Vikings Top Rival Is Finally Gone

Aaron Rodgers Noticed the Purple
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The saga is finally over. Aaron Rodgers is on his way to joining the New York Jets after a trade has been finalized with his former team, the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers dominated the NFC North for years and was a huge problem for the Vikings.

After 18 years with the green rivals, Rodgers got his wish granted and will play in the AFC East for only his second NFL team. The way for the Vikings to defend the NFC North just got a lot easier.

Vikings Top Rival Is Finally Gone

Vikings Top Rival Is Finally Gone
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

For some reason, Rodgers has been the top talking point in the NFL among fans and media ever since Green Bay drafted Jordan Love in 2020. At first, he felt disrespected because he wasn’t notified before the pick, then he was fed up with the management but still signed a record-breaking deal. Every year he threatened retirement, postponed his own decision process, and eventually still returned.

A lot of people learned about something called “darkness retreat” in 2023 and Rodgers is the reason. He came out of the darkness and requested a trade. A whole new saga began. Both teams were eager to get a deal done but the sides were too far apart for an agreement.

On Monday, however, a few days before the draft, the teams managed to come together and made a trade happen.

The New Theory for Dalvin
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) pressures Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) causing a fumble during their football game on Sunday, January, 1, 2023 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. © Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Jets will get the future Hall of Famer, the 15th overall pick, and the 170th pick. Green Bay, meanwhile, gets picks number 13, 42, 207, and a 2024 second-rounder. That pick could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays at least 65% of the snaps in the upcoming season.

Throughout his career, the Vikings fought all kinds of battles with their longstanding nemesis. Rodgers started 29 games against the purple team, including a postseason contest when he ended the Vikings’ hopes that MVP Adrian Peterson could carry a Joe Webb-quarterbacked team in the 2012 playoffs.

His career stats against the Vikings are remarkable. He threw for 7,431 passing yards and completed 68.1% of his passes. However, the most outstanding part of his stat line is his touchdown to interception ratio. Over the years, he collected 58 passing touchdowns and just eight interceptions. His passer rating is 108.3, a ridiculous number in such a high number of games.

The overall record of the Rodgers-led Packers against the Vikings is 18-11-1. It was a lopsided rivalry before Mike Zimmer arrived. Zimmer’s Vikings were 6-8-1, and O’Connell’s teams are 1-1. All other Vikings coaches before Zimmer were 4-9.

Despite his greatness, he hasn’t been back to the Super Bowl in over a decade, which highlights the team aspect of football. While he wasn’t always his best self in the playoffs, his defenses let him down multiple times, and he had an unfortunate loss against the Seahawks in the 2014 NFC Championship game.

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The New York Jets will be one of the contending teams after upgrading their QB from Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White to a superstar passer. He will team up with an excellent defense and some exciting wideouts. Garrett Wilson is an up-and-coming star and Breece Hall should return from his knee injury.

Rodgers now hands over the keys to the franchise to Jordan Love. The former first-rounder sat behind the future Hall of Famer for three seasons, making one start and attempting 83 passes for 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He played well against the Eagles last season after Rodgers had to leave the game with an injury.

Love has more experience than most first-year starters and was in a position to watch one of the best players ever on a day-to-day basis. He certainly learned some things from him. However, that doesn’t mean that he’ll be a great player in his own right. Brock Osweiler learned from Peyton Manning for years and was a disaster without him.

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The Packers are still a talented team, the defense has some star players like Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, and Jaire Alexander, while the offense is built around the running game with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon behind a decent offensive line.

Green Bay should try to add some more receivers to help Love in his development, Jaxon Smith-Njigba could certainly be the selection when the Packers pick 13th overall.

Despite having some talent on the roster, playing with a first-time starter, no matter how much backup experience and talent he has, is rarely a successful plan.

Love will be the 21st different starting QB for the Packers in a game against the Vikings.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt