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Packers vs. Vikings: Quick Takes from Green Bay's 26-26 Tie

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Packers vs. Vikings: Quick Takes from Green Bay's 26-26 Tie

Former backup Matt Flynn entered to a standing ovation in the second half and then proceeded to rally the slumping Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) to force overtime Sunday, only to see the Packers and Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1) trade field goals during the extra period in a 26-26 tie at Lambeau Field.

It was over when…

...the overtime clock hit triple zeroes and the scored remained 26-26. Some will argue that no team deserves a win if five quarters and 75 minutes can't separate the two on the scoreboard. That idea might have applied Sunday. But what an anticlimactic end to a rivalry game. To play that long and still not leave the field with an actual result is a weird, unsatisfying feeling for everyone involved.

Game Balls

  • Eddie Lacy: Remember when the Packers flirted with signing veteran Steven Jackson, and then originally gambled on moving back in the second round, despite Lacy being available? Green Bay lucked out that it worked out the way it did. Lacy is, without much doubt, the most talented Packers running back since Ahman Green. The Vikings couldn't handle his patience, vision and power, and Lacy even flashed some receiving ability. Numerous times the rookie running back created something out of nothing. And in the fourth quarter, Lacy all but willed the Packers back into the game. He's the real deal.
  • Matt Flynn: I'll admit, there was real skepticism in my mind about a quarterback cut by both Oakland and Buffalo somehow saving the day against a two-score deficit. But against big odds, the Packers rallied around Flynn and the offense put together moments of revival under the former backup. Flynn didn't make any big time throws, but he also didn't turn the football over while managing three straight scoring drives in the fourth quarter. His gutsy performance didn't produce a win, but it staved off an embarrassing home loss to a bad football team.
  • Jarrett Boykin: He's been the Packers best receiver since Aaron Rodgers went out. Add five more catches to his recent total, including a 34-yarder in overtime that should have set up Green Bay's winning score. Credit Edgar Bennett for transforming a former tryout player into a real asset at the position.
  • Tim Masthay: Three of Masthay's eight punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. He routinely kept the Vikings facing long fields, and Marcus Sherels returned just two kicks for zero yards. Deep into the second half, it appeared only Lacy and Masthay were worthy of receiving a game ball.

Key Stats

The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards, with over 400 coming on the ground. The Vikings rushed for 232 yards, while the Packers tallied 196 on the ground (fifth time this season with 180 or more in a single game)...Scott Tolzien completed just 7-of-17 passes and took two sacks before he was pulled. Green Bay punted five times and had one possession end at the half after Tolzien's spinning touchdown in the first quarter...After the two teams traded field goals in overtime, the Packers and Vikings combined for just 44 yards over the game's final 13 plays...The Packers had six sacks, including two from Clay Matthews. Mike Neal had one sack and three tackles for losses...Audie Cole, an undrafted free agent starting his first ever game at middle linebacker, had a game-high 13 tackles and three quarterback hits...Eddie Lacy combined for 158 yards, including 48 receiving. He bowled over rookie Xavier Rhodes at the end of one long catch-and-run in the second half...The Packers were just 3-of-16 on third down, but 2-for-2 on fourth down...Green Bay didn't commit a turnover for the first time since beating the Vikings on Oct. 27. But the Packers still have just one game with more than one takeaway this season (at Cincinnati)...Cordarrelle Patterson's 57-yard kick return in the first half nearly matched Green Bay's output on three returns (63 yards).

Other Notes

– Morgan Burnett had a team-high 12 tackles, but he was mostly invisible. The fourth-year safety is probably the most disappointing player of this season, especially after the Packers handed him a $25 million extension this past offseason. Expecting a Pro Bowl-caliber season was more than reasonable. Instead, Burnett is leading a safety group that has taken a big step backwards. The Packers needed major development at the position but are now dealing with three players—Burnett, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian—who are clearly regressing.

– For the second straight week, the Packers defense made big stops in the fourth quarter. While Flynn and the offense is receiving credit for the comeback, the defense played its best football late in regulation and gave the Packers a chance to rally. However, that fact was lost when the Vikings bullied their way down the field when all the defense needed was one stop to win the game in overtime. Such is life in a results-based business.

