After having been swept by the division rivals I think it is fairly clear that the Vikings are the better team in the division, for now. However, from what I saw, the season is not over.
It hurts to have lost to our most reviled division foes, and that #4 stuck it to us pretty good, but it is not yet time to throw in the towel for the season. That was a pretty close game, and if the Packers had played the first half like they did the second, the outcome might have been different.
Now, the Packers are 4-3 and have been swept by the Vikings, but so far in 2009 the Packers have lost to only two teams, the Vikings and the Bengals, both of whom are turning out to be very fierce competitors. The more difficult part of the schedule is coming up, but I could realistically see us losing only 4 of the rest of the games (vs. Pittsburgh, Arizona, Dallas, and Baltimore), which puts the Packers at 9-7, which we’ve seen in the past could still possibly be good enough to get us into the playoffs. Now, the question is, will the Packers improve enough over the next 9 games to be able to compete with the likes of our purple foes? I think so. Barring serious injury to one of our key players, I think that is very doable. As we saw this past Sunday, we are not far off from being able to beat the Vikings already, and let’s face it, that is saying something. As much as I hate to admit it, the Vikings are pretty damn good.
I predict if the Packers can limp into the playoffs and they happen to meet the Vikings for a third time this season, the Packers will have it in them to pull off the win next time around. And in that situation #4 will likely have that sinking feeling that he might throw the game away when it counts (again). This time around, I would welcome that.
Stay optimistic, Packer fans! The world (season) has not yet come to an end! We still have a pretty good team that has it in them to be great.