Week 17 Players of the Game: Vikings at Packers
Season ending loss for the Vikings. It was ugly, as expected. The Packers on the road were always going to be too much. The Packers on the road without Kirk Cousins, impossible. The defense held up well for the first quarter. They seemed to give up once the offense went 3 and out four consecutive drives after a 5-play opening drive. The offense squeezed a 51-yard field goal out of the final drive of the first half. They then proceeded to go 3 and out to start the 2nd half. 17 points from Green Bay in the 2nd quarter and 10 points in the 3rd quarter were enough to put the game clearly out of reach. Green Bay wrapped up the #1 seed in the NFC with the victory. The final game of the year will have most of the fan base rooting against a win as everyone is looking forward to the draft order.
The Vikings know all too well how hard it is to kick in frigid temperatures. Joseph nailed a 51-yard field goal to end the first half. If he doesn’t make that, the pressure of getting shut out continues. The Green Bay defense would’ve been more motivated to keep that shutout and the loss might have somehow been worse. The opening kickoff was a touchback and the other was so late in the game it didn’t really matter.
Berry was consistent all night. He had 6 total punts for an average of 49.3 yards. The net per punt was 43.8 yards. That is impressive in those temperatures. If you want a comparison, Green Bay’s punter had two punts, one for a touchback and the other for 24 yards. The conditions were brutal, and Berry handled them well. For the first bit his performance kept the team in it, but the rest of the team had no chance to hold up their end of the bargain.
Woods was impressive on Sunday. He led the team with 7 solo tackles and was aggressive in coverage. The CBs weren’t covering anyone, and Woods was able to step up to limit the games and force contested catches. Twice Woods got his hands on the ball and Lazard was able to pull it in. Not the ideal result, but still make them make the tough play to beat you. He was solid in run support and better in coverage. That is better than what the team saw from most.
Not a lot of action for Osborn with 5 targets. He made the most of his opportunities. He had the team’s lone TD with a 14-yard score from Mannion in the 3rd quarter. He also had an impressive grade on the final drive of the game for a 30-yard gain. He was interfered with and still made the tough catch. He didn’t give up on the game and played to the final whistle. Way to keep fighting, KJ. Hopefully he continues to play well in Week 18 to put some tape down for the next regime.
Also wanted to give a shoutout to all those fans who made the trip to Green Bay to watch that debacle. That was as obvious of a loss as you are going to see in the NFL. Anyone who braved those temperatures and the people of Green Bay deserve some credit. There was a lot of purple in the stands and kudos to all of you.