Vikings vs. Packers 2013: Ties aren't just for father's day

Jonathan Daniel

An unexpected tie leaves the NFC North wide open.

The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers played to a tie. It was an appropriate end to an ineffectual game that saw one of the NFC's worst teams compete against a weakened divisional opponent struggling to limp through without its franchise quarterback.

There was a good chance the Vikings could have won the game after blowing a big lead. A late pass to Cordarelle Patterson almost sealed the game in overtime, but both sides were forced to settle for a tie. This was something that hasn't happened often to Minnesota, and the Daily Norseman pointed out just how long it's been.

The Vikings last tie prior to this game also took place at Lambeau Field, and it happened way back on November 26, 1978 in Fran Tarkenton's final appearance at Lambeau Field. That game ended in a 10-10 tie, with Tarkenton's 5-yard pass to Ahmad Rashad knotting the score at 10.

The curiosity of a tie game aside, over on Acme Packing Company the topic of conversation is quarterback Matt Flynn and whether he can be leaned on while Aaron Rodgers recovers. Excitement swelled as Flynn threw for 218 yards and a touchdown in a reserve role, but advice is firmly couched in "pumping the breaks."

Two of the hallmarks of the Packers aerial attack are efficiency (8.84 yards per pass attempt before Rodgers' injury) and lack of mistakes (only six turnovers). Tolzien has exhibited ability to do both, but not at the same time. Similarly, Flynn played mistake-free football but wasn't able to produce efficiently (only 6.1 yards per pass attempt). Against a team like Minnesota, the Packers can get away with that level of play. The same cannot be said when Green Bay plays stronger opponents. Unfortunately for the Packers, Detroit is just such an opponent. Flynn doesn't have to be Aaron Rodgers, but he'll need to be better for his team to have more than a puncher's chance against the Lions.

Detroit had a golden opportunity to gain ground in the NFC North, but squandered it in two straight games. A loss to Green Bay would be devastating, but more importantly give the Packers a new lease on life just as Aaron Rodgers is set to return to injury.

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