20 Things to Know before Packers-Vikings

Things to Know before Packers-Vikings
Aaron Rodgers and D.J. Wonnum

The Minnesota Vikings (7-8) travel to Wisconsin in Week 17, trying to prevent the Green Bay Packers (12-3) from obtaining playoff homefield advantage with a perhaps a purple wiggle into the playoffs if they win.

Here are 20 stats, facts, and things to know leading into the NFC North showdown between the Vikings and Packers.

  1. The Vikings are 56-63-3 (.471) against the Packers since franchise inception.
  2. And since 2014, Minnesota is 7-7-1 against Green Bay, so Sunday’s game is Mike Zimmer’s rubbermatch.
  3. Per weather forecasts, the Week 17 game will be the eighth-coldest in franchise history for the Vikings.
  4. Sean Mannion has never thrown a touchdown pass in the regular season.
  5. The last time the two teams squared off in Wisconsin, Dalvin Cook scored four touchdowns.
  6. The Packers turn the ball over least in the NFL on offense and special teams. They protect the ball better than any team in the business.
  7. Green Bay is the second least-penalized ballclub in the NFL. Only the Cincinnati Bengals are flagged less.
  8. Sunday’s game is the first in the career of Kirk Cousins that he’ll miss due to “injury” (COVID).
  9. Since the start of 2020, Justin Jefferson leads the NFL in receiving yards.
  10. To win over the Packers, the Vikings must run the football and stop the run on defense. In 2021, they don’t accomplish either task too well.
  11. Michael Pierce won’t play due to an illness, so he’s now missed 75% of all games as a member of the Vikings.
  12. The Vikings haven’t won three times in a row on the road versus the Packers since 1991-1993. Almost 30 years.
  13. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, Green Bay is 14-10-1 (.580) against Minnesota.
  14. If one of the Vikings final games ends within a score margin of eight points, the Vikings will hold the NFL record (it’s 14 right now) for most games in a single season decided by eight or fewer points.
  15. If Justin Jefferson is targeted 15 times in the next two games, he’ll become the most targeted player ever through the first two seasons of a career since the NFL began tracking the stat in 1992.
  16. The Vikings and Broncos are the only NFL teams at the moment with a positive point differential but a losing record to show for it.
  17. Last week against the Rams, Kirk Cousins became the first quarterback in Vikings history to start 15+ games in four separate seasons.
  18. The Vikings are 2-1 all-time at Green Bay in the month of January.
  19. Sean Mannion has never started a road game.
  20. When the Vikings game kicks off Sunday night, Harrison Smith will be the only Viking to play in every MIN-GB game during the Mike Zimmer era.

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).