Vikings Chase a Little Bit of Team History at Lambeau Field
Silver linings, pieces of moral victories, and a natural rivalry – are what Minnesota Vikings fans have to self-motivate for the next six days.
Why? Well, the Vikings lost 30-23 to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16 – at home, no less – dropping the team’s playoff probability to a meager 11%. Unless Minnesota plans to beat Green Bay and Chicago in the next two games while the Eagles and Saints lose an NFC game, Mike Zimmer will fail to qualify for the postseason for the fifth time in his eight seasons. And that isn’t ideal for a team constantly instilling Super Bowl expectations upon itself.
Indeed, the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field this Sunday night for a cold-temperature affair. Green Bay is favored by a touchdown per early Vegas odds. It is unlikely the Vikings find a win, encountering a Packers team in the quest for the #1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs.
But here’s the deal: The Vikings can make team history if they edge the Packers this weekend. Minnesota has never won back-to-back regular season games at Lambeau Field with Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers as Green Bay’s quarterback. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 1991 and 1992, just before the commencement of the Favre era.
To be fair for the Vikings, they did topple the Packers in the 2004 NFC Playoffs at Lambeau Field – after winning there in the regular season, too – but the dubious regular season streak is intact.
Last season, the Vikings stunned the Packers in Green Bay thanks to a herculean day from running back Dalvin Cook. The wind was swirling, and Cook minced the Packers defense for four touchdowns. He’ll get another shot at Green Bay on Sunday Night Football if he clears COVID protocols on Saturday. Cook missed the Rams game due to the virus, forcing the Vikings to utilize Alexander Mattison, who was underwhelming outside of one fancy defender hurdle.
Since Favre took over the Packers in 1992 – and then Rodgers followed in 2008 – Green Bay owns the top homefield advantage in the NFL by the numbers. From 1992 to now, the Packers win 76.6% of games in their house – the best in the NFL, with the New England Patriots second at 72.1%. The Vikings are sixth leaguewide with this homefield-since-1992 metric, winning 66.1% of all home games in the last 30 seasons.
So, that’s the task. Because the Vikings shockingly beat the Packers in 2020, Zimmer’s crew has a chance to take down Green Bay again in Wisconsin for some histrionics. They’re fighting for teensy playoff hopes, plus some respect. Finally outdueling Favre or Rodgers in successive away games would be a commendable feat, particularly because it’s never happened.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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