Analysis

Vikings 24, Packers 17: Stats, Standings and PFF Grades

The Minnesota Vikings are 6-4-1 and sit in 2nd place in the NFC North.

What occurred Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium was unlike anything the great football fans of Minnesota had ever seen. On Saturday, the Gophers earned their first win over the Badgers in Madison in 24 years. The following night, it was the Vikings who took something away from Packers in Minneapolis.

It wasn’t a cool trophy like the Paul Bunyan axe, but it was satisfying nevertheless. The Vikings, who captured a 24-17 victory over the Packers, exposed their rival opponent. Aaron Rodgers proved he was human, Mike McCarthy is play-calling his way out of a job, the secondary was torched all night and Green Bay was all but eliminated from playoff contention.

It started with a potent pass rush. Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was finally able to convert some pressures into sacks as he brought down Rodgers twice, bringing his sack total to 3.5 on the season. The Vikings, who only brought four pass rushers the majority of the game, were able to control the line of scrimmage against Green Bay’s banged-up offensive line. The pressure that was created by the front four forced the Packers quarterback into making some uncharacteristically poor throws.

Also a bit unusual was the play-calling by McCarthy in crucial situations. Late in the game, McCarthy chose to run the ball (twice) right into the strength of the Vikings defense. Green Bay finished 2-for-10 on third downs and because of said play call, were 0-for-1 on fourth down.

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Packers now have a 14% chance of making the postseason. The Vikings, on the other hand, now have a 71% chance of making the playoffs following the win.

Minnesota now sits with a record of 6-4-1. The Vikings remain second place in the NFC North while Green Bay, who fell to 4-6-1, remains in third. Here’s an updated look at the division standings:

NFC NORTH

  1. Chicago Bears: 8-3 (#3)
  2. Minnesota Vikings: 6-4-1 (#5)
  3. Green Bay Packers: 4-6-1
  4. Detroit Lions: 4-7

The Bears have the projected third seed in the NFC playoff picture while the Vikings have the projected fifth seed — the top wild card spot. The Packers are Lions are (technically) still in the hunt.

LOOKING AHEAD

  • Vikings: at Patriots (8-3), at Seahawks (6-5), vs. Dolphins, at Lions, vs. Bears
  • Bears: at Giants (3-8), vs. Rams (10-1), vs. Packers, at 49ers, at Vikings
  • Packers: vs. Cardinals (2-9), vs. Falcons (4-7), at Bears, at Jets, vs. Lions
  • Lions: vs. Rams (10-1), at Cardinals (2-9), at Bills, vs. Vikings, at Packers

Here are the each team’s stats, top performers and Pro Football Focus grades from Sunday night’s game between the Vikings and Packers:


VIKINGS

Notable PFF Grades

  • WR Adam Thielen: 87.0
  • DT Linval Joseph: 81.3
  • LB Eric Kendricks: 78.5
  • TE Kyle Rudolph: 77.6
  • WR Stefon Diggs: 76.0
  • Riley Reiff: 73.0
  • LB Anthony Barr: 72.8
  • CB Mackensie Alexander: 72.7
  • RB Dalvin Cook: 69.7
  • S Anthony Harris: 68.8
  • DT Sheldon Richarson: 68.7
  • QB Kirk Cousins: 68.3

Top offensive performers

  • Passing: QB Kirk Cousins: 29 of 38 for 342 yards, 3 TD’s & 0 INT’s
  • Rushing: RB Latavius Murray: 11 rushes for 33 yards
  • Receiving: WR Adam Thielen: 8 catches for 125 yards & 1 TD

Offensive team stats

  • Total yards: 416
  • Passing yards: 325
  • Rushing yards: 91

Top defensive performers

  • Tackles: S. Richardson, E. Kendricks: 7
  • Sacks: DT Sheldon Richardson: 2
  • Interceptions: N/A

Defensive team stats

  • Sacks: 4
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles for loss: 4

PACKERS

Notable PFF Grades

  • LB Clay Matthews: 88.2
  • DL Montravius Adams: 87.5
  • QB Aaron Rodgers: 80.1
  • S Ibraheim Campbell: 76.3
  • LB Reggie Gilbert: 76.2
  • WR Equanimeous St. Brown: 74.0
  • C Corey Linsley: 71.2
  • CB Jaire Alexander: 70.9
  • WR Davante Adams: 70.4
  • RT Bryan Bulaga: 70.2
  • DT Dean Lowry: 70.0
  • RB Aaron Jones: 64.9

Top offensive performers

  • Passing: QB Aaron Rodgers: 17 of 28 for 198 yards, 1 TD & 0 INT’s
  • Rushing: RB Aaron Jones: 17 rushes for 72 yards & 1 TD
  • Receiving: WR Devante Adams: 5 catches for 69 yards & 1 TD

Offensive team stats

  • Total yards: 254
  • Passing yards: 172
  • Rushing yards: 82

Top defensive performers

  • Tackles: LB Blake Martinez: 13
  • Sacks: K. Clark, D. Lowry: 1
  • Interceptions: N/A

Defensive team stats

  • Sacks: 2
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles for loss: 7

In beating the Badgers and Packers, the Gophers and Vikings completed the first Saturday/Sunday sweep of Wisconsin in Minnesota history. As typical as the score may seem, the game was anything but. Not only did the fans get to experience the Wisconsin sweep, they may have also witnessed Mike McCarthy’s last game against the Vikings as head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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