The Green Bay Packers toyed with the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17, winning the Border Battle 41-17 and keeping the cheese’s season afloat.
In November, the Packers were situated with a 4-8 record, down in the dumps, and clinging to tiny percentage-point hopes of making it to the playoffs. Days later, Rodgers called upon the “win out and get in” philosophy, and that’s what the Packers have done since. Green Bay has won four consecutive games — with the Vikings as the latest victim — and now must “only” beat the Detroit Lions at home for an improbable playoff berth.
Aaron Rodgers Noticed the Purple
And during his team’s shellacking of the Vikings, Rodgers noticed the purple in the crowd. Before the game, several Vikings fans noted on social media the impressive turnout by Vikings faithful — and they were apparently telling the truth.
Rodgers told reporters Wednesday, “There was a lot of purple in the stands. They weren’t very loud as the game went on, but there was a lot of purple. Maybe there will be less blue this week.”
The “weren’t very loud as the game went on” part is an obvious shot at the Vikings — or his team’s supremacy; pick your poison — but out of the gate, Vikings fans indeed showed up in droves. Minnesota had a golden opportunity to seriously dent the Packers playoff hopes, as a victory would’ve devastated the Packers win-and-get-in plan. Of course, though, Minnesota laid an egg and couldn’t do anything right. Even the Vikings footwear — yes, the cleats — was bad last weekend.
Representing the fanbase isn’t uniquely a Vikings thing. When the Packers travel to U.S. Bank Stadium, the stadium is flooded with Packers fans — so much so that favorable Packers plays hoodwink Vikings fans into believing something good happened on the field, as Packers loyalists are so loud. Cheers for both teams are raucous.
Packers beat writer Ryan Wood also illuminated another intriguing possibility. The Packers-Vikings game from Week 17 may have been Rodgers’ last game against the Vikings at Lambeau Field. Wood tweeted, “If Packers win Sunday, they’ll be NFC’s 7th seed. That means no more games at Lambeau Field. Asked Aaron Rodgers if he has clarity on this potentially being his last game at Lambeau. He acknowledged possibility will be on his mind, but reiterated decision will come in the offseason.”
Green Bay currently holds a 61% probability of reaching the playoffs, according to FiveThirtEight.com — honest-to-goodness win-and-in stakes against the Lions. However, if the Seattle Seahawks lose to the Los Angeles Rams, the Lions can sneak into the NFC’s No. 7 seed by beating Green Bay. If the Seahawks beat the Rams, Seattle needs a Detroit win over Green Bay for playoff admission.
The Packers are favored by 4.5 points over the Lions.
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 Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).