Once Again, the Vikings Are Underdogs in Week 17

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Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Minnesota Vikings are underdogs. Once again, Vegas oddsmakers do not favor the 12-3 Vikings to get the job done as they head on the road to Lambeau Field and take on the division rival Green Bay Packers in Week 17. Heading into that game, the 7-8 Packers are favored over the Vikings by 3.5 points.

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Obviously, the Vikings got their magical 2022 run off to a fast start by defeating these Packers 23-7 at home in Week 1. However, it remains their only win by greater than 8 points this entire season. Because of that and the Vikings need for late-game heroics on a weekly basis, there are many people who don’t believe Minnesota is as good as their 12-3 record might indicate. In back-to-back weeks, they’ve had to overcome an NFL record 33-point deficit and needed Greg Joseph to hit a franchise record 61-yard field goal in order to win games.

This doubt revolving around the Vikings legitimacy comes alongside a resurgence with the Green Bay Packers. This group of cheese heads have now won three straight games, including their most recent road victory over the Miami Dolphins on the road.

The Vikings Are Underdogs in Week 17
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In the three-game winning streak, Aaron Rodgers has passed for 649 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. Far from his usual MVP-like numbers, but the offense has been far more efficient than they were when they were falling to 4-8.

The biggest story with this Packers team, though, remains their defense. Green Bay has allowed just 17 points per game during this winning streak, and they’ve forced 8 turnovers. The Vikings offense will have their hands full with this group this weekend.

This game could carry some massive playoff implications with it as well. The Vikings are trying to hold off the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 2 seed, and unless the 49ers lose again, the Vikings will need to win both of their final two games in order to do that.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) gestures to fans as he leaves the field after a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, December 19, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won the game, 24-12.Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apj Packers Vs Rams 121922 1788 Ttm

Meanwhile, a Packers win would put them at 8-8, at .500 or better for the first time since Week 6. They currently sit half a game behind the Commanders for the seventh and final Wild Card spot in the NFC. Their easiest road to the playoffs is winning out and having Washington lose one of their final two games against the Browns and Cowboys.

Green Bay can still find themselves in the tournament if they lose this weekend, but it gets much more difficult for them to do so, and they need the Commanders to lose each of their final two games. By beating the Packers this weekend, Minnesota could put one of the final nails in Green Bay’s proverbial coffin for the 2022 season.

So, what do you think, readers? Will the Vikings pull off an upset as a road underdog? Let us know on either Facebook or Twitter!

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.