– I won't knock Mike McCarthy for two decisions he is taking some heat for now. Starting Scott Tolzien was an easy choice based on his previous two performances, even with the five picks included. He made big time throws but just needed to clean up the inexperience-based mistakes. Instead of piling on for starting Tolzien, credit McCarthy for acting swiftly in bringing in Flynn when Tolzien wasn't getting it done. The second decision under fire was the one to go for two down 16 in the fourth quarter. In theory, the Packers could have won the game by one had McCarthy kicked the extra point. But considering how the game was developing, did it really seem likely that the Packers were going to score three times in the fourth quarter? At the time, going for two gave Green Bay the best chance to get back into the game.

– Greg Jennings caught three passes on six targets for 38 yards in his two games against the Packers this season. He was booed loudly following each of his catches Sunday.

– There's little doubt in my mind that the Packers would be 9-2 and in contention for home field advantage in the NFC without Rodgers' injury. Hate playing the "what if" game, but that reality stings given the current situation. The good news? Nine wins and one tie might actually win this division.

– The Packers are still right in the thick of the division title race, thanks in large part to the inability of neither the Lions nor Bears to take advantage of a Rodgers-less NFC North. Who knows if Rodgers will be back Thursday, but a big part of the division will be decided when the Packers take on the Lions for some holiday fun in four day's time.

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (66) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mark in the montain's picture

I seriously don't ger it. The Packer coaches (well represented by McCarthy and Capers) seem unable to make timely adjustments during games. How come Cole wasn't being accounted for in pass defense? Red-zone play calling has been a fiasco all year regardless of who is under center. An ill-timed two-point try a) fails and b) ultimately was the game difference. Etc. But none of the journalists with credentials will be seriously critical of the Packer coaching hierarchy.

WKUPackFan's picture

I've become convinced that MM needs the equivalent of a bench coach in MLB, someone with lots of experience that he check with before crucial strategy decisions. Someone with the cache who can say "do you really want to do that?". Do you really want to accept that penalty in the SF game? Do you really want to run Franklin up the gut in the CIN game instead of a QB sneak or punt? Do you really want to go for 2 yesterday?

Mr Smith's picture

I suspect it's usually Rodgers saying those things. Whether he gets his way or not remains to be seen, but with his freedom to change plays at the line, I think McCarthys playcalling has been exposed these last few weeks.

Walty's picture

Why wouldn't you go for two? It's the fourth quarter and you have the ability to make it a one score game if you go for two. Up until that moment, the offense had been totally anemic since the second drive of the game.

Mr Smith's picture

The book says no. I believe the cutoff is 8 minutes of game remaining... anywhere outside of that, you don't.

Evan's picture

I have no problem with the 2-pt call. In hindsight, sure, it sucks. But at the time, expecting to get 2 more possessions didn't seem terribly realistic (especially with how teams have killed the clock against them in recent weeks).

WKUPackFan's picture

AR definitely helps as far as the individual play is concerned at the line of scrimmage, but I doubt that even he had the power to change the Franklin play once the decision was made. However, I'm thinking more of strategy decisions such as when to take TOs, penalty acceptance/denial, challenges, and the like.

There's a lot on MM's plate, perhaps too much to able to process all the ramifications of a decision in a short amount of time. If MM is going to continue to be the play caller, and I suspect he will, then someone with the respect to say "hold on a second, is this what we really want to do" could eliminate the at least five such mistakes we've seen this year.

Glorious80's's picture

+1. MM does a lot of things well in managing the team over the year, but he apparently needs help here. What about the O Coordinator or one of the coaches?
MM and POC need meet to discuss strategy over a few beers, maybe. Creative energy?
An offense with this amount of talent should be almost unstoppable, but seems to stall out at times, often in the 4th quarter - yesterday, getting FGs instead of TDs.
This team needs to know it can win without AR. They can't be dependent on one player, even a great one. It's the BF thing all over again.

The TKstinator's picture

If you play defense, GB will take you. Safety, D-Line, linebacker, whatever. In 2006 Chester Taylor rushed for over 1,200 yards, yet MN still picked a RB they didn't "need" in 2007. His name? Adrian Peterson.
GB has "needs" on defense, but I for one would not complain about getting more playmakers on D, regardless of where they line up.

Oh, and stay healthy, too.

Albert Lingerfeld's picture

Yes and that's why the Vikings for over 40 years have been competitive. They have no qualms, matter of fact their philosophy is to trade a player away who still have value for new youth. Taylor got them a high draft pick and they got Pederson to boot.
Last year it was Percy Harvin and Winfield and they got some nice draft picks out of that. Winfield called it a career and Harvin finally played last week. They have two sensational rookies, one who kicked our ass yesterday.
Ted Thompson on the the other hand let Cullen Jenkins, Wells and others leave just to save a buck and got nada in return.
Our foes stockpile great talent from the first and second rounds and good ol Teddy is livin the high life with 5th, 6th 7th rounders who are smallish, slow and now we know INJURY PRONE.

