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If Rodgers Is Done in GB, This Is the Lasting Image for the Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings encountered a lousy 2020 campaign — after the team was forecasted to be in contention for the NFC North. That was incorrect as there was no such contention. The Vikings were ravaged by injuries to Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, Michael Pierce (COVID opt-out), Mike Hughes, and Eric Kendricks. Those defensive maladies were too daunting to overcome.

In the end, head coach Mike Zimmer’s squad continued the alternating even-odd year trend of a good season followed by a mediocre one. Under Zimmer, Minnesota has suffered average seasons in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 whereas the playoffs came to fruition in 2015, 2017, and 2019. It is truly a bizarre ordeal.

Retrospectively, the Vikings most dazzling victory occurred in Week 8 after the team’s bye. Minnesota kicked off the season with a gross 1-5 record, plagued by poor defense and a sputtering offense. It was the Week 8 game at Lambeau Field that changed the tide. Zimmer would closeout 2020 with a 6-3 record, navigating away from the atrocious 1-5 futility out of the gate. During that post-bye affair, the Vikings upended the Green Bay Packers, 28-22, behind four touchdowns from Dalvin Cook. The defense was formidable that day (which turned out to be an outlier performance).

Fast forward six months, and news broke on draft day that Aaron Rodgers was ready to be done with the Packers altogether. If that is indeed accurate, the last transaction Rodgers ever enacted as a member of the Packers versus the Vikings was a 4th Quarter fumble caused by rookie EDGE rusher, D.J. Wonnum. It’s pictured in the headline of this article. Wonnum provided a game-ender on that afternoon. That moment was the magnum opus for the Vikings 2020 season — and it now may be the final memory conducted by Rodgers as a Packer against the Vikings.

As detailed by ESPN‘s Rob Demovsky, Rodgers and the Packers brass are not in cahoots:

“It would appear that fourth-year general manager Brian Gutekunst is the target of his disdain. It was Gutekunst’s call on [Jordan] Love, though team president Mark Murphy surely could have tried to talk his GM out of the pick if he felt strongly enough that it was a mistake. The mistake, however, may not have been drafting Love. After all, a GM’s job is partially to ensure long-term stability. If Gutekunst felt Love would give the Packers continued quarterback success for another decade-plus, then why not? He erred, however, by not including Rodgers in his thinking beforehand. Even the Minnesota Vikings, according to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, reached out to Kirk Cousins to let him know they might take Kellen Mond in the third round last weekend. Gutekunst proved more active in free agency than his predecessor Ted Thompson, who frustrated Rodgers by his inactivity in that market, but angered Rodgers in other ways. He released receivers Jordy Nelson and Jake Kumerow and agreed to hold joint practices with the Texans in the summer of 2019, which Rodgers loathed.”

So, Rodgers is ticked about a lot of stuff. Hell, he’s always ticked about something, and this time it’s the Packers as a whole.

Early on in the budding Rodgers Sweepstakes, teams like the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos add up for trade destinations — primarily based on Rodgers’ well-known affinity for the westerly United States.

And Vikings fans should be content to see Rodgers get the hell out of the NFC North. Rodgers won the league MVP award in 2020 after a period from 2015 to 2019 when he began to show a slight slow down in terms of passing production.

While quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Peyton Manning have undefeated win-loss records against the purple and gold, Rodgers is leaps and bounds more deadly from a statistical perspective (considering his longevity). Zimmer arrived in Minnesota seven years ago, putting the clamps on Rodgers to a degree. But before that, Rodgers was lethal versus Minnesota.

In his 25-game career matched up against the Vikings, Rodgers has dimed 50 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions, which is a blistering mark.

If he exits Wisconsin, the final thing he will have done as a Packer against the Vikings was to fumble the ball because of a Wonnum sack — and no one had any clue at the time that was his GB-vs.-MIN swan song.

Dustin Baker

Writer. Host of Bleav in Vikings Podcast w/B-Mac & Baker.

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