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Minnesota Vikings’ Ship Is Taking on Water

Until Sunday, a mindset was starting to develop that the 2016 Minnesota Vikings were the league’s premier team. They were even ranked — undoubtedly for the first time ever — as the top team in last week’s power rankings as determined by the NFL (many others publish their own similar weekly rankings).

Not so fast. The Philadelphia Eagles, with the far better defensive unit on Sunday, shattered Viking fans’ delusions, with a convincing 21-10 win.

The Packers-Vikings game in week 2, played in Minnesota’s ritzy new stadium, was much anticipated. Front-runner status in the NFC North was at stake. After the Packers lost that matchup, and the Vikings went on to become the only undefeated team in the NFL, the talk was that the only way the Packers could reach the playoffs was as a Wild Card entry.

What a difference a week makes. Though it’s a long time off, if Green Bay can continue to fix its offensive woes – and not make Stefon Diggs look like an All Pro — they will be in a good position to defeat the Vikings at home on Christmas Eve. The division championship is suddenly well within reach.

This is especially so because a number of key Packers had exceptionally poor performances in Minnesota back on September 11.

Pro Football Focus does a feature titled “Lowest-graded Player at Every Position” each week of the NFL season. In week 2, three Green Bay players were rated as playing worse than any other player at their positions.

Among all the league’s wide receivers, Davante Adams got the lowest rating. He caught but three of six passes thrown his way, for 26 yards, gained only three yards after catch, and had a fumble.

At cornerback, PFF said Damarious Randall was “torched” by Diggs, allowing him seven catches for 161 yards and a touchdown (Diggs was nine for 182 yards overall). The Vikings’ fifth-round draft choice in 2015 has been coming back down to earth ever since – after Sunday’s effort of two catches for 18 yards, his 390 total yards ranks him 31st in the league. In Diggs’ six other games, he has averaged fewer than 35 yards per outing.

This brings us to quarterback. For the only time in Aaron Rodgers’ career, he found himself on PFF’s worst-player list. In what was probably his most inaccurate passing outing ever, Rodgers missed open receivers, forced passes into tight coverage, and recorded an “adjusted” completion percentage of 58.8, the second lowest among all quarterbacks for that week. He also fumbled three times. His passing line was 20 completions in 36 throws, 213 yards, and a passer rating of just 70.7.

Pending the Denver-Houston outcome on Monday night, the Vikings have slipped to number three in the league’s latest power rankings. The Packers, meanwhile, have moved up two notches, from ninth to seventh.

Things are getting interesting once again.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. TyKo Steamboat October 25, 2016

    They’re the best defense along with the SeaCocks in the NFL. Period. A stud at every position & on pace to be a historic Top-10 perhaps. Something like the ’85 Bears, 2003 Bucs or 2001 Ravens

    Their weakness is that O-Line, their special teams, kicker & running back(s). They’re O-Line has maulers built for run blocking but that’s useless now without Peterson & Bradford does not like contact at all. This team is very good but I said all along we can beat them in Lambeau & I think the Packers have confidence in that.
    We lost to them by 3 points, in their home opener, in the dome. All while looking average & Bradford somehow looking perfect. I’m not too concerned. It may be a 13-10 game but we can definitely beat them.

  2. Mike October 26, 2016

    Would have won going away in week 2 if we wouldn’t have turned it over so much & Randall could have stayed in same zip code of a over-rated WR, who since that game you need to send out search & rescue Dogs for now. Packers dominated up front, slapped the Lavender scum all over the field. Besides turnovers, and as Packer Nation knows, our other handicap in game was McFatAss!!