12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Packers

12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Packers
Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports.

From a suggestion by a reader, we continue our “snap reactions” weekly piece detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.

This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.

The Vikings fell to 12-4 atop the NFC North, embarrassingly losing to the Green Bay Packers, 41-17, in the 16th game of the season. The Vikings could not get in a groove after blocking a punt in the 1st Quarter, and penalties ravaged the afternoon.

12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Packers

after Vikings at Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sport.

1 – While the Vikings loss was a nauseating standalone event, the worst news to dribble out of the afternoon is Brian O’Neill’s injury. Whispers suggest it’s not a minor thing. We shall see. If Minnesota regresses to utterly terrible pass protection, the playoffs will be over fast.

2 – The Vikings fired up six penalties — and every one of them seemed like a momentum-killer. To date, Minnesota has been a disciplined team, but that unraveled, at least for a week, in Wisconsin.

3 – Packers corner Jaire Alexander talked a big game throughout the week. And then he backed it up. Hats off to him for locking down Justin Jefferson for the first time.

4 – When Minnesota failed to score a touchdown from the one-yardline after the blocked punt, settling for a field goal instead, we all should’ve known the day was heading downhill — in a bad way. For some reason, throughout franchise history, when things begin to break bad for the Vikings, every bad imaginable outcome comes to fruition. It’s maddening.

5 – If the Vikings needed one final chin check — it would be weird if they did — they got it. This loss to the primary natural rival was vicious and is unbecoming of a team with a 12-3 record.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

6 – Dead in the water at 4-8 after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers have indeed “ran the table” and are close to “getting in,” as they hinted all along. The Vikings were merely a pawn in the screenplay.

7 – You can take those fun Justin Jefferson would-be records and pour cold water all over them — or severely pump the brakes.

8 – Jalen Nailor produced a meaningless touchdown with about seven minutes to go — but man, oh, man, it was the first good thing to happen to the Vikings in about 2.5 hours of real-life time.

9 – The same mantra after the loss to the Cowboys applies: the Vikings can use this shellacking as a rallying cry or get exposed early in the postseason. Last time, they responded adeptly and beat the New England Patriots four days later.

for Vikings at Packers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

10 – Once again, a national audience was begging for a “fraud” game from the Vikings, and that’s precisely what they got. The parallels, aside from home versus away, to the Dallas game, are deafening.

11 – Before Sunday, the Kirk Cousins-led Vikings had defeated the Packers three times in a row. It was probably too good to be true that they could do it four times consecutively.

12 – Greg Joseph became a pumpkin after this career-best heroics last weekend. The guy is truly a ride. Let’s hope he regains his confidence in a hurry.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. 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).