It's simple: win, and the Vikings are still alive. Lose, and their season is over.
With the Eagles winning earlier on Sunday, the Vikings would be eliminated from playoff contention if they lose to the Packers on Sunday night. A victory would keep them in the mix heading into next week's regular season finale against the Bears.
The problem? Winning isn't exactly an easy proposition. Not only are they facing Aaron Rodgers and the team with the NFL's best record in front of a raucous Lambeau Field crowd, they're doing it without their quarterback. Kirk Cousins went on the COVID list on Friday, meaning Sean Mannion will make the first meaningful start of his seven-year career tonight. The longtime backup has two previous starts in Week 17 games with nothing on the line, recording 0 touchdowns and turning the ball over five times in those games.
The stakes are a little higher for Mannion tonight. He'll try to take down Rodgers, lead a massive upset as a 13-point underdog, and keep the Vikings' playoff dreams alive.
The Vikings are also without Adam Thielen, Michael Pierce, and Cameron Dantzler in this game, among others. They'll need their defense to step up and keep Rodgers and company from racking up points. If they're going to win this game, Mannion has to get a lot of help from his defense, special teams, Dalvin Cook, and Justin Jefferson.
A blowout seems like the most likely outcome, but you never know in the NFL. The Vikings still haven't lost a game by more than eight points this season, so many they'll find a way to keep it close once again — and maybe even win their third straight over the rival Packers.
Follow along below for updates on the game's big plays and follow me on Twitter for additional commentary and analysis from Lambeau Field.
Final Score: Packers 37, Vikings 10
8:37 — Rookie Kellen Mond is in the game for the Vikings at quarterback as they trail 37-10.
Packers 30, Vikings 10
0:00 — The Vikings finally get in the end zone — not that it matters at this point. Sean Mannion hits K.J. Osborn for Mannion's first career touchdown pass, one play after a deflection led to a Garrett Bradbury 21-yard gain that was the Vikings' longest play of the night.
Packers 30, Vikings 3
3:22 — The Packers tack on a field goal to make it 30-3.
Packers 27, Vikings 3
9:28 — This continues to go poorly for the Vikings. A.J. Dillon's touchdown makes it a 27-3 game, and the offense isn't getting any better for Minnesota.
Packers 20, Vikings 3
0:00 — Greg Joseph gets the Vikings on the board with a 51-yard field goal as time expires. They at least moved the ball a little bit on that two-minute drill, but they'd need a miracle to get back in this game in the second half.
Packers 20, Vikings 0
1:05 — Another easy touchdown pass for Rodgers, this one to Davante Adams. The Vikings' defense is beginning to fall apart and isn't getting any help from its offense.
2:00 — Since their five-play opening drive, the Vikings have gone three and out four times in a row. They have four net yards on those drives. The offense has been indescribably bad.
Packers 13, Vikings 0
4:11 — There's the Packers' offense we expected. Aaron Rodgers hits Allen Lazard for a 20-yard touchdown over Kris Boyd and this is desperation time for the Vikings.
Packers 6, Vikings 0
9:11 — The Vikings continue to be stout in the red zone tonight. Patrick Peterson helps force an incompletion from Rodgers to Adams, setting up another Mason Crosby field goal.
0:00 — Another big play by the Vikings' defense forces a punt and the offense has another opportunity to potentially get something going.
4:35 — Now the Packers go for it on 4th and short in the Vikings' red zone and can't convert. Mackensie Alexander is in position to force an incompletion against Davante Adams. That's two red zone stops for Minnesota already.
9:06 — The Vikings play aggressive and it doesn't work out, as Mannion throws incomplete to C.J. Ham on fourth and short near midfield. Now a big ask for the defense.
Packers 3, Vikings 0
11:48 — A strong Packers opening drive stalls in the red zone and they settle for a 3-0 lead in this game. Davante Adams had two catches for 49 yards to get them down the field.