As the Vikings close in on securing one of the top picks in next May's NFL Draft, they head into Week 12 with a rematch against the Green Bay Packers.
A couple weeks ago, there was little shame in losing to their rivals across the Mississippi River. The Packers established themselves as the better team as Aaron Rodgers picked them apart and Eddie Lacy punished them on the ground.
A 44-31 victory looked to be the springboard that Green Bay needed to make a push toward the playoffs, but the injury bug struck again when Rodgers was slammed into the turf the following week against the Chicago Bears.
After fracturing his collarbone, the Packers were about to get a taste of what Viking fans had experienced for decades. Instead of the elite signal callers the franchise had grown accustomed to with Favre followed by Rodgers, Packer fans were tormented with the play of Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien.
The Vikings have gone in the same direction despite picking up a victory against the Washington Redskins in Week 10. They've played better, but they're not the talented team they seemed to be a season ago. That leads many to believe that the best course of action is to throw away the rest of the season to secure a top pick to find a long-term answer at one of their many holes -- especially quarterback.
But as the Packers march out Tolzien for his second straight start, the question of pride starts to get in the way.
That's what makes Sunday's matchup so intriguing from a fan standpoint. Many would view a loss to the Packers as a blessing in disguise. Losing to Tolzien and company would take some wind out of the sails, but would be worth it when Teddy Bridgewater is attempting to match Rodgers blow-for-blow or Marcus Mariota is running circles around Clay Matthews until he vomits chunky soup as soon as 2014.
But there's the abuse that would come with a loss to a quarterback that was on the practice squad the last time these two teams met. With Packer fans three favorite words in the English language being "four Super Bowls," they might have a field day if Tolzien could pull off the victory.
It's a debate that comes with any fan base looking toward the future, but if the Vikings were to win one game the rest of the season, this week may be the time to do it.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Vikings follower that has seen triumph and heartbreak for the franchise over 27 seasons. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report and Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
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