Skip to main content

End of an era? Packers eliminate Vikings from playoff contention

The 37-10 loss may be the end for Mike Zimmer.
Mike Zimmer

With their playoff hopes on the line, the Minnesota Vikings were embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, eating a 37-10 loss that eliminated them from contention.

The game turned out exactly how Viking fans feared after Friday's news that Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19. With Cousins sidelined, Sean Mannion stepped in and couldn't get any traction thanks to another week of questionable playcalling.

Mannion targeted C.J. Ham on a 4th-and-1 early in the game and wound up targeting Tyler Conklin a team-high six times in the first half. With the Packers providing a dreaded two-high safety look, the Vikings struggled to generate 70 yards of total offense before halftime.

While the Vikings were punchless on offense, they hung with the Packers early in the game, holding Green Bay to two early field goals. But Aaron Rodgers eventually found a groove, tossing touchdowns to Allen Lazard and Davante Adams to build a 20-0 lead.

Minnesota had their best drive of the night before halftime to set up a 51-yard field goal by Greg Joseph but the second half brought more of the same.

Mannion threw his first career touchdown to K.J. Osborn but managed just 151 yards. Garrett Bradbury, an offensive lineman, had the Vikings' longest reception on the night until deep into the fourth quarter. The Vikings finished the night averaging 5.4 yards per pass attempt.

Even a late-game appearance from Kellen Mond couldn't ease the pain of Vikings fans as the final score didn't seem indicative of their performance.

All of this happened while AJ Dillon gored a defense that spent most of its offseason budget on stopping the run. The Packers running back scored a pair of second-half touchdowns and helped Green Bay roll to the top seed in the NFC.

The picture is less clear for the Vikings. Reports surfaced on Sunday morning that ownership was undecided on the fate of Mike Zimmer. The report also said that a playoff appearance would help build for the Vikings to keep their head coach.

With the Vikings missing the playoffs for the fifth time in eight seasons under Zimmer, the Wilfs have a decision to make. Minnesota will close out the season by hosting the Bears next Sunday.

Next Up

Rick Spielman

Spielman: 'That head coach has to have a relationship with that QB'

"I think the No. 1 thing you’re looking for is that head coach has to have a relationship with that quarterback."

Screen Shot 2022-01-26 at 6.36.25 AM

Gallery: France 44 to build two-story addition, rooftop patio

The Minneapolis liquor store and cheese shop is stepping up its events and class offerings.


Ryan Poles picking Chicago creates battle of the rebuilds with Vikings

Both of the Vikings' GM finalists land in the same division looking to return to relevancy.

David Ortiz

Twins congratulate David Ortiz on HOF induction, it ends badly

Twins fans haven't forgotten the biggest mistake in franchise history.

Snowmobile tracks Any Arthur Flickr

Who left the burnt snowmobile on a frozen Minnesota lake?

There wasn't much left beyond the frame and a few other large, metal parts.

T Kline Robbinsdale City Council

Charges: Drunk council member fled police on wrong side of Hwy. 100

The complaint alleges he caused a wrong-way crash, then drove around an officer that tried to stop him.


What does the future hold for the Vikings at linebacker?

Anthony Barr is hitting free agency, and Eric Kendricks is approaching age 30

vehicle car

String of vehicle thefts in St. Paul, most left running unattended

The department is urging people not to leave their car running unattended.

kid hospital doctor

Child COVID hospitalizations reach pandemic-high in northern MN

As omicron surges, more kids are ending up in the hospital.


Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson erupts to lead Vikings over Packers

Greg Joseph's game-winner helped the Vikings get back to .500.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Packers: 5 things you can count on

Do the Vikings stand a chance without Kirk Cousins?

Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson erupts, Vikings end losing streak in L.A.

Good things happen when you throw it to Justin Jefferson.

Anthony Barr

3 questions for Sunday's season opener between the Vikings and Packers

What will determine the outcome of the important Week 1 border battle?

Oli Udoh

Vikings-Cardinals: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings need a win in the desert but will they get one on Sunday?

Dalvin Cook

Vikings vs. Ravens: 5 things you can count on

Can the Vikings right the ship in Baltimore?

Dalvin Cook

Vikings vs. Chargers: 5 things you can count on

Will the Vikings melt down in Los Angeles?

Irv Smith

5 questions for the Vikings vs. the Saints

Will the Saints give the Vikings coal (or another loss) for Christmas?