Mr Smith's picture

What kind of babbling nonsense is this? Our foes stockpile great talent and we don't? I guess Rodgers/Collins/Jordy/Clay/Neal/Cobb/Lacy don't count? All 1st or 2nd round picks. All really good players. And the jury is still out on Sherrod/Perry/Jones.

Bugeater's picture

Yeah, those Vikings have a stellar franchise. They barely have enough room to display all their Super Bowl trophies...

Norman's picture

Yes, we should seek to emulate the Vikings more. Are you on crack by chance?

RC Packer Fan's picture

Does anyone else hate that an NFL game can end in a tie?

I never really gave it a lot of thought until it happened to Green Bay, but I really do hate the new overtime rules.

Ranch Tooth's picture

No I love the new rules. It gives each team a chance to win. The NFL just didn't go far enough, IMO. They should have made it like hockey where they have a shootout to get rid of the "tie". Put the ball ten yards out and give each team 4 downs to break the tie at the end of OT. That would be pretty entertaining. Plus it wouldn't eff up divisional standings like a tie currently does.

Ranch Tooth's picture

Either that or let them keep playing back and forth until one team can't match the other team's last score.

Either way, the NFL should not allow ties.

Evan's picture

I like the 'shoot out' idea.

I've always been in favor of keeping it simple - another 10 minute period, team winning at the end wins. Keep going until it's over.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, I am fine with each team getting an opportunity. But why does it end if the first team scores a TD? Why does the 2nd team get an opportunity if they hold the other team to a FG?

I like the 'shootout' idea. I have thought about that as well actually. I say play the OT as is. Then if still tied at the end of OT, why not go to FG exchanges?
So each team kicks FG's until one team misses. Start with a 40 yard FG or whatever and move back 5 yards after every kick until someone misses...

I would be fine with something like that. I just don't like the end in a tie.

Ranch Tooth's picture

Yeah I don't get that either. If the first team scores a TD, why not have the other team try to answer? Isn't that what college does?

NFL rules committee seems to over think shit most of the time.

lennysmalls's picture

First tie since 1987. It's official: it only took a season, but the Packers are now the 1980s version of the Packers. And although the defensive players suck, their offense, while I'm hoping they can get healthy in 2014, wasn't great this year even when Rodgers was playing for them. In one stat, red zone efficiency, the Packers are 14 of 28 (50%) in the seven games when Rodgers started. The five wins over those seven are among teams who are now 20-33-1 (including a win over a Calvin Johnson-less Lions team at home). Their saving grace is their offense if they can stay healthy with Rodgers and Cobb, Nelson, Boykin/Jones, Lacy. Hopefully they can have a better line next year and they'll need to find a replacement for Finley.

RC Packer Fan's picture

If the Packers were 9-2 right now, which is what I believe they would be with Rodgers. Would you be saying the same thing?

Morgan Mundane's picture

Seriously? They are very friggin lucky to be 5-5-1.
They were manhandled by the Giants and 9ers and played a Washington team early on.
If you did not see a whimpy, out of shape, over rated team yesterday then you need to stop the dope, its clogging your brain.

Walty's picture

If we had Rodgers yesterday we would have trounced the Vikings.

Mr Smith's picture

Rodgers yes, but how about Shields/Hayward/Perry/Jolly/Wilson/Finley/Cobb/Bulaga/Barclay/etc?

This team is beat up. No two ways about it. There's a lot of talent in sweatpants on Sundays.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Rodgers plays, they win all 4 of the previous games... I will say they win 3 out of those 4 for sure.

If you don't think that Rodgers makes that much of a difference, your stoned and hung over...

I'm not talking about the 9ers. I'm talking about the last 4 games. Bears, they lost 27-20.
Eagles, they lost 27-13.
Giants, they lost 27-13. (20 points given up by defense)
Vikings, they tie 26-26.

Rodgers plays they win all those games.

Randy's picture

You're so right RC. The geniuses 2nd guessing McCarthy apparently forget the team was a machine in in 2011 with him as play calller and w/o a running game. Get a life people!

