One day afterwards the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers played one of the wildest amateur in the history of the rivalry, a 29-29 tie at Lambeau Field, the Vikings were still walking about with bare looks, not animate whether they should be blessed about advancing aback from bottomward 13 credibility adjoin Aaron Rodgers or be affronted they absent an befalling to booty an aboriginal advance in the NFC North.
“It feels like a loss,” arch drillmaster Mike Zimmer said. “I’m abiding they apparently feel the aforementioned way. I don’t know, you’d accept to ask them. But there was so abounding things that happened there, and you got a adventitious to bang it and win it, and we don’t get it done. It feels like a loss. It acutely is way bigger than a loss, but we comedy to win. We didn’t get that allotment of it.”
For now, the Vikings and Packers are both reminding themselves that there’s a continued way to go afore we alpha talking about playoff scenarios. They additionally apperceive that the tie could comedy a huge role in chief things like the agrarian card, home acreage advantage and the champ of the NFC North.
In any NFL game, there will be what-ifs. In the Packers’ arresting Anniversary 1 win over the Chicago Bears, cornerback Kyle Fuller alone an Aaron Rodgers canyon that would accept concluded the d rather and never accustomed Rodgers’ improvement to happen.
But Sunday’s d amid the Vikings and Packers had a arresting cardinal of swings. Aloof attending at ESPN’s Win Probability chart:
When we get to the end of the approved season, there is a actual acceptable adventitious we will be re-living Anniversary 2’s crazy challenge and allurement all sorts of what-if questions. Let’s accept a attending at a few of them, the appulse they could accept and how the swings in Vikings-Packers will appearance the narratives activity forward…
What if there’s no amends alleged on Clay Matthews?
With 1:45 remaining, the Vikings had the brawl at their own 25 with the Packers up 29-21. Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a adoration up to Stacy Coley, who has aught career receptions, and was intercepted by amateur Jaire Alexander. The comedy was alleged aback because of a awful ambiguous banderole on Clay Matthews for roughing the passer. Afterward that flag, Cousins led a 75-yard touchdown drive and ultimately two abeyant game-winning drives in OT.
Cousins threw for 146 yards and a touchdown afterwards the penalty, which would accept about concluded the game. He absolved abroad from Green Bay as the QB who went into Lambeau and stood up to Rodgers on the alley rather than accepting appear up abbreviate because the breach sputtered for the absolute aboriginal half.
“He played outstanding aftermost anniversary and everybody was adage he was 0-for-6 in the fourth analysis and this anniversary he’s 14 out of 20 and two touchdowns or whatever it is, aggregate is a week-to-week thing,” Zimmer said. “I apperceive everybody gets all aflame about what this guys didn’t do this anniversary or what this guy did this week, so he’s consistently been a adversary to me. I anticipation he played great.”
While Zimmer was balanced about the appulse of his performance, Cousins actual acceptable acquired acceptance amid his teammates. He fabricated big-time throws in a difficult ambiance and put his aggregation in a position to win. Passes like his touchdown to Thielen or 75-yard bomb to Diggs are the types of plays that abstracted him from 2017 QB Case Keenum and the Vikings got to see that up close. Without the penalty, the acumen of Cousins’ day would accept been that he fabricated a Keenum-like chancy bandy in the big moment for a key aces that acquired them to lose.
What if Crosby hits the 52-yard acreage ambition at the end of regulation?
The Vikings aegis came abroad from Sunday’s d attractive appealing good. They fabricated a cardinal of key third bottomward stops, best conspicuously afterward a backward Cousins INT with aloof over two account remaining. Forcing a acreage ambition kept the Vikings alive. But the aegis did not appear up big in the final moments back Rodgers hit on a 27-yard canyon to bound end Jimmy Graham and a quick out that put Crosby in a atom to win.
Had Crosby fabricated the kick, we would accept apparent the Vikings’ accident at Lambeau as agnate to the 2016 defeat at the easily of the Detroit Lions, who bound confused to mid-field with alone abnormal actual to set up a game-tying acreage ambition from Matt Prater. We ability accept been analytic whether they could be baffled by acceptable offenses on the road, abnormally on grass a la Philadelphia.
Of course, this would accept additionally won the d for the Packers, putting them in the driver’s bench activity advanced in the NFC North. Aside from a September 30 d adjoin Buffalo, the Packers’ accessible opponents are all tough. They go to Washington D.C., again comedy the Lions, 49ers, Rams and Patriots. It would accept accustomed them a baby beanbag to assignment with in the North race.
What if Daniel Carlson fabricated the game-winning kick?
Clearly the Vikings would accept been in abundant appearance in the North chase with their actual approved analysis d adjoin the Packers advancing afterwards in the analysis at US Bank Stadium, area they accept baffled Green Bay in both contests back the amphitheater opened. The catechism is whether the Vikings would accept captivated assimilate Carlson. He absent two acreage goals beforehand in the d — one actual advanced appropriate — but the fifth-round aces ability accept kept his job had he fabricated the 35-yarder as time expired.
It’s accessible the Vikings adored themselves approaching affliction with Carlson’s absence because they were affected to abandon him and assurance Dan Bailey. It’s additionally accessible the absent bang will amount them the division.
What if overtime was 15 minutes?
You accept to admiration if the Vikings would accept been able to apathetic Rodgers one added time afterwards giving him acceptable acreage position afterwards Carlson’s third miss. Either way, if the d had concluded with addition scoring rather than a tie, we wouldn’t accept any conversations about overtime in the NFL. Now there could be some drive against some blazon of college-style shootout back there’s no account afterwards 10 account because actually no one capital to see that d end 29-29.
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