When the Minnesota Vikings took the field against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in Week 17, they knew that they controlled their own destiny for the postseason thanks to the Seattle Seahawks losing earlier in the day.
It didn’t take long for them to lose that control again, and they frankly deserved to.
Jordan Love and the Green Bay offense did, essentially, anything they wanted all night long, and Jaren Hall’s early struggles put the Vikings in too deep a hole as they lost to Green Bay on Sunday Night Football by a final score of 33-10.
Green Bay got on the board first after the teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the game. They got there via a 34-yard field goal from rookie Anders Carlson to take a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter of play. The turnover bug then bit the Vikings on their next possession, as Jaren Hall’s pass went off of the hands of Johnny Mundt and into the hands of Corey Ballentine for an interception. It didn’t take the Packers long to cash in, as it took just two plays for Jordan Love to find Jayden Reed for a 33-yard touchdown to give the Packers an even bigger lead at 10-0.
Minnesota finally got on the board nearly midway through the second quarter, as Greg Joseph connected on a 54-yard field goal to make the score 10-3. It didn’t take the Packers long to extend the lead again, though, as they marched down the field and saw Love take one into the end zone from two yards out to make it 17-3 with four minutes left in the first half.
The Vikings then managed to turn it over again, as Preston Smith sacked Hall with less than a minute to go in the half, recovering it at the Minnesota 37-yard line. The Packers had more than enough time to cash in, as Love connected with Reed again on a 25-yard catch-and-run to make it 23-3 going into halftime.
Minnesota then turned back to Nick Mullens at quarterback, and he led the Vikings down to the Green Bay 9-yard line. However, a fourth-down pass from Mullens to Justin Jefferson fell incomplete for a turnover on downs. Once again, Green Bay took advantage, marching 91 yards and getting into the end zone again on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Love to Bo Melton to extend the lead to 30-3 just before the end of the third quarter.
The Vikings then got one of their few highlights of the night, as a punt from Nick Mullens was muffed by the Green Bay returner and recovered by gunner Najee Thompson inside the Green Bay 10-yard line.
That led to the Vikings finally getting a touchdown, as Mullens found Johnny Mundt for a 6-yard touchdown, the second of his career, to cut the Green Bay lead to 30-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Green Bay then added another Carlson field goal midway through the fourth quarter, a 37-yarder to make it 33-10. The Vikings had another opportunity to add points late in the fourth quarter but, well, they didn’t as Mullens’ pass into the end zone was incomplete for a turnover on downs. Green Bay ran out the clock and the Vikings end the season with just two victories at U.S. Bank Stadium on the year.
With this loss, the competitive portion of the Vikings’ season is essentially over. There’s still a slight mathematical chance that they can make the playoffs, but it’s really not worth getting too deep into after a performance like the one we saw tonight.
The Vikings get stomped on Sunday Night Football by their division rivals, 33-10. Thanks to everybody who got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!