12 Snap Reactions after Packers at Vikings

Tale about Jaren
Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith (91) forces a fumble by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) during their football game Sunday, December 31, 2023, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. © Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Each week, we offer a “snap reactions” piece detailing thoughts and analysis after the latest Minnesota Vikings game.

12 Snap Reactions after Packers at Vikings

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

The Vikings lost 33-10 at home on Sunday night to the Green Bay Packers, a loss that sunk the club’s postseason odds to about 3%. In Minnesota’s most pivotal game of the season, it faceplanted.

after Packers at
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

1 – Many were paranoid that Brian Flores could leave the Vikings next month via head coaching hire, and that remains a real possibility. But would it really be that depressing if he left? The defense performed quite well in the middle of the season but started poorly and finished poorly. Hopefully Flores sticks around, but it shouldn’t be a doomsday scenario if he departs.

2 – The Vikings must now beat the Detroit Lions next week while hoping the Packers lose, the Seattle Seahawks lose, and either the Saints or Buccaneers lose. All that won’t happen, but that’s the path to the postseason for curious minds.

3 – Minnesota would pick 12th in April’s draft if the season ended today. That’s the silver lining. The pick could climb around 8th if it loses next weekend at Detroit.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

4 – The Vikings rode a quarterback carousel the moment Kirk Cousins was injured in late October, and it never got off. It’s hard to believe, looking back at the peak of the Joshua Dobbs experience, that the Vikings would finish the season 1-6 or 2-5.

5 – When a team cracked the code on Brian Flores’ defense (example: Chargers, Bengals, Lions, Packers), it was as if it became the easiest scheme ever to pick apart. Here’s to hoping new players and coaching continuity can be a fix in 2024.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

6 – Unless the Packers lose to the Bears next weekend, the Vikings allowed Green Bay to waltz into the postseason during their first season without Aaron Rodgers. Hard to swallow.

7 – At the risk of looking ahead, the New Year’s Eve game could’ve been the last home contest for Harrison Smith, K.J. Osborn, Alexander Mattison, etc. Smith, especially, will hurt if he hangs it up this offseason.

8 – Under Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings are a simple equation. They’re undefeated when they protect the ball or keep the turnover differential even (17-0). And they’re 3-13 when the turnover battle is lopsided for the opposition.

9 – In the second year of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s rebuild, the Vikings are 20-13 (.606). Ending up with a Top 12 pick while showcasing that record is pretty amazing.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

10 – Minnesota was 2-6 at home this season, which is inexcusable, even with a parade of backup quarterbacks. U.S. Bank Stadium used to be a fortress for homefield advantage. It is not anymore. We shall see how long it takes to return to normal. After losing to Green Bay 33-10, that feels like a long way away.

11 – This end to the season feels terrible as the last event(s) leading into Justin Jefferson’s contract extension talks. The Vikings will still get his deal done, but this end-of-season whimper is a gross note to end the season with regarding Jefferson’s next steps.

12 – At least the Vikings have Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, Christian Darrisaw, T.J. Hockenson, Ivan Pace, Mekhi Blackmon, and others as long-term building blocks.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.