Packers Media Grasping at Straws with Vikings Looming in Week 17
There is no denying that the Green Bay Packers have been bad in 2022. Aaron Rodgers watched his franchise trade away star wide receiver Davante Adams, and while they invested significant capital on the defense, their offense left plenty to be desired. Ahead of a divisional matchup on Sunday, the Vikings success has left the Packers media grasping at straws.
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”1213884″ player=”26281″ title=”Reaction%20to%20Vikings%20Win%20over%20Giants” duration=”1060″ description=”Dustin Baker goes through the broad talking points of the Vikings win in Week 16.” uploaddate=”2022-12-27″ thumbnailurl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/19439/snapshot/1213884_th_1672167160.jpg” contentUrl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/19439/sd/1213884.mp4″ width=”16″ height=”9″]
Here I am, it’s me, the baseball writer covering the Minnesota Vikings. While not nearly as well versed in football analytics as baseball, the reality is that many numbers are predictive of future results. That’s a great tool to assess talent when considering contracts and long-term production, but it’s largely invaluable in small sample sizes.
Enter the course of a single season.
The Minnesota Vikings will bring a 12-3 record to Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon. It may very well be the luckiest 12-3 record in NFL history, but no amount of luck can take tallies out of the win column. Whether mounting the greatest comeback in NFL history or hitting a franchise record 61-yard field goal to walk off an opponent, Kevin O’Connell’s club is playoff bound and destined for a high seed.
That doesn’t sit well with a fanbase who have recently grown accustomed to running the table in the NFC North.
Detroit has been an abomination for years, and despite the Chicago Bears drafting Justin Fields, the folks over there figuring it out will be something revolutionary. That leaves the Vikings and their middle-of-the-road roster configuration. Despite having an above-average quarterback in Kirk Cousins, and a plethora of skill position players, Mike Zimmer did less with more for years.
Fast forward to where we are now, and the Vikings have seen a stroke of luck that’s alluded the state for decades.
Green Bay blogger Peter Bukowski is drowning his Adams-levied sorrows in hypotheticals going into Vikings week, and an additional expected win is where he has chosen to hang his hat. Although Green Bay has looked like a bottom-tier team for much of the season, there is hope they can make the playoffs by winning out and getting some help. Leading into a matchup with Minnesota, it’s easiest to downplay quality of an opponent in hopes of securing a victory.
Unfortunately for Bukowski, on-field results matter, and hypothetical wins carry as much weight as stock sold to gullible cheese heads on an annual basis. Maybe the Packers win on Sunday, but the expected win totals of either team at this point hold little value when it comes to deciding how the matchup may go.
Predictive analytics are largely beneficial over a substantial sample size that allows for standard deviations to rectify themselves. In baseball, a Pythagorean record is calculated based on runs scored and runs allowed. Similarly for the Vikings this season, their point differential suggests a different output should have been realized, but we’re 16 weeks in and there’s been no adjustment thus far.
If the Packers win against Minnesota as home favorites this weekend, it will be due to a 60 minute reflection rather than a regression to a mean that has been 17 weeks in the making. It’s a tough pill for Green Bay fans to swallow while still watching Aaron Rodgers throw the football, but let’s be honest, he probably consumed worse this offseason.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.