If this was Aaron Rodgers’ last game in Minnesota, Vikings fans (and Packers fans) saw a lot


But two or three years ago, the jerseys worn by thousands of Packers fans in enemy territory would have been 90 percent of Aaron Rodgers’ replicas. There was a subtle change evident on this particular Sunday. Fans representing Davante Adams (17), Mason Crosby (2), Aaron Jones (33), Clay Matthews (52) and even Brett Favre (4) were seen in larger than normal numbers.

With all of the off-field trash that was part of Rodgers’ experience in 2021 – Hawaiian vacations, game show hosts concerts, long-term detentions, the false “inoculation” that caused him to miss a critical game – many expect him to return at the end of the season. And you could get a subtle feeling that a Packer fan segment is ready to leave him.

Vikings fans get it. They’ve been there. Over the past two decades, two of the NFL’s all-time offensive superstars – Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss and future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson – have worn purple and gold. gold. Either way, due to incidents and attitudes off the pitch, it was high time for the two to leave as they moved on. Moss even moved twice.

In a victory in Chicago last month, Rodgers mocked Bears fans, claiming ownership of the Packers’ main historical rivalry. Against the Vikings in his career, Rodgers has something like a long term lease. After Sunday’s 34-31 loss, he is now 15-10-1 as a starter against Minnesota. Although famous, he started but did not finish a game in Minnesota four years ago.

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Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws a touchdown pass while being pressured by Minnesota's Everson Griffen on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at US Bank Stadium.  Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws a touchdown pass while being pressured by Minnesota’s Everson Griffen on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at US Bank Stadium. Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

One of the most serious injuries of Rodgers’ career came in October 2017 at US Bank Stadium, when he was thrown onto the turf by Vikings defenseman Anthony Barr – a game that would be called brutalizing the passer. under new NFL rules, designed to protect players like Rodgers – and suffered a broken collarbone and missed more than half of the season.

Fans on both teams got to see classic Rodgers on Sunday, good and bad. In the first play of the scrum, he torched the Minnesota defense with a 37-yard pass. In the next game, which was an incomplete pass, Rodgers pressed unsuccessfully for a penalty. The Packers’ first practice ended with a long field goal, a game after Rodgers knocked down a wide receiver and walked off the field with that look of stunned disgust that has become something of a hallmark.

“The first practice of the game, going out and getting a seven would have been great. I hit (Adams) on a crossroad that turned into a 40-yard gain to keep us going,” Rodgers recalls. “We came back and it looked like there was (pass interference) on them which would have been a gain of 10 yards. We had to settle for a 54 yard field goal. It was really frustrating. “

The first half ended with Rodgers’ heir apparent Jordan Love taking a knee with 10 seconds left as the veteran starting had already gone to the locker room.

When he emerged in the second half, Rodgers did more typical things like leading a pair of long runs and finding Adams in the end zone on two occasions giving the Packers a fourth quarter lead after being led 16-3 at one point. In the dying minutes, he needed a 75-yard pass to even the score after the Vikings restored the lead.

In the end, it was not enough. The Vikings won on a field goal in the last game. Rodgers did all he could, passing 23 of 33 with 385 passing yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and an outstanding 148.4 passer rating. He is now 2-4-0 at the new stadium in Minnesota.

“I enjoy the environment. We’ve had trips back and forth over the years,” Rodgers said of the afternoon in the Twin Cities. “It wasn’t as strong today as it was in some of those past games. Maybe it was because there were a lot of Packer fans here, which was great. The support was great.”

Even though this support among Packers fans seems to be drifting more and more towards other players. If this was the last time Rodgers played in downtown Minneapolis as a nemesis, there was a general feeling – among much of the two fan bases – that they had seen enough.

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