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Quick Takes: Packers 24, Vikings 10

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Quick Takes: Packers 24, Vikings 10

The Green Bay Packers cruised past the Joe Webb-led Minnesota Vikings 24-10 Saturday night at Lambeau Field, securing a trip to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in a Week 1 rematch next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CT.

It was over when...

Aaron Rodgers found John Kuhn for a touchdown on the first drive of the second half, doubling up on the decision to defer and giving the Packers a 24-3 lead. In reality, the chances of Minnesota winning this game evaporated when Christian Ponder was made inactive with an elbow injury.

Game Balls

  • Aaron Rodgers: The Packers offense struggled to move the ball after the second half's first drive, but Rodgers did enough in the first 40 minutes to put away the Vikings early. Rodgers threw for 274 yards and one touchdown, connecting with 10 different receivers and looking a lot like the surgeon he was during the 2010-11 playoff run. The Packers quarterback is getting hot at the very best time.
  • Erik Walden: After losing contain on a quarterback bootleg in the first half, Walden played lights out in both setting the edge against the run and attacking an ultra athletic quarterback outside the pocket. He finished with a sack, two tackles for losses and another quarterback hit. The Packers defense would get a big boost during this playoff run if Walden can provide a steadying presence opposite Clay Matthews.
  • DuJuan Harris: The rushing stats don't jump off the page (17 for 47 yards, TD ), but Harris provided a check down option in the passing game and seemingly never went down on first contact with the football in his hands. He's patient, explosive and hard to get to the ground. Overall, he tallied 100 total yards on 22 touches. Expect him to start again in San Francisco.
  • Sam Shields: The box score will show Shields' one interception of Webb, but it was his containment and willingness to tackle in the running game that earned the Packers' third-year cornerback a game ball. He's locked in as the Packers outside cornerback opposite Tramon Williams.
  • Tramon Williams: The former Pro Bowl corner didn't allow a career-worst performance in Minnesota to beat him the following week. He defensed three passes and held Jerome Simpson to just two catches and 21 yards.

Key Stats

The Vikings had just six passing yards at the half, as Webb struggled to find any semblance of accuracy with the football. He was just 2-for-11 after 30 minutes and finished 11-for-30...Minnesota was just 5-for-16 overall on both third and fourth downs...The Packers held the ball for 32:58, compared to Minnesota's 27:02...Green Bay defensed five passes and hit or sacked Webb nine times...The Vikings sacked Rodgers three times...The win was Rodgers' first at Lambeau Field and fifth overall (5-2)...Adrian Peterson carried 22 times but was held under 100 yards (99). Overall, the Vikings rushed for 167 yards...The Packers entered the red zone four times and came away with three touchdowns and a field goal. The Vikings kicked a field goal on their only trip inside the 20-yard line...The Packers scored their first touchdown with seven runs and no completions to a receiver...Green Bay is now 3-4 in their last seven home playoff games.

Other Notes

--What can you really take away from this win? The Packers were playing a quarterback that had no business starting a postseason game. Webb finished 11-of-30 for 180 yards, one TD and one interception, with a large chunk of the yards coming on a broken coverage with the game in hand in the fourth quarter. The 49ers are very similar to the Vikings in style and approach on both sides of the ball, but they also possess an athletic quarterback who can actually complete NFL throws.

--The Packers went three-and-out on five straight possessions in the second half. Was the play-calling aimed at milking away the clock up three scores? Absolutely. But you'd have to assume Rodgers and the offense would have liked to carry some of the first-half momentum into San Francisco.

--Turnovers are important in every game, but the postseason always amplifies the effect. With such a small margin of error available, Minnesota's three turnovers all but doomed any winning chances for the visitor. Webb had to be perfect with the football for this game to stay close.

--Jermichael Finley left in the third quarter and didn't return. Early indications was only a cramping issue, but the Packers announced it as a hamstring injury. Jordy Nelson was kicked in the back of the leg and should be fine.

--The 49ers punched the Packers in the mouth at Lambeau Field back in September. With Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, however, San Francisco is both more dangerous and more vulnerable. The Packers will still need their best game next Saturday to punch their ticket to the NFC Championship Game.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers 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: on Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

I agree and always say that turnovers are the #1 factor in football, but this game was over well before the 1st turnover...

FITZCORE1252's picture

Fer shiz. Webb blows, but going againt him can't hurt with kapernick coming up.

Point Packer's picture

Adrian Peterson makes Frank Gore look like Travis Jervey. Not really, but Gore ain't Peterson. After facing an elite running back two games in a row, facing Gore will be familiar. As I see it, the keys to the SF game are two-fold:

1) Protect Rodgers
2) Get pressure on Kapernick

We do those things, we win. Simple as that. And then I can rip on Nimrod till my fingers hurt. Which is as good as the Packers winning at this point.

Oppy's picture

Peterson is one tough runner and isn't scared to run it up the gut, but he'll take the corner every time you offer it to him, as seen last week and attested to by the Packers D gameplan this week.

