VTB: Vikings Beat the Packers —We Can Have Something Nice

Joe Oberle and Mark Craig Vikings Territory Breakdown Podcast
Joe Oberle and Mark Craig talk Vikings

Vikings Territory Breakdown: S4E11 Joe Oberle and Star Tribune’s Mark Craig talk how the Vikings Beat the Packers

Vikings fans have come to learn over the years that “we can’t have nothing nice.” And in 2011, particularly, that saying is true, as the Vikings have blown leads seven points or more in nine of their 10 games this season. In fact, the Vikings have played games eight games this season that were decided on the last play of those games, and often they came up on the losing end of them. Well, the we finally got something nice with a 34-31 last second field goal helping the Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings put on one of their best performances of the season as they beat the Packers, and we don’t call it that just because they won on a last second field goal by Greg Joseph. The team, and the offense in particular, never gave up. We had become used to the defense giving in at the end of halves (which they did again) and losing a lead the offense hadn’t been able to grab back. But this time, Kirk Cousins led his offense to the game-winning field goal after just taking back the lead only minutes earlier. He escaped a near pick (thanks to a booth review) that looked to certainly sink the team and their season and then marched the team into position for the game winner to pass through the uprights—something that still seems more dreamlike than real.

The win, which resulted from some good early defense and later stellar play from Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen—plus a decent game called by OC Klint Kubiak—puts the Vikings at a record of 5-5 and tied with the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints for the sixth playoff seed in the NFC. Speaking of the San Francisco, that is where the Vikings go next week to take on the 49ers and keep alive (and potentially improve) those playoff hopes. This past game against the now 8-3 Packers was a war, and it won’t get much easier by the bay with playoff positioning on the line.

The Vikings have won two games in a row by being aggressive on offense, taking deep shots to their very talented receivers, Thielen, and most specifically, Jefferson (8 catchers for 169 yards and two touchdowns) and a heaping helping of running back Dalvin Cook (115 all purpose yards and a score). It has been in no small part a game plan that has run contrary to head coach Mike Zimmer’s typical ideology of ball control, low-scoring offense and tough defense. The Vikings have put some points on the board (averaging 31.6 ppg. in the past three weeks) and they did it on Sunday against a very hot defense in the Packers.

Is that the way going forward? Because it’s certainly been the way of the present, given the Vikings big win we witnessed over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday. Mark Craig of the Star Tribune and Joe Oberle will discuss that and a number of other topics on this week’s Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast. Check out the following talking points and tune in to the show.