The TKstinator's picture

You want a slice of genius, check out my post in GB 26, MN 26. You will love it. And you'll be in awe. In fact, i can't decide which will be more abundant: the love or the awe.

PacMan's picture

Didn't it seem that the defense stepped it up with Flynn? That they believed they could come back? Is that a coaching issue or a player issue? Seems like a coaching motivational issue.
Or did they change something on D at half time?

Either way, if the Pack win the division, it will mean that they win the rest of their games and go into the playoffs on a high.

So let's get healthy and do this thing!

But how are they going to stop Megatron?

Evan's picture

Flynn seemed to light a fire under the whole team.

Evan's picture

I'll also add that while I was a Tolzien fan/supporter (and still am long-term), Flynn clearly had a much better command of the offense. Seeing him reading the defense, calling audibles, working the no-huddle I'm sure was a big confidence boost for everyone.

Evan's picture

There is no shame in AP getting his yards. But Toby fucking Gerhart gashing us for 15 yards a pop is inexcusable. I know CJ and JJ were out...but come on.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah I agree... There is no reason they should be allowing him to gain that kind of yards...

Evan's picture

Also, in today's MMQB article on Rodgers/Flynn they say that Rodgers told Flynn to get ready and warm up before any of the coaches did. Apparently he could just tell a change was about to be made. Sure enough, a few minutes later Clements told Flynn he was going in. Just found that interesting.

Chad Toporski's picture

He might have heard something on the headset, too...

Evan's picture

Possibly...Flynn wasn't/doesn't wear a headset too?

Walty's picture

I wonder if Rodgers will think about coaching after he's retired. He seems to have a the potential there.

RC Packer Fan's picture

He said on his weekly show last week that there is no way he will coach in the NFL. It sounded like maybe high school or something, but not NFL.

Al Dante's picture

I saw the Packer team I envisioned before the season started, albeit without Rogers. Lets be honest here and stop the bull shit:

1. We get the ball on the 11, first down, season on the line, game in hand and in three plays we move the ball 3 yards, kick a field goal to tie and were happy about it?
This MM mentality of run twice and pass if necessary is insane.
2. Dom Capers had a game plan for Tolzien. Just look for whomever this new untested first round rookie named Rhodes is covering and pass to them, easy pickings. Wish we had a Rhodes like player on our team. Fact is, their two best dbacks were hurt so lets stop crying injury here, they had a ton of injuries also.
3. Is kicking the ball out of bounds and giving them the ball on the 40 our best strategy? If we are afraid of their return men, then maybe we need to think about emulating them and get a few or our own. Franklin? He is 5'9, 175 pounds and played powder buff ball in Southern Cal sun.
4. Lacy? I like the kid but hey, its always 3 or 4 yards. Teams know he is not a breakaway threat now so they stack the line. He got 122 and played 5 quarters. Gerhart carried the ball 8 times and got 98 yards and mostly didn't get hit until he had at least ten.
5. I once watched a team try arm tackle football for 30 years, the Detroit Lions. I realize now they had something in common with current packers: players slow to the ball, slow to react, late round picks no one else wanted and always seem to be out of position.
6. If Dom is so smart why hasn't he figured out teams are having a field day running wide so his three big lumoxes are basically out of most plays and pass rushers they ain't. Maybe that's why the defense sucks, three guys basically aren't there.

Randy's picture

I'm normally an optimistic sort and I understand that C.J. Wilson got hurt and Jolly wasn't playing, but I'm really sick of watching teams run the ball down this D's throat. I guess at some point there is no "next man up."

Evan's picture

As I said in another thread...AP, fine. Gerhart? Give me a break.

Ranch Tooth's picture

If only TT would have signed Flynn earlier this year when the Raider's cut him...

gbfaninmn's picture

We would not be 9&2. Even the great AR who is the best qb in my life time IMHO has his days. He's lost a few should be easy games. ( see 2010 Tampa bay game). But in the mean time in Flynn I trust. Guys good smart game manager. No Rodgers but who is? Should have never let him go and glad he's back. Even if A-rods not back Thursday I'll sleep good till turkey day. As all pack fans should. This team is a wreck but its our wreck. Stay true pack fans. That's what sets us apart from so called fans of other teams. Bleed green and gold forever!

RunAndHyde's picture

Aaron ...if you wanna save this season. You WILL PLAY THURSDAY WHILE I'M EATING MY TURKEY!!! And Eddie is gonna get the damn golden gobbler!!

