Thoughts from the Green Bay Packers at the Minnesota Vikings (12/31/2023)
My thoughts from last night's 33-10 Green Bay Packers victory over the Minnesota Vikings last night.
Happy New Year Wisconsin. The Packers aren't in the playoffs yet and I'd be wary of assuming the Chicago Bears will be an easy victory next week. However, after a late-season slip made the postseason seem like a pipe dream, they once again control their own destiny. Win next week and they are in.
Once again, why isn't Jordan Love mentioned in the MVP conversation? To be clear, I don't think any quarterback deserves it this year, even though that likely will wind up being the case anyway. And I'm not going to say Love should win it. However, despite having a young team and throwing passes to practice squad players because of injuries, he has more passing yards than Jalen Hurts, has just two less touchdown passes than Dak Prescott and less interceptions than Patrick Maholmes. Considering this was written off as a rebuild year, he should at least be considered.
Speaking of practice squad players, it kind of feels like the Packers need to find a way to get receiver Bo Melton on their 53-man roster. The 2022 7th-round pick recorded the Packers first 100-yard receiving game of 2023 last night and seems to be becoming a reliable receiving threat. In other words, he's the type of receiver another team might consider snatching up if they don't take steps to protect him.
The defense did what it needed to do, but I'll still reserve my optimism regarding that. I think they were helped by facing a rookie quarterback in the first half and by a big lead in the second half, allowing the team to do what it does best, rush the passer. Chicago will be a much bigger test next week, in my opinion, especially since they have nothing to play for and nothing to lose.
The game did give me some confidence regarding the team's future moves with Jaire Alexander. I'm not totally convinced they will attempt to trade him, as has been suggested. However, the play of the backups, especially Corey Ballentine, does make it easier to leave the door open. Still, when healthy, Alexander is one of the top corners in the league and is still only 26. I think the team will make a sincere effort to work out any differences before taking that step.