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Vikings Building Packer Kyptonite

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 2: Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings intercepts a pass intended for Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers during the game at Lambeau Field on December 2, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers won 23-14. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Let me make something completely clear at the start. I am a lifelong Packer fan. I don’t like the Minnesota Vikings. I am going to refrain from using the word hate, as I feel that is a strong word to use about an NFL team. I am going to save that word for the people who deserve it – child predators, rapists and cable customer service. However, I still want to be clear that I strenuously dislike the Minnesota Vikings.

I don’t like anything about them. I don’t like the pansy purple uniforms. I don’t like the dumpster-fire stadium with the collapsible roof they use to play in. I don’t like the jackass with the viking helmet. I don’t like the annoying blowhorn or the fan noise they used to pump in. I don’t like Mike Zimmer. I don’t like their running back with five baby mamas. I don’t like their habit of picking up former Packers, and I don’t like that they also try to steal and/or copy Packer traditions like the Lambeau Leap.

What I most of all despise about the Vikings is that they are POSERS. They act like they are in the class of the Packers just because we play in the same division. They are not. We may dislike the Bears, but we respect the Bears. They have won 9 NFL Championships. They have the most franchise wins in NFL history and the most players in the NFL Hall of Fame. The Bears may suck, but they are a true rival to the Packers. The Vikings are not. They are pretenders.

So, with that being established, it should be clear that I hope the Vikings never get to where they want to go. I would be delighted if they forever remained a doormat, beneath our notice. However, there is a good reason why it appears they, unfortunately, may not.

When the Packers rolled through the playoffs in 2010, before ripping off 13 more straight wins in 2011, the impact it had on their rivals was obvious. The two teams that had been the 1 and 2 seeds that year- Atlanta and Chicago- both began to build offenses that resembled the Packers. The Falcons traded up to draft Julio Jones to line up across from Roddy White, and the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall and then drafted Alshon Jeffrey. Both also went to a more uptempo style of offense.

Both plans were doomed to fail from the beginning. What had made the Bears a threat during Lovie Smith’s tenure was their defense. What had made the Falcons a 13-3 team once upon a time was their ability to run the football and control the clock. Both teams lost themselves in a quest to copy the Packers, or you could add, to copy the Saints, who won the Super Bowl the previous year.

The inherent problem with both teams was that Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler were not Aaron Rodgers and putting all the talent around them in the world wasn’t going to change that. Even if both teams built rosters that were capable of competing in a shootout with the Packers, ultimately such games are determined by turnovers, and there the Packers would always have the advantage.

No, what has been proven in the years since the Packers’ run through late 2010 and most of 2011 is that the way to beat the Packers was to play defense and run the football. Yes, it also helps to have a pass rush, but it ALWAYS helps to have a pass rush.

The Detroit Lions had a chance to overtake the Packers last season thanks to their ability to play defense. However, though they had developed the defense they needed, the Lions had still committed too many resources to their passing attack. Unable to run the football in December, the Lions couldn’t get by the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 17, and the Packers did enough to earn their fourth straight division title.

The Vikings, however, have improved upon the Lions’ model. Their drafting strategy the last couple seasons has been plain – build the defense and offensive line. If you can stop the Packers and run the football, you will beat the Packers. And if you can do those two things consistently, you can play in any weather, any stadium, and at any time.

With high picks Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr and Xavier Rhodes all appearing to be difference makers on defense, the Vikings are well-positioned to field the best defense in the division in the coming years. The only question is whether Teddy Bridgewater and offensive play-makers like Stefon Diggs can become good enough to get the Vikings over the hump within the window that an aging Adrian Peterson provides them.

If the Vikings can find an effective replacement for Peterson in a couple seasons, they can become the long-term thorn in the Packers’ side that they hope to, and possibly look to close the Packers’ window with Aaron Rodgers.

The NFL is a long-term war of attrition with they who draft best ultimately wearing the crown. The Vikings have the formula to beat the Packers. Now we’ll see if they drafted the talent.

 

 

 

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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25 Comments

  1. John smith January 2, 2016

    Yeah, the packers offense is not ment to play against elite defenses. That’s why they almost always get shut out when going up against them. Look at the giants in 2011, then they played catch up in 2012-2013 agaisnt the 49ers and the seahawks shut down their offense in 2014. And what did all of these teams have in common ? A good defense and a good running game. The packers offense is not build to play agaisnt top 5 defenses. The packers defense is not build to stop the run. They are build to blitz and cause turnovers.

  2. Remedy January 2, 2016

    We will roll these clowns for a long time with a real #1 receiver and competent ILB play

  3. Phatgzus January 2, 2016

    Good article, Shawn, completely agree this vikings D is poised to make life tough for the Packers, especially if Teddy B becomes just slightly more than a game manager and of course the Vikings get another talented RB (which really isn’t that hard to do these days). However, you forgot to mention people who talk at the theatre-there’s- a Special Hell waiting for them.

    1. icebowl January 2, 2016

      Back in the day the Vikings were a respectable foe for the Packers – Fran Tarkenton and the Purple People Eaters D provided some great games for a number of years….

