2020 Week 8 - That’s What Cheese Said

Hear from the head coach and players following the 28-22 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. 

Head Coach Matt LaFleur is no longer undefeated in the NFC North, as the Packers fell to the Vikings at Lambeau Field 28-22 last Sunday. In 23 mph winds, the ground game was the focus for Minnesota led by talented running back Dalvin Cook, and the Packers had no answers.

“This definitely qualifies as one of those games where, you want to be a great team, you’ve got to handle business at home,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

On the day, Cook rushed for 163 yards on 30 carries with a 5.3-yard average and added another 63 yards receiving. No other Vikings player had more than three rushing or three receiving attempts. 

The Packers also had a season-high nine penalties on Sunday, including two defensive pass interference calls in the red zone that gave Minnesota multiple attempts at scoring. 

“We knew that in order to win this football game a couple things had to happen,” said LaFleur. “We had to stop the run. That didn’t happen. We knew we had to play penalty-free, that didn’t happen.”

LaFleur added that his defense playing out of its gaps allowed the Vikings to create running lanes. “You can’t give a quality back like Dalvin Cook those opportunities.” 

It was a frustrating outing for the Packers, and something LaFleur knows the team needs to get fixed quickly going into the Thursday Night Football matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. 

“That’s something that, we better get it fixed and we better get it fixed fast because I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen...on Thursday in San Francisco as well,” said LaFleur of the team’s struggles to stop the run. 

Something else that’s missing from this 2020 Packers team? The turnovers. Green Bay has only forced four turnovers in its first seven games. Through seven games in 2019, the Packers already had 13 turnovers. 

“A lot of things we need to correct,” said safety Adrian Amos, who led the team in tackles Sunday with eight. He added that the team can start by tackling the guy with the ball. “We need more negative plays on defense.”

“We had too many missed tackles,” echoed LaFleur. “We’ve gotta make sure that we have 11 hats rolling to the football, playing relentlessly with that intent on every play.”

On a short week, Amos said the preparation becomes more mental, ensuring the team is focused on correcting its mistakes and moving forward. 

On offense, the Packers are close to having some key players back in left tackle David Bakhtiari, running back Aaron Jones, and wide receiver Allen Lazard. If they can’t go Thursday, they should be ready after the mini-bye to play at home against the Jaguars. 

“When we’re at full strength, obviously we’ve been pretty efficient this year, but when we’re at full strength, we’re really tough I think,” said Rodgers.

He played well despite the wind, throwing 27 completions for 291 yards and three touchdowns, all to Davante Adams. 

Adams’ stats don’t necessarily jump off the page with seven receptions for 53 yards, but the hat trick in the end zone tells the story of the offense. 

Two players emerging on offense are tight ends Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger. The tandem combined for eight receptions and 125 yards on the day. 

“We’ve got the players,” said Tonyan. “We’ve just gotta go out there and produce.”

Heading into Thursday Night Football, the plan remains the same for a Green Bay team that’s still 5-2 and first in the NFC North.

“We’ve just gotta make sure that we’re giving our best effort each and every play, that we’re doing our one-eleventh,” said LaFleur. “I just think that all around, we’ve gotta be better. 

“We’ve gotta be better coaches. We’ve gotta be better as players in our preparation and making sure that our focus and intent is there on every play.”

The short week doesn’t give the Packers much time to dwell on its second loss of the season. Instead, Green Bay now has to prepare for a team that’s had its number the last few matchups. 

“I think we just as a team need to find our footing completely, both sides of the ball, and start playing some more championship football like we did last year,” said Rodgers. 

“Hopefully it’s just a reality check for us. Thankfully we have a short week. We need better performances going forward.”

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (25)

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PatrickGB's picture

November 03, 2020 at 12:52 pm

The injuries on the Niners help as well. Their loss of Groppi is no big deal but Kittle is.

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PeteK's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:28 pm

Unfortunately, we'll be missing some RBs due to Covid.

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Packers1985's picture

November 03, 2020 at 06:21 pm

Yes, any kind of advantage we could've gotten is now totally negated.

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Archie's picture

November 03, 2020 at 01:23 pm

"....However, there’s been a disagreement in Green Bay at the highest levels of the organization over whether or not adding an elite receiver in the short term would be worth the spend.”....

Should be Gute's call. In the end, it's his head on the line. Is Russ Ball mucking up the works? Or MM?

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Christian Roussel's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:35 pm

i truly believe Gutey wanted to add a receiver. He talked with Antonio Brown agent. He's the GM so he's the guy that talked to Houston. And Russ Ball has Murphy's ear or else he would have been fired with TT. I'm pretty sure that Ball is the one responsible for what happened today.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:43 am

It's a collaborative effort. Of course Ball has input. That why teams employ a salary cap expert.

