Game Thoughts Packers/Vikings

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  • Ponder looked good to me even though he threw 2 picks and missed 19 of his 32 passes. He showed poise on a few occasions and delivered some really nice throws on key 3rd downs. Impressive first outing for him. He seems to have the tools to be a decent QB in this league.
  • I still don’t know why the Vikings just didn’t hand it off to Peterson on every play. Even if he’s ridiculously tired, he’d still be unstoppable. He was especially nasty today finishing with 175 yards.
  • I do give some credit to the Vikes for hanging in there and making a game of it at the end. They played hard and made plenty of good plays to keep themselves in the game.
  • I didn’t like some of the antics of Vikings’ players today. I thought they did some pretty cheap things out there. In fact, one of the things I began to worry about toward the end of the game was Rodgers or another really significant player getting hurt because of a Viking cheapshot.
  • James Starks was huge at the end. He knew they were calling his number and he still made quality, hugely important runs. His final run on 3rd down was terrific. And on each of the 3 huge runs, he was very much aware of where the sideline was – as he was avoiding it like the plague. Very nicely done Starks.
  • Like seems to happen a lot with the Packers, we overwhelmed the Vikes at one point in the game, building a nice lead with an impressive display of offense – only to not close the door when we should have. The Packers are kind of like a closer in baseball who comes in and almost always gets the save, but allows a few late runs that make fans nervous.
  • Woodson’s picks were huge. Those really helped us maintain our lead and I think they both rattled Ponder a bit. Just veteran savvy picks – nice to see.
  • Mason Crosby has been outstanding this year. That 58 yarder was something to see – he cleared the post by 7-10 yards it seemed to me. Just a bomb of a kick. We really needed those FGs today and he delivered. It may have taken a few years, but he really seems to be coming into his own (a questionable expression I must say). He was a big part of the victory today.
  • Desmond Bishop may have had the tackle of the year chasing down Peterson in the 2nd half. That was pure effort. It wouldn’t figure to be a close foot race but Bishop didn’t give up and he finally dragged Peterson down. Great tackle (that may have saved a TD…I believe they kicked a FG on that drive).
  • Once again, the playcalling of McCarthy/Rodgers and their overall coordination of offense remains impressive. They have the ability to just take over games and destroy the momentum of other teams. After Ponder’s great first pass and their subsequent TD, it looked like the Pack could be in for trouble. But Rodgers and co marched all the way down the field clearly showing our offense was going to be tough to deal with. Yes, MN held us mostly after that TD (to make it 7-7), but they couldn’t hold in the second half. The offense is just too good.
  • One of the keys to the game was the Pack’s drive at the end of the first half to get us a FG. I can’t remember how much time was left on the clock (1min 25sec?) but it wasn’t much. We got down the field fast and got a much-needed 3 points. Well done – I’m glad we didn’t go into a prevent offense like lots of teams do (think Cowboys last weekend at NE).
  • Tramon Williams played 2 very different halves. He was awful in the first half. As bad as I’ve seen him play in a while. And in the second half, he was aggressive/disruptive breaking up plays. We need him to return to his normal shut-down self. We’re not there yet.
  • Jarrett Bush once again had some nice plays. For a guy who was constantly maligned as a younger player, he has really turned into a decent nickel/dime guy.
  • Though Newhouse allowed Allen to get through for a couple early sacks, he was better in the second half. I noticed he got some help here and there from Quarless and others, but he was better in the second half. That’s a tough assignment at Minnesota against Allen.
  • Brian Robison is an idiot. That kick of Lang to the nuts was something he should have been ejected for. Idiot.
  • And you thought Crosby was the only special teamer who was on today? Tim Masthay kicked 3 times for an AVERAGE of 55.3 yards, a long of 65 yards – with all 3 punts landing inside the Vikes’ 20 yard line. Huge game for him – quietly huge.
  • Speaking of special teams, I like that Cobb redeemed himself after his two initial screw-ups. He was solid back there after that.
  • All in all, a nice victory for the Packers in a hostile place. Yes our defense is going to have to work on some things so that we aren’t so reliant on our offense for victories. But we are 7-0 heading into the bye week and we look very good out there. Again while there are things to work on (the defense, figuring out how to finish games earlier, the running game…though Starks finished the game with authority), I think this team is on the right path and looking really good.
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9 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Vikings”

  1. DaveK Says:

    How is that not an ejection? A player kicks a guy in the groan with his spikes RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REF and he gets to stay in the game. WTF?

