the game played out. Both defenses were mediocre (Packers allowed 28 first downs, while the Vikings allowed 30). Ponder had a solid passing day (21 of 30 for 233 yards and 1 TD) but he took six sacks. However the big story was that QB Matt Flynn took over for Tolzien.
I guess this shouldn't be a big surprise, but I was leaning towards the guy who was only released once this year (Tolzien) over the guy who'd been released twice (Flynn). Tolzien's big problem was his inability to sustaining drives. The Packers went three-and-out on four of his seven possessions, including the opening drive of the second half. The Packers' defense was struggling (three of the Vikings' six first-half drives went for points) and Mike McCarthy had to do something. Flynn got the ball moving.

It's unknown what this means for next week. Plan A would be Rodgers would start, but he might not be ready and McCarthy wouldn't commit to Flynn or Tolzien after the game.

It's been a depressing last four weeks for the Green Bay Packers, the worst stretch of games they've had since late 2008 (their last losing season), but they're still in the playoff race because the rest of the NFC North is determined to suck. The Lions somehow lost to the Buccaneers in Detroit, and the Bears were easily beat by the Rams in St. Louis. However, their chances turn poor if they can't beat the Lions on Thanksgiving. The Packers will probably need their head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions because the Lions don't have the toughest schedule to finish the season (at Eagles, vs. Ravens, vs. Giants, at Vikings).

The Bears are sitting at 6-5, just like the Lions, but Rodgers will be back before the Packers play the Bears in Chicago. The Bears aren't going to win out, they might even lose to the Vikings next Sunday before they face the Cowboys and Eagles in upcoming weeks. With Rodgers back, the Packers will have a much better chance of winning in Chicago and hopefully that win will be enough to move them ahead of the Bears.


PackFaninFl said...

Been kind down and out this week. I honestly thought we were losing this game. And when we went down 23-7, I thought "season over".

Wasn't even mad, given the tremendous amount of injuries we've sustained all year.

And then something happened...FLYNNSANITY!!! -- it felt like 2011 all over again lol...

As the Big Unit just mentioned on 1250am, "the legend grows"...

Special shout out to this blog's co-author for NAILING it...calling for FLynn to start since he first got here. I honestly thought Flynn was shot, done.

And given that I expected defeat, I'm ECSTATIC with this tie and thanks to the Bears/Lions incompetence, we are within striking distance of the improbable.

I'm rejuvenated. GO PACK GO!

Jack Niemuth said...

The way I look at this: the Packers half won today. They didn't get all the way back to first, but they did gain a half game on both Detroit and Chicago. Also, it was a tie. Ties are better than losses.