GREEN BAY — It’s no longer a rivalry, folks — it has turned into a one-sided reality show in which the Minnesota Vikings can no longer compete with the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay beat the Vikings for the fourth straight time Monday night, sweeping the season series for the second straight year.
Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has swept the Vikings in four of the six years (2006-7, 2010-11) since he’s been head coach. “This game was a significant victory for us,” McCarthy said. “That was our goal all week. It’s a big division game, as always, a chance to sweep the Vikings this year, stay in command, stay in control of our division.”
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes Monday night and continued his personal assault on the NFL record books. He led the defending champion Packers to their 15th straight win 45-7.
Quarterback Rodgers is playing the position at a level the league has never seen. With his four-TD performance of 23-30 for 250 yards, he has now thrown at least two TD passes in a Packers’ record nine straight games. Rodgers further extended his NFL single-season record with his ninth-straight 110-plus QB passer rating.
Rodgers’ QB rating Monday night was 140.3; it’s the third straight game he has done this, joining Rams QB Kurt Warner (1999) as the only quarterback in NFL history to accomplish this feat in a single season.
“Not really thinking about that, to be honest,” Rodgers said. “We’re thinking about winning our division and getting a home playoff game, and all that will take care of itself. I just want to be efficient and consistent and get us in good situations.”
The Vikings slip to 2-7 in last place in the NFC North, trailing Green Bay (9-0), Chicago and Detroit (both at 6-3) in the division. “It just was not a very good performance on our part,” said Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier. “They showed why they are defending champions. They played a heck of a football game, and we just didn’t play well in any phase.”
Green Bay has scored 42 or more points in four games and 30 or more points in six games. The Packers, with 320 points scored, lead the league with the most points ever scored in franchise history after nine games.
Remember, the Packers have won 13 World Championships, including Super Bowls I, II, XXXI and XLV. The Vikings have never won a World Championship and are 0-4 in Super Bowls.
So this is no longer a rivalry — it’s a mismatch. Vikings star Jared Allen, the NFC defensive player of the month (October), said, “I’m disgusted. I mean 45-7, are you kidding me?
“I haven’t lost this bad since I don’t know when. We’ve got some issues we’ve got to get cleared up,” said Allen, who had a sack, his 13.5th of the year, and three tackles for losses. He leads the NFL in sacks and is on pace to break Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22.
Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher, scored his 10th touchdown of the season but was held in check Monday night with just 51 yards on 14 carries. “It was embarrassing,” he said of the loss. “I felt like we had a good week of preparation. We dug ourselves in a hole that first half and weren’t able to scratch back out in the second half.”
The Vikings trailed 17-0 at half, and you know how things have gone for this team in the second half. They were dominated again 28-7 by the Packers in the second half.
Quarterback Christian Ponder was 16-34 for 190 yards with one interception. He scrambled for 17 yards. His QB rating was 52.3, lowest in his three starts at quarterback.
“They are 9-0 for a reason,” Ponder said. “It is tough to beat a team like that from the get go, but it is hard to beat yourself and them at the same time. We made a lot of mistakes tonight. I made a lot of mistakes tonight.”
Sunday the Vikings return home to play the AFC West leading Oakland Raiders at Mall of America Field at Metro Dome. The NFC North is the toughest division in the NFL, home of the defending undefeated Super Bowl Champions. NFC conference runner-up Chicago and the Vikings are now 0-4 in the Division this season.
The Vikings are staring at finishing last for the first time in the division in back-to-back years.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2), and you can follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to email@example.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.