Presumably Gute does not engage in substantive trade/FA signing discussions without discussing same with Ball. I certainly hope that Gute does have those discussions. Otherwise, Gute would be at risk of making moves that could hurt the team for years.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 05, 2020 at 05:48 am

As to Antonio Brown, he signed for $775K but will probably earn almost $1M. That is not significant and in my view Ball has nothing to say. I do think Gute would have needed to run signing Brown by Murphy before pulling the trigger due to the PR aspect.

I do not think Ball should have a de facto veto on player acquisitions. That would lead to gridlock and a completely opaque structure so no one outside the building would ever be able to assign responsibility to anyone. Certainly Ball can express his views to Murphy, but otherwise he should not have input.

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Lphill's picture

November 03, 2020 at 01:55 pm

Packers are maybe an 8 and 8 team.

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fastmoving's picture

November 03, 2020 at 03:12 pm

Or maybe a 11/5 team....right now they are a 5/2 team, thats for sure.
And funny that Nr.4 votes for the orange lowlife because he is for hard working tax payers!!! Crazy times.
We should have dumped Favre 2000 and his sucker hero 2015!

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Lphill's picture

November 03, 2020 at 03:59 pm

So you prefer a man who wears a diaper and is owned by China and Ukraine ? But more importantly no help coming from Gutey and company , maybe the run defense will just improve magically , right ?

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 03, 2020 at 06:59 pm

You're personally knowledgeable about another man's underwear choices. Interesting.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 04, 2020 at 01:14 pm

It's easy to spot the deplorables. Lphill was paid 25 cents American for that post. If he goes over 100 comments in a day he gets an extra portion of borscht at night.

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PeteK's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:04 pm

I'll bet you that they win more, 100 bucks ? ( what did P T Barnum say)

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Lphill's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:55 pm

I hope so , I never wager on the Packers , but with this roster they are not a championship team.

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lawatrain's picture

November 03, 2020 at 03:43 pm

We suffered with Thompson. Gutey obviously doesn’t know how to draft. Packers need to start looking for GM now! We couldn’t stop the run last year and can’t get stops now.

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Lphill's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:03 pm

I could see the point of Fuller not being worth a 2 nd rounder but we will never know, but I find it hard to believe Gutenkist could not at least find a big body for the D line , just makes no sense , well hopefully the Packers go 8 and 8 and everyone is happy .

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PeteK's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:11 pm

Big bodies that do the dirty work are hard to find so teams are not willing to give them up.

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Lphill's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:58 pm

I’m sure their was someone to be had from a team that’s done already .

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PeteK's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:00 pm

(No down vote from me) True, I would have thought that Williams from Gents could be had.

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PhantomII's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:03 pm

If we go deep into playoffs or more a 2nd rounder is basically a #3 pick it's so late. Draft picks don't mean squat. It's the Championship that would be worth it. We have spent a lot of #1 on rotational personnel at best. If that's the best you can do with a pick in the draft......who cares what you do outside the draft with the pick. You guys don't have to like it but that is the bitter pill we all must admit. Pretty deflating, doing nothing should be a career ender for the top brass...ALL OF THEM.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 03, 2020 at 09:19 pm

TDs, yards per catch, QB rating......we are one of the best passing teams in the league, even without Fuller.

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PhantomII's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:17 pm

When our scrub WR's get enough reps we will be better, just not much better. We have a lot of injuries, now virus hitting. No team will dodge everything. This bad time can improve our depth at needs positions. That is the only positive to take from it. ML needs to put those guys in and focus some plays on them to get better. We have beat up on poor teams so things are skewed some. The eye test shows we are pretty good when firing on all cylinders and OL and others are healthy. DL is still poor. A #2 WR gives us a get back in the game weapon and eases Adams double and triple teams. EQ needs a lot of reps and I like this Taylor kid. Sternberger has started to do some good stuff. I don't know how much rust is on Lazard.

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Starrbrite's picture

November 04, 2020 at 01:00 am

It appears to me it’s the D that’s needs the upgrade, not the O; we’ve been scoring well. How we continue to ignore the D-line is exasperating. Is it the cap, stubbornness, or something else. ...and how did we miss on Fulgham—he’s tearing it up in Philly...

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Booner's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:07 am

Gutey is a failure at GM!

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Isabellakelvin's picture

December 31, 2020 at 09:22 am

Happy to have my Man back after 3 months of breakup, ..,.

thanks to E-mail: Robinson.buckler (@) yahoo com…..

I love this..

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