Frank Gore will kill it between the tackles without hesitation.

I agree AP > Gore, but they are different backs and they will attack the GB D in different ways.

Bomdad's picture

Gore has a much better OL. He runs through holes north-south for the most part. AP breaks tackles and bounces.

It's good to have CJ Wilson back, Raji stepping up his play, and a healthy Neal. A matchup to watch for sure

CowPie's picture

Yeah, but Eli still has more playoff wins at Lambeau than Rodgers.
#craponyourbirthdaycake
#debbiedowner

lebowski's picture

Really annoyed at the complete lack of urgency in the playcalling from mid-3rd quarter on. Anything can happen, and you CAN NOT go into ''run-run-pass-punt" mode with 23 minutes left in the game.

trvs's picture

agreed. Definitely yelling at the tv during that non-sense.

Nononsense's picture

Amen Fitzcore, I had that same thought when I heard Webb was playing.

Very happy with the use of DuJuan Harris this game, he got close to the 25 touches (22)I called for after last week. He was also in on some 3rd downs and they hit him on some screens and checkdowns.

There should be zero doubt left in anyone's mind that this man is good and reliable and his involvement in the offense should continue to reflect that.

There was a time that this season that I would have called this team soft but 3 games against a physical team like the Vikes and the amazing AP have a way of hardening a team. This is a much different team than the one the 9ers played in week 1.

This playoff run is all about sweet revenge, it started with the Vikings, next is the 49ers and if Seattle makes it to the NFC championship game, that will complete the circle, assuming wins of course.

Now that would be poetic justice.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

That last paragraph... SIGN ME UP. Damn, it would be Sweeet if that's how things work out!

Totally on board with DuJuan too. He's the type of back I've been waiting to see in this offense. Great hands, hard to tackle, shifty... Falls forward. Lots to like about him!

Pack fan from ATL's picture

Long Shot, but could finish up against Indy in the Super Bowl and leave no doubt who the better team was...

Oppy's picture

I just wish it were possible to see SF, SEA, -AND- ATL on our way to some cream-puff AFC team.

Just 'Cuz the blood is so bad between GB and ATL, and you just KNOW those ass-clowns in Hotlanta actually are thinking "I Hope we get Green Bay up in here THIS YEAR."

This Packers team is to the Falcons:: what Dallas and SF were to the early 90's Packers.

Oppy's picture

Well, I admit, I thought the early 90's Pakcers played the 9er's and lost to them as frequently as they lost to the 'boys, but my memory has indeed failed me.

They only played the 9er's once in the early 90's, it was a loss. It wasn't until the mid 90's- the 95 playoffs- that the Packers started their spree of post season dominance over the 9ers.

Point Packer's picture

I was doubtful that Woodson would be a factor in this game, but the old warrior came to play. Looked great out there. The defense looked way more confident with him on the field. Yes, Joe Webb's presence helped too, but #21 was doing what he does best. Wreaking havoc.

Charles Woodson is one great Packer.

Cow 42 1/2's picture

Garbage win by Pack. These guys are a bunch of twelve win losers. Rodgers is a junk QB. Jennings is washed up. The playoffs are a mere formality. Not even sure why I watched the gam today.

San Fran 95 - Green Bay 2

2 share owner's picture

Sorry bout your Queens Cow. Its not pretty when you drink.

murphy's picture

I think this is fake-cow.

The real cow is busy putting the newest "Participant" ribbon in the Queens' trophy case.

Drealyn's picture

I can't help but to think that the Pack felt they had the game won before halftime. How else could you explain the play-calling? What's up with Alex Green? Is he in the dog-house or something? I'd love to see a Harris/Green (60-40 or 70-30) mix. I also noticed that Kuhn is no longer the exclusive 3rd down back. That is so HUGE. Remember that 3rd down play where Rodgers checked it down to Kuhn and he barely missed the 1st down because he moves soooooooo slow? Just imagine if that was Green with ever so fresh legs? Scary.

MarkinMadison's picture

I'm sure I'm in the minority. I know he's a fan favorite. I know he just had a great night. But I'll be shocked if Kuhn does not get some serious competition in camp this year. He's 30. He's slow. He's never been a devastating lead blocker. Even with all of the running back problems he was only handed the ball 23 times this year, and when he got it he produced just 63 yards. He has not been used much as a receiving weapon out of the backfield either - just 15 catches. You have to think this is a spot where the Packers will look to get younger, cheaper and better.

PackersRS's picture

Keeping things in perspective, I see the same deal with Kuhn and Driver.

Kuhn is a locker room leader, no doubt about it, it was him managing Rodgers when he had that histerical act in MN, he helps call the protection shifts, and his versatility is an asset.

I agree, he has slowed down, but I think it's a case of the coaches and players trusting him and looking up to him.

I bleed Green More's picture

We will have to score a whole lot more next week. No more sitting back on this one.

hayward4president's picture

Sweeeeet revenge playoffs. I like it!

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