    Rodgers is playing at such a high level right now. I don’t remember any bad decisions today. He threw the ball 30 times today and had 6 incompletions. One was a perfect pass to the WR who dropped it. One was a spike to stop the clock. Three were throw-aways as his protection broke down. I counted ONE bad throw a bit behind Jennings. One sorta bad throw in 30. Wow. As long as he is playing at this level the Packers will be in every game.

    Jennings touchdown to take the lead where he was so open that he about walked in from the 20 yard line? Freaking hilarious and you could just hear the gnashing of teeth from the north.

    It seems to me that Ponder has all the tools and composure to be a legit NFL QB. Somehow though you have to think the Vikings will ruin him one way or another.

  2. Max W Says:

    Maybe I just don’t know as much as I think about football, but is the play calling getting too conservative in the red zone? I feel like sometimes we rush on the first 2 downs just to get us in a 3rd and long. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it just seems like we are settling for 3 points too often instead of turning on the kill switch and going for the endzone

    • awhayes Says:

      that’s a good point. they did this a few weeks ago also. what i don’t understand is why they wouldn’t commit to throwing it 100% of the time in the red zone considering Rodgers’ absolutely ridiculous red zone numbers. He’s thrown something like 1 interception against many many TDs (40s, maybe in the 60s…can’t remember) – and of course the guy is completing nearly 70% of his passes. Seems like the math is definitely on the side of letting Rodgers throw it there.

  3. Dave in Tucson Says:

    I still don’t know why the Vikings just didn’t hand it off to Peterson on every play.

    It’s the Curse of 370. The Vikings have been (mostly) pretty careful to limit AP’s carries. As of today’s game, he’s on pace to have ~330 carries for the season, which would be 2nd most for his career (he had 363 in ’08).

    There’s a lot of stuff out there about how “the curse of 370″ is supposedly a myth, but there are just too many examples of really dominant guys getting run into the ground in just a few seasons–there’s definitely something to it.

    D∈T

  4. ronlc1 Says:

    Much work still needs to be done with the “Bend and Almost Break Defense”. If AR has a game with a less than 100% QB rating a loss is not only possible but probable.

    The two week break should allow time for people to heal and work on obvious defensive flaws. Pass rush, tackling and blown coverage are but a few. I have faith in Capers to fix those issues in the next two weeks. This will drive the Packers to a NFC North win and then on to the ultimate goal.

  5. PackerBelle Says:

    The games in the dome more often than not end up being a slugfest, regardless of the records of the teams. There was a lot of good things to see. Matthews had a monster day, Woodson got a few picks, Rodgers was unbelievable, we finally were able to run out the clock using the run game and even special teams played fairly well (Cobb’s fumble as the obvious exclusion).

    But some things that need work over the next two weeks. The defense is the main thing. AP is good, but 175 rushing yards is unacceptable. And our coverage was not looking good in the first half. I think there is a lot to build on though. Morgan Burnett is being hampered with the club, Bush played well but I think we are much better with Shields as the nickleback. And if you take away that first drive and the TD off of the fumble, all of a sudden the game looks very different.

    I also think trying to get some more consistency in the offense would be good. After being shut out for three of four quarters by the Rams, we also seemed to struggle against the Vikings at times.

  6. 56Coop Says:

    “Jennings touchdown to take the lead where he was so open that he about walked in from the 20 yard line? Freaking hilarious and you could just hear the gnashing of teeth from the north”

    Kind of like I felt after Ponders first pass.

    NOt much else needs to be said. You guys have pretty much covered it all.

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