A lost running back, quarterback questions and a banged-up receiver.
Suddenly, the Minnesota Vikings' problems don't look quite as serious.
Aaron Rodgers' broken collarbone changes not just the division, but the NFC as a whole, while a path to the playoffs has unexpectedly appeared for the Vikings following five weeks of uncertainty.
A week after limping out of Chicago with a win over the Bears that came down to a field goal, the Vikings looked only marginally better in a 23-10 win over the Packers.
But "marginally better" may now be enough to win the division.
Case Keenum threw for 239 yards, one touchdown and one interception, leaning on receiver Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph with Stefon Diggs nursing a groin injury.
Thielen stepped up in Diggs' absence, converting a whopping 13 targets into nine receptions for 97 yards, while second-year receiver Laquon Treadwell enjoyed the most productive game of his young career.
But while the Vikings look shaky with Keenum at the helm, the Packers looked lost without Rodgers, leaving the division up for grabs.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The Vikings' defense made big plays all afternoon, but no player made more of them than safety Harrison Smith. Rodgers was long gone, but the Packers were still very much alive with 12 minutes to play in the fourth quarter and the Vikings up 20-10. Smith made a spectacular play with the Packers approaching midfield, tipping the ball and pressing it to his body as he fell to complete a difficult interception on a pass intended for Jordy Nelson. Smith finished with two sacks -- both on third down -- and an interception, allowing just two catches for 12 yards per Pro Football Focus.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
Treadwell is finally starting to look like the catch-winning possession monster he was in college. The former first-round pick hauled in three catches on three targets, including a jaw-dropping one-handed grab against corner back Josh Hawkins. The catch is seemingly every pre-draft assessment of Treadwell's NFL readiness, distilled. He times his jump perfectly on an underthrown pass from Keenum, then one-hands the ball while using his 6-foot-2 frame to shield it from Hawkins, before smoothly righting himself and motoring ahead for a few more yards.
Social media began dissecting the play the moment it happened, and the debate over the hit's legitimacy is likely to continue until Rodgers returns. Regardless, it was the most significant game-changer of the season. Linebacker Anthony Barr chased him down outside the pocket midway through the first quarter, flattening Rodgers as he delivered a dart to tight end Martellus Bennett. It's hard to overstate just how dramatically the loss of Rodgers changes the NFC North. With Green Bay ailing and the Bears in the midst of a rebuild, the Vikings and the Detroit Lions are suddenly the favorites.
The Vikings held the Rodgers-less Packers to just 227 yards of total offense, Green Bay's lowest single-game yardage totals against Minnesota since 2001. Backup Brett Hundley was dismal when met with any resistance from the Vikings' defense, completing just three passes on 13 attempts while under pressure. Smith, corner back Xavier Rhodes and corner back Trae Waynes all snapped up interceptions.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
THEY SAID IT
"I wish [Rodgers] the best, but we went out there and won the game under any circumstances. As for the game plan, we stuck with it." -- Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen
"I know Anthony Barr personally. I wouldn't imagine he's a dirty player." -- Packers quarterback Brett Hundley
"I felt very comfortable out there. I just have to keep doing my job." -- Vikings quarterback Case Keenum
Brad RempelUSA TODAY Sports
The Vikings are suddenly back in the driver's seat atop the NFC North following the Detroit Lions' loss to the New Orleans Saints. They host the struggling Baltimore Ravens and the typically hapless Cleveland Browns before their bye week.