Evan's picture

You eat your turkey at noon?

RunAndHyde's picture

Depends on if she makes me go to the in-laws or not.

RC Packer Fan's picture

OH god... don't get me started there...
I get to enjoy the game at my in-laws, on a 50" TUBE TV, non HD, and absolute horrible quality.

Ohh and did I mention I have to watch it with my in-laws...

Can't wait. I will be dvring it and rewatching it when I get home.

Evan's picture

haha...poor bastards.

I married my best friend's sister, so I luckily don't have that aversion to the in-laws.

We're hosting and no one will be coming by till later in the afternoon, so I'll be watching the game in peace (while also doing most of the cooking).

RC Packer Fan's picture

I don't have problems with my in-laws, just when it comes to the Packers. I'm a huge fan. They are 'loosely' a fan. (fair weather fans). Which is fine for them.
But for me I don't like watching with them when they don't know the players and don't know what they do..

And to top it off, having to watch it on a crappy TV. I know I have been spoiled with HD. Once you go HD, you don't go back is so true...

RunAndHyde's picture

Her family lives an hour and a half away and I work till midnite or if I work over 2am wed nite. The chances of us goin to their house before the game is over is pretty slim. PLUS her dad is a dumbass redneck that knows 0 about football and I'd probably end up drinkin turkey by the end of it. He would talk the whole time with his loud overbearing voice and make me ready to kill....oh...and I live in WV so its not like everyone here is a packer fan. I am pretty much one of the few packer fans around so its not like every family gets around the tv to watch the game.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I live in Wisconsin. My family all gathers around the TV, unfortunately we are going to her side this year.
I don't know what its like to live outside of Wisconsin. I imagine its kind of hard being a Packer fan. Although with internet, and NFL's coverage as a whole, it probably isn't as hard as it used to be.

Glorious80's's picture

If not AR physically, why not use AR's experience - a repeat the last AR to MF routine (2011)? Seemed to work just fine.

RunAndHyde's picture

Also..yes I do remember flirting with the idea of bringing in Steve Jackson. What a freakin geeeeenius idea it was to get get Lacy instead. In two weeks ...we can prove to the Falcons how much better Eddie is :)

Evan's picture

I was one of those disappointed fools who wanted Jackson...

RC Packer Fan's picture

sometimes signing FA's can be a good move. But in this case Packers were far better drafting Lacy then trying to sign Jackson.
Lacy has been incredible. Great pick by Thompson.

UP-Packer's picture

An easy call --- now --- not signing Jackson. Pure hindsight.

Amazing how you 2 (Evan, RC) are always here at the same time & always agree with each other. Coincidence??

Evan's picture

We are amazing, aren't we. Thank you.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Maybe because we are here whether the Packers win or lose... Unlike many that visit this site...

Point Packer's picture

Put me down as one of the idiots who wanted to Jackson. I was wrong. TT was right.

That being said, i was also on the "we need to pick up a FA safety" bandwagon. Hard to predict how it would have gone, but safe to say it couldn't have been any worse than our current foursome of bumbling underachievers we have back there. Maybe Banjo being the exception because he at least plays great on Special Teams.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Your not an idiot for wanting Jackson. No one is... He was/is a good RB that was better then any we had on our team.

I was hoping for him, but still wanted the Packers to draft a RB to compliment him.

They didn't sign Jackson and drafted 2 RB's. Which now looks like the smart move.

I definitely thought they were going to draft a Safety. That is where they expected McMillan to take the 2nd year step and be the guy, but he didn't.
But after that they should have tried to go after someone.

Right now I'm hoping for Banjo or Richardson... Jennings is horrible.

RC Packer Fan's picture

And outside of this posts, I have no idea who Evan is.

I agree with him most of the time because he usually is pretty sane on his posts and we have similar viewpoints.

I am on this website most of the time. Best website for Packer fans!!!

Evan's picture

Sane Packer fans unite!

I think we stand out because there are increasingly fewer and fewer of us on here, unfortunately.

RC Packer Fan's picture

no doubt... There are fewer and fewer of us...

Especially with the more losses the Packers have.

Steven's picture

Eddie lacy reminds me of lynch but more punishing if yhats possible

Mr Smith's picture

When one of you fools starts a forum, let me know. SanePackerFans.com, sponsored by CHTV.

WKUPackFan's picture

I want in that club!

Cow42's picture

"Sane Packers fans" aka Packer fans who are cool with the Packers sucking ass.

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