Nov 24, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes with the football as Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House (31) chases from behind during the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
That headline is not a typo. The final score was a tie but in the grand scheme of things this goes as a loss for the Packers. Vikings had nothing on the line, Packers are still fighting for the playoffs. With a win the Packers could’ve crawled – and I believe “crawled” is the right word, the way they’ve been playing – into a three-way tie with Detroit and Chicago. A tie keeps them out of first and still in a lot of trouble headed into a showdown game with Detroit.
Of course it’s disappointing to end up with a tie after the way the Vikings stormed ahead. In the third quarter it really looked like the Vikings had a handle on the game. The offense was sort of clicking, and the defense was really making life tough for Scott Tolzien and the Packers. The Vikings just had to play solid ball for the rest of the second half and they would have secured the game.
But…they didn’t play solid ball. Offensively they were able to run effectively, but they weren’t able to finish off drives with points and put more pressure on the Packers. And defensively they just kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and bad plays. The turning point came when Green Bay benched Scott Tolzien for Matt Flynn. Tolzien was not particularly effective, and though Flynn didn’t exactly play like Aaron Rodgers, he did make enough good plays to lead the Packers back.
Watching the game swing back toward the Packers in the second half was sort of like watching an old rusty gate slowly swing shut. You sort of figured the Packers would finally lock the gate but they were never able to do it. The game slopped into overtime and both teams just sort of zombie-walked through it, tacking on a field goal each before finally petering out.
It wasn’t what you would call an epic performance by either team. There was lots of mediocre offense and frankly bad defense. The Packers struggled trying to stop the run – they almost gave up 100 yards to Toby Gerhart for gosh sakes – and the Vikings just committed too many dumb penalties. It wasn’t really a game either team deserved to win, so it’s sort of fitting that it ended in a tie.
But it was a tie that was really a loss for the Packers. And not a win for the Vikings. But at this point, a win isn’t a win for the Vikings either. Only a loss is a win. And a tie could be seen as really a loss.
But let’s stay positive. It was nice seeing Audie Cole and Xavier Rhodes show their skills on defense. It was nice seeing Adrian Peterson have a big day. It was nice that the Packers weren’t able to stick the dagger in at the end. How do Packer fans react to a tie? Only get half drunk?