2 purple dreams and 1 packers nightmare
This Sunday is possibly the most important game for the remainder of the Minnesota Vikings season. Sure, it might just be a consolation win if the Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers, but it’s about as good as it gets with Minnesota’s season nearly over.
Your best bet is to try to disassociate yourself from your feelings now that the Vikings have an 11% chance of making the playoffs and Kirk Cousins is out with COVID. Conversely, it seems hollow to hope just to put a dent in the Packers’ impressive record if they somehow manage to upset.
That being said, live the Packers. I will become petty. Here are two dreams and one nightmare from Sunday’s division game.
Justin Jefferson continues his tear
This week will be full of moral victories at best, since that’s about all that remains. A shining star on the list right now is obviously Justin Jefferson. Jefferson already has the most yards in NFL history in his first two seasons, but can he continue?
It will be a bit more difficult with a backup quarterback thrown at him.
Jefferson has a few Viking records that he could eclipse yet again this season, and the more damage he does, the more he ends Stefon Diggs’ business case. Even Sammy White thinks Jefferson will soon break his 210-yard one-game record.
Jefferson will likely surpass Randy Moss’ career high 1,632 yards set in 2003. He’s just 181 yards behind the record with two games to go. Jefferson has an extra game to play now, but he’s been healthy and productive all year long, so he deserves every ounce of credit he gets if he keeps breaking it this year.
It’s a small victory in the grand scheme of things, but the Minnesota front office knows Jefferson is their best player. No matter what happens in the offseason, they need to build around him and the young attacker before it’s too late for a playoff run.
Vikings expose the Packers
Remember how Zimmer “fell” when the Philadelphia Eagles destroyed the Vikings in the NFC Championship in 2018? The story was really that the Eagles understood Zimmer’s defense. It’s a bit of an extreme example, but what if Zimmer was able to do the same with the Packers before the playoffs?
At this point in the season, every little victory counts. It would be a great New Year’s gift for fans if the Vikings swept the Packers this season. The best thing the Vikings can do to make a playoff impact is show other teams how to beat the Packers, and they’ve done it once before.
If the Vikings create a plan to beat the Packers without Aaron Rodgers having a bad flukey game, it would ensure that they aren’t by far the strongest team heading into the playoffs. Right now, Green Bay has the best record in the NFL. It also helps that Zimmer has a pretty good record against the Packers.
Minnesota players drop front office
Anthony Barr said US Bank Stadium was a bit dead last week against the Los Angeles Rams. There wasn’t that buzz that’s usually around, which might be a sign of things to come. If the Vikings come out flat on Sunday, that will tell us that this front office and maybe a lot of key players will be elsewhere next season.
The only way a season is really disappointing is when there is no buzz until the next one. Obviously, I’ve never seen a Lombardi Trophy come to town. But generally there is hope for the next season, and it usually starts with the star players.
For people who want canned Zimmer, I can see why you might be turned on. But his players love to play for him, and it won’t be an easy transition next year as it rarely does after a change at the front office.
The game against Green Bay is the last significant game of this year. The Vikings must make a statement to close this season to have any hope of fighting next year.