  4. MMK January 2, 2016

    Bridgewater will not come to fruition. He has a noodle arm. What I think he WILL do is just enough for the Vikings to invest time and money into him, just like they did with Ponder. In the meantime, Peterson will be out of the league either through age, injury or off field bullshit within 2 years.

    Their defense is legit.

    1. John Smith January 2, 2016

      You have to be a fool if you think Bridgewater is the same as fucken Ponders.

      1. icebowl January 2, 2016

        Agreed ……

      2. Phatgzus January 3, 2016

        For real, Bridgewater at least has business being in this league, Ponder couldn’t make it in the CFL. Furthermore, Teddy B has 10x the poise in the pocket that Scaredy Steele ever did.

  5. Deepsky January 2, 2016

    There’s no way the Vikings will repeat drafting a guy like Adrian Peterson. He’s a once in a decade back, the best runner since Ladainian Tomlinson.

    After that Bridgewater has to carry the team on his back and I don’t see that happening.

  6. ay hombre January 2, 2016

    Harrison Smith is a stud. He wasn’t on the field when we drubbed these punks last time. He’s a difference maker.

    1. Howard January 2, 2016

      I believe Harrison Smith was on the field the last game. It may not have appeared that he was because the Vikings had him in coverage more than you would expect. That will probably change this game. Linval Joseph had a good game but will be out this game. Key for Pack is run 30+ times for close to 150 yards. No turnovers. Rodgers, and a D that tackles properly will do the rest. Game Pack. GO PACK!

    2. Shawn January 2, 2016

      Harrison Smith was on the field against the Packers.
      He wasn’t for the game against Seattle. They are a different defense with him on the field.

    3. ay hombre January 3, 2016

      When corrected by the two most insightful people on these boards…I stand corrected. Thanks guys. I actually feel better that we beat the Vikes with Harrison Smith. But not that much better.

  7. PF4L January 2, 2016

    I don’t respect the bears or their fans, fuck the Bears. Although i’ll acknowledge the rivalry, even though it’s been dead for over 2 decades, for obvious reasons.

    I am indifferent with the vikings, but i’d agree with Shawn that they are posers and wannabe’s, the team and vikings fans. Same with Detroit, don’t give a fuck.

    For a team to be a rival, win something 1st, besides 1 Division title that you display as a banner. At least the Bears had 1985 (Bwhahahahaha).

    Bring on the best article of each week, the predictions.

  8. icebowl January 2, 2016

    Good article Shawn, a lot of valid (and scary) points re: GB future in NFL-North ….

    Agree with PF4 – lets see how you guys fare in last prediction of regular season ….

  9. billabong January 2, 2016

    “things fall apart”

  10. Cheese January 2, 2016

    “I am going to refrain from using the word hate”

    As soon as I read that I instantly knew who didn’t write this article. Speaking of which, I wonder where he has been lately?

    1. Phatgzus January 3, 2016

      Bottom of the East River?

  11. Jon Bon Gravy January 2, 2016

    There are better reasons to hate Adrian Peterson than how many women he’s had kids with, primarily what he has done to those kids…

    1. Shawn January 2, 2016

      Hey, not to turn this into some big social discussion, but I find it ironic how much abuse AP takes for disciplining his child too harshly (to be sure) whereas he takes no criticism for the far greater damage to the child that is done due to him being an absentee father. I’m sure if you asked that kid if he would prefer the whipping or a dad he’ll see only on holidays, he’d take the fricking whipping!

      1. PF4L January 2, 2016

        I’m not so sure, if i was that young, and whipped that bad, i’m not sure i’m asking mommy when the next time Daddy can come visit.

  12. Jschizl January 2, 2016

    It’s always been the blueprint defense wins championships. Funny how there has To be a disclaimer before he goes and bashes the Packers so people don’t comment that he isn’t. This site is great and funny when we are winning. I could say it’s noty favorite when they aren’t. There is some real journalism here with the front office treating players. The money for patriotism stuff. However I don’t think everything is as bad or as good as everyone portrays it. One thing this regime can do is draft wrs. Defense will be better in the future with a young secondary. We need lineman. Even in 2010 we had land playing Dt until Howard green fell in out lap. That would be the biggest gripe about this franchise front Office oh and taking military money and shutting on players like picket AMD Myles white
    They don’t value the trenches.
    It’s also full retard to think that the bears and queens will suck forever. Law of averages can tell us that. Even the lions bounced back from 0-16.
    Vikings will choke they always do. Bears will get close but gave will be gone so it won’t be any time soon.

  13. rebelgb January 3, 2016

    Running the ball will ALWAYS be second fiddle under Mcfatty. Dont tell me shit about last year.

    Add that to TT’s inability to land difference makers on defense (other than CM) and this team has a troubled future.

    If we want to win another SB with Arodge we need some change.

    Tom Coughlin should be available this offseason…

    1. Shawn January 3, 2016

      You didn’t just say that. Coughlin is retiring. And 2) he is a retard anyway.

    2. Phatgzus January 3, 2016

      I guess you missed the Dallas game…