The Vikings have lost four consecutive games for the first time under coach Mike Zimmer. Green Bay is under .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2008.
The direction of both teams after 10 weeks is way off course from where they were supposed to be. The Packers were among preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Vikings started the season as the NFL’s only 5-0 team.
If the playoffs started this week, neither team would be playing.
Former Packers and Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings tweeted Sunday “Looks like no one wants to win the NFC North! What’s going on with the Vikings and Packers?"
NFL experts are wondering the same thing after Detroit moved into first place in the division during its bye week.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post wrote "The Vikings, once the league’s most surprising success story with their 5-0 start, have become the team they probably should have been all along after losing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, tailback Adrian Pederson and left tackle Matt Kalil to major injuries.”
And the injuries keep piling on. Left tackle Jake Long is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering an Achilles injury.
Peter Prisco of CBS Sports ripped into the Packers by labeling them the “NFL’s biggest flop.” He wrote "Can this really be the preseason Super Bowl favorite with the game's best quarterback?
"They hardly resemble even a playoff team now, which is why the questions about coach Mike McCarthy's job status are now in play," Prisco wrote. "This team is in big trouble, so much so that you have to wonder if they can turn it around. In the past, quarterback Aaron Rodgers would bail out the Packers when things went wrong, but he has been part of the problem this season.”
Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post argues that it is the Packers mediocre pass defense that is costing them success. He points out that Football Outsiders give Green Bay only a 37 percent chance to make the playoffs through Week 9 and FiveThirtyEight gives the Packers a 16 percent chance after Sunday’s loss. They started the season with a 62 percent chance to make the playoffs.
The oddsmakers have the Packers at 2.5 point underdogs, for just the second time this season, next week against Washington.
The Vikings and Arizona are even in early betting lines, but the Cardinals are 2-1-1 over their last four games while the Vikings are winless.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com dug up this ugly fact: "With the loss, the Vikings become just the third team since the 1970 merger to start a season 5-0 before losing four straight. With upcoming games against the Cardinals, Lions and Cowboys, it's not impossible to imagine Mike Zimmer's club sporting a losing record by December.”
Will Brinson of CBS Sports wrote that this decline isn’t just an offensive issue and “The [Vikings] defense hasn't been the same since the bye."
Monday morning one-liners from Pro Football Talk summarized well another bad week for these NFC North rivals:
"The Packers may be sliding toward a lot of changes.
"Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has to stop the team’s fall."
Actor and devoted Vikings fan Josh Duhamel offered encouragement by tweeting “I feel your pain Vikings fans, but there’s a lot of season left… .”
There aren’t many more weeks Vikings fans can keep using this outlook to boost the morale.