The Minnesota Vikings are 10-2 through Week 13, while the Green Bay Packers are 5-8, and various Packers-themed voices are struggling to make sense of it.
Minnesota will soon win the NFC North for the first time since 2017 after three consecutive such crowns for Green Bay. The Vikings must win one more game or have the Detroit Lions lose one for the title to return westerly to Minneapolis. Incidentally, the Vikings play the Lions this weekend in Detroit.
And because the Vikings have their best record in five years, some Packers pundits are twisting into pretzels to explain why the 10-2 mark could be bogus. Peter Bukowski from the Locked on Packers Podcast has an explanation — luck.
He tweeted the Vikings statistical differences between the 2020 + 2021 campaigns to the current regular season — and “close-game luck” was the smoking gun.
His statistics are valid, but Bukowski doesn’t attribute the change of pace in 2022 to late-game execution or the Vikings coaching change from Mike Zimmer to Kevin O’Connell. Nope — couldn’t be those items. It’s luck.
The host of Locked on Packers has spent multiple weeks attempting to rationalize the Vikings 2022 superiority to the Packers, mostly on Twitter. Before Thanksgiving, Bukowski tweeted that the old NFL adage of “you are what your record says you are” doesn’t apply in 2022. He called it “one of the biggest lies in sports” — coincidentally during the Packers first poor season since 2018.
This week, Bukowski asserted that Green Bay is a better DVOA team than Minnesota and hence wouldn’t fear the Vikings if the Packers ran the table and grabbed the NFC’s seventh seed, prompting a possible playoff date in Minnesota.
And for the Packers to reach the playoffs, this is evidently his pathway:
Per FiveThirtyEight, the Packers have a 4% chance of reaching the postseason.
Bukowski caught some friendly Twitter fire in October after ex-Packers fullback John Kuhn called him a “gossip queen.” Bukowski then accused the former player from his favorite team of casual sexism and homophobia.
The Vikings play the Packers on New Year’s Day at Lambeau Field. Minnesota has won three straight games against Green Bay with Kirk Cousins at quarterback.
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).