The last time the Minnesota Vikings(10-4) faced the Green Bay Packers(11-3) was in Week 2, and at that time, Minnesota’s offense was struggling, including their quarterback Kirk Cousins. In that game against the Packers, Cousins struggled early, played better later, but ultimately was picked off in the end zone with an opportunity to take the lead in the fourth quarter, as the Packers defeated Minnesota 21-16.
On Monday night, the Vikings get a chance to avenge their loss to the Packers when Green Bay travels to Minnesota to battle the Vikings.
For the Packers, who have already clinched a playoff spot, if they win, they win the NFC North. The Vikings can still win the NFC North, but Minnesota would need some help. Minnesota would have to defeat the Packers and Chicago in the season finale and hope that the Packers lose to the Lions in Week 17. With those scenarios, more than likely, the Vikings will make the playoffs as one of the wild card teams, which will happen with a win in the next two weeks or a Rams’ loss.
A lot has changed since the Vikings played the Packers in Week 2. Cousins is playing at an elite level. He is seventh in touchdown passes(25) with only five interceptions, and more importantly, the Vikings are 9-3 since their loss to Green Bay, including a 39-10 victory over the Chargers last Sunday.
“He’s playing at a high level,” Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski said about Cousins on Friday. “He’s doing the things that we’re asking him to do. He’s the same guy walking into the building, and he’s putting in the effort every day.
“I just think Kirk (Cousins), individually, collectively as an offensive, I think the guys are playing fast. I think they’re playing to their strengths, and I think you’ve seen over the course of the season, Kirk’s play has been stellar. I think you can go across the board and point out a bunch of guys that have really rose to the occasion.”
Offensively, the Vikings have a lot of weapons. They can run the ball with Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, and they have weapons on the outside with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, which means Cousins just has to get the ball to his playmakers and let them do their thing.
The Vikings will go as far as Cousins will take them, and if how he has played this season is any indication, maybe Minnesota is in a good place right now.