The Bittersweet Doomsday Scenario Vikings Fans Should Want to Avoid

NFL Expert Who Nailed
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans react during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 1991, the Minnesota Vikings will face a Green Bay Packers franchise without Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers affixed to the roster.

That should be cause for celebration, right?

The Bittersweet Doomsday Scenario Vikings Fans Should Want to Avoid

Well, yes. Yes, indeed, in fact. But as a Vikings fan, you shouldn’t want the Packers to play too poorly — and you’re probably already understanding the reasoning before scrolling down.

Packers Bad? Yay!

Nov 27, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) walks out of the locker room before action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings and Packers aren’t ‘supposed to’ win the NFC North in 2023. Oddsmakers believe the crown already belongs to the Detroit Lions. That’s a different can of worms, unfamiliar to Vikings and Packers fans alike.

Minnesota is scheduled to finish in second place per sportsbooks, and the Packers and Bears will allegedly duel for third place in the NFC North.

Naturally, as a Vikings loyalist, especially with Aaron Rodgers now playing for the New York Jets, you’d enjoy nothing more than Green Bay to, alas, struggle, on the whole, and at quarterback, for the first time in forever.

Your mission is righteous. It’s about damn time for the Packers to experience average or decent quarterback performance — and not the guaranteed relevance provided by Favre and Rodgers.

But consider the man in the picture below.

Packers Bad Enough to Draft This Guy? Yikes.

The Bittersweet
Jan 2, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) walks off the field after the game against the Tulane Green Wave in the 2023 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

What if the Packers season is so awful that they flirt with the first overall pick in next April’s draft? Remember the 2011 Indianapolis Colts? They quickly realized it was wiser to ‘suck for Luck’ — Andrew Luck — than compete that season.

Of course, Green Bay won’t roll over and die; it’s not in its DNA. However, if the franchise quickly discovers through a month or so that Love ‘ain’t it,’ well, the Packers could determine the 2011 Colts were right — let’s ride this 2023 season out and eye USC’s Caleb Williams in a few months.

Meanwhile, the Packers own the right to the Jets 1st-Round pick in 2024 if Rodgers plays 65% of offensive snaps in 2023. There’s a world where the Jets turn out not to be any good, the Packers stink as well — and boom — Green Bay has two 1st-Rounders and enough navigability to move up the draftboard for Williams or his draftmate, Drake Maye, from North Carolina.

A Hypothetical Continuation of QB Supremacy

Packers Players Have Odd
Oct 9, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Green Bay Packers female fans wearing Cheeseheads react during an NFL International Series game against the New York Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Thereafter, in this extreme-but-not-insane scenario, the Packers would’ve merely taken a pitstop in 2023 to jump toward the Caleb Williams or Drake Maye era, thus possibly continuing the Favre-Rodgers majesty. The pricetag would be one bad season in 2023 and a failed experiment with Jordan Love.

Ergo, as the Vikings eternalist, here’s what you must do — you desire the Packers to toil in 2023 but more to the tune of 7-10 or so. A 3-14 or 4-13 record could be disastrous as it would be a segue to a high Packers draft pick in 10 months. Additionally, monitor the Jets. If Rodgers and Gang Green are cookin’, great. That will translate to a lower draft pick for Green Bay.

Yet, in the bittersweet doomsday scenario, the Packers play utterly horrid, the Jets aren’t any good either, and somehow, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst banks a Top 3 pick for the lofty 2024 rookie quarterback sweepstakes.

In terms of irrational gridiron fears, this one should keep you up at night.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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