20 Things to Know before Packers-Vikings
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.
- The Vikings are 56-63-3 (.471) against the Packers since franchise inception.
- And since 2014, Minnesota is 7-7-1 against Green Bay, so Sunday’s game is Mike Zimmer’s rubbermatch.
- Per weather forecasts, the Week 17 game will be the eighth-coldest in franchise history for the Vikings.
- Sean Mannion has never thrown a touchdown pass in the regular season.
- The last time the two teams squared off in Wisconsin, Dalvin Cook scored four touchdowns.
- 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.
- Green Bay is the second least-penalized ballclub in the NFL. Only the Cincinnati Bengals are flagged less.
- Sunday’s game is the first in the career of Kirk Cousins that he’ll miss due to “injury” (COVID).
- Since the start of 2020, Justin Jefferson leads the NFL in receiving yards.
- 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.
- Michael Pierce won’t play due to an illness, so he’s now missed 75% of all games as a member of the Vikings.
- The Vikings haven’t won three times in a row on the road versus the Packers since 1991-1993. Almost 30 years.
- With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, Green Bay is 14-10-1 (.580) against Minnesota.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Last week against the Rams, Kirk Cousins became the first quarterback in Vikings history to start 15+ games in four separate seasons.
- The Vikings are 2-1 all-time at Green Bay in the month of January.
- Sean Mannion has never started a road game.
- 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).