Packers Chasing Vikings after Horrible Officiating

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) celebrates following a missed field goal by New Orleans Saints place kicker Blake Grupe (19) during their football game Sunday, September 24, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers defeated the Saints 18-17. © Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Minnesota Vikings fans have had the opportunity to do scoreboard-watching in the past couple of weeks. Although Kevin O’Connell’s team was well-positioned to make the playoffs, things have changed, and they are now tied in the division with the Green Bay Packers.

Packers Chasing Vikings after Horrible Officiating

During the Thanksgiving slate of NFL action, it seemed like a good thing that the Green Bay Packers went to Ford Field and knocked off the Detroit Lions. In doing so, they gave the Minnesota Vikings a larger opportunity to chase down the Motor City Kitties. With a home game on tap against the Chicago Bears, it could have been assumed that the Vikings would go into their bye riding high.

Unfortunately, Josh Dobbs hit the skids in a major way against the Bears, and everything went wrong. Minnesota couldn’t get the offense moving positively, and a game they should have won handily ended up being recorded as a loss on the schedule. Now, through the bye week, the Vikings are tied for second in the NFC North at 6-6.

Packers Chasing
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It seemed highly unlikely that Green Bay would beat the Kansas City Chiefs, even with the contest at Lambeau Field, but not even Taylor Swift’s presence could stop them. Jordan Love continued his development at the quarterback position, and he had the offense clicking with multiple first-half touchdowns. The zoo was unleashed completely when it got tight at the end, with zebras taking over the field.

First, Matt LaFleur’s squad was penalized for a late hit against Patrick Mahomes that very clearly happened in bounds. The league has always sought to protect its quarterbacks, and those with the biggest names always get the highest benefit of the doubt. Mahomes had to be surprised that he got the flag, and Green Bay had even the right to be irate. Driving to complete a final-minute comeback, the Chiefs got a massive bail-out.

Hold 1 Goofy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Just two plays later, Mahomes uncorked a deep ball to Marques Valdes-Scantling. He didn’t drop this one because the attempt never got there. Instead, a Packers defender plowed right through him, and a blatant pass interference occurred. Rather than throwing the flag, it seemed the officials decided a makeup call was necessary for the earlier Mahomes situation. A final play shove of Travis Kelce went uncalled as well, and Green Bay was given a reprieve.

When the dust settled, and Green Bay emerged victorious, the Vikings took a hit in the process. There is no guarantee that Andy Reid’s team would have completed their comeback, but not allowing the game to play out by the rules was an awful look. The Packers have crawled out of a sizeable hole in the division, and Minnesota must knock them off again at U.S. Bank Stadium if they want to remain in contention.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson (9) celebrates scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears during their football game Sunday, December 4, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Vikings have winnable games ahead of them but have already dropped two in a row with a similar description attached. When Kirk Cousins went down, it appeared that the playoffs went out the window, but good outcomes in his absence have O’Connell’s team in the hunt. They can’t continue to squander the opportunity, and now they have someone breathing down their necks.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.