The Green Bay Packers escaped the Metrodome with a 33-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Rodgers Is On Another Planet
The Packers quarterback makes it look so easy. Aaron Rodgers finished the afternoon with a final tally of 24-for-30 passing, 335 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Had Randall Cobb not dropped an easy pass and James Starks not let a ball slip out of his hands, Rodgers would have had a perfect first half. On the day, Rodgers hit nine different receivers and earned a hard fought victory.
The Milwaukee Brewers may have been eliminated from the baseball postseason, but Clay Matthews carried on the team’s signature “Beast Mode” by harassing Christian Ponder all day. Matthews’ final line read 6 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 pass deflection, and a hit on the quarterback, and the third year Pro Bowler was a factor on virtually every passing play. He’s a game-changer and easily the defensive MVP.
Mr. Ponder, Meet Mr. Woodson
The third quarter belonged to the Packers. Outscoring the Vikings 20-0 in the third frame, cornerback Charles Woodson led the way by jumping two Christian Ponder throws and coming away with the interception each time. In his post-game press conference, Ponder told reporters he knew from watching film that Woodson liked to jump routes, but as the rookie out of Florida State learned, knowing and throwing are two completely different acts. After the game, Woodson said he should have had four interceptions, but it turns out that two were enough.
Faced with a fourth-and-long from their own 36-yard line, the Vikings chose to punt the ball with under three minutes left to play in the game. And why not, the Packers running game had been non-existent and the Vikings had three timeouts and the two-minute warning to work with. But as the old adage goes, good teams find a way to win, and James Starks ignited the Packers running game late in the game. On what turned out to be the final possession, Starks dashed for 55 yards and, more importantly, three first downs. The emergence of a running game late in the fourth quarter was a welcome change for an offense which usually has trouble closing out games.
Play Of The Game
The Vikings came out of the tunnel after the half with a 17-13 lead and the confidence to pull off the upset against the reigning Super Bowl champs. On the second offensive play of the half, Aaron Rodgers found a wide-open Greg Jennings down the sideline for a 79-yard touchdown. There was not a purple jersey within 20 yards of Jennings as he easily jogged down the Vikings sideline for the score. The play set the tone for a third quarter that the Packers thoroughly dominated.
The Packers are 7-0 heading into the bye week and although their defense is not as stout as last season, they have to feel good about themselves. They have fought hard for all of their victories and with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, anything is possible for this team. In two weeks, the Packers travel to San Diego to face the Chargers in what could be one of the most difficult tests yet for the defensive secondary. With two weeks to prepare, however, Dom Capers’ defense should be just fine.