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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Packers vs. Lions on MNF – who should Vikings fans root for?

By Matthew Coller

It’s a little soon for the Minnesota Vikings to be scoreboard watching, but Monday night’s matchup between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers could determine which team will be chasing the Vikings in the NFC North for the rest of the season.

The case for rooting for the Lions

Aaron Rodgers said last week that there’s a possibility he could come back from a broken collarbone before the end of the season. He will be eligible to come off Injured Reserve Week 15, then the Vikings play the Packers Week 16. Vikings fans would feel more secure if the Packers had no reason to bring Rodgers off IR because they were too far out of the playoff race.

And if you think there’s no chance of Green Bay staying in the race with Brett Hundley under center, take a look at their schedule leading up to Week 15:

At Chicago Bears

Baltimore Ravens

At Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Bucs

Cleveland Browns

The Packers could play poorly and still win three of those games to stay alive. If Rodgers was a lock to miss the rest of the year, that might not be an issue, but the fact that he could come back if his team is in position to make the playoffs should make Vikings fans root hard against that scenario.

The case for rooting for the Packers

The Lions aren’t a great team, but they are probably better than the Rodgers-less Packers. A loss to Green Bay would nearly be a death blow to their season.

Detroit has a similar group of teams in their upcoming schedule, but they’d have to be nearly perfect to overcome a 3-5 start to the season. While it would put Green Bay in a decent spot to stay close to the Vikings, this scenario would almost put Detroit out of the conversation and make the NFC North a two-horse race. Going into Sunday, the New York Times’ Playoff Machine gave the Lions just an 18% chance to make the postseason. The Packers are listed at 42%, which would certainly go up with a win, but sans Rodgers, their chances still wouldn’t appear high even if they advanced to 5-3 with a win.

The Lions also have a leg up in a tie breaker over the Vikings with a win earlier this year at US Bank Stadium.

Bottom line

As we head into Monday, the Packers and Lions are still both a threat to the Vikings’ chances to win the NFC North, even though Minnesota has a head start on both teams. Neither outcome is great for the Vikings since, but deciding which team you’d rather see win comes down to whether you believe there’s a chance Rodgers could come back. Since he was able to return the last time he got hurt, you might prefer the Lions win and both teams sit two games back of the Vikings.

The post Packers vs. Lions on MNF – who should Vikings fans root for? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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