Create Account

Or log in with Facebook


Log in

Or log in with Facebook

Packers 30 Vikings 13: Game Balls & Lame Calls

By Category

Packers 30 Vikings 13: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers stopped the bleeding with a big road win against the first-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.  The win put the Packers back on top of the NFC North and offered a glimpse of what we have all been missing:  a Packers team that managed to win their first six games.  The Packers saw their defense seize the day, while the offense got back to a few of its old ways but still needing to fully regain early-season form.  Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made some vintage throws and receiver James Jones ditched the sleeveless turtleneck for a long-sleeved hoodie and came up with a monster touchdown catch to help stick the dagger into the Vikings' hopes.

On we go with today's best and worst!

Game Balls

Mike Daniels

Daniels has nearly made this list a few times this season and in this game, there was no doubt.  Daniels lived in the backfield most of the day and also made sure to welcome Vikings running back Adrian Peterson back after a big tackle.  Daniels is the kind of guy this Packers defense needs.  He's one of the few who bring the nasty every week.  It's an intangible about Daniels that this team is going to need to feed off of the rest of this season.  He's had his share of games where he disappeared, but when Green Bay needed a big day from the defense, Daniels was the ring leader.  He had a sack and a tackle for loss to go along with it.  

Finally, the Packers got a favorable matchup and were able to exploit it in the defensive line against Minnesota's average offensive line.

Datone Jones

It's hard to say "quietly" at this point, but Jones is having a pretty good 2015 campaign.  He added two more sacks against the Vikings and was the yang to Daniels' ying.  To see two defensive linemen in this defense have a big day against a mobile quarterback was very promising.  The defense has had its share of struggles of late, but they've been the more dependable unit along the way.  Datone is a big reason why and this team needs that kind of production from him down the stretch.

James Jones

Jones led the team in catches with six and it should have been seven.  He had the horrible drop on a third-down pass early in the game and seemed to draw the ire of Rodgers on a missed route, but he redeemed himself in the second half.  Jones had a huge 37-yard catch on a third-down play that kept a drive alive.  Three plays later, Rodgers made his best throw of the day to Jones on the sideline in the end zone for the Packers' final touchdown of the day.  

All James Jones does. . is catch touchdowns.  A day like this can help reignite the Rodgers-to-Jones connection and spark the offense.  Here's hoping it does.

Mason Crosby

After that disgusting attempt at the end of last week's game against the Detroit Lions, Crosby hit on all of his tries against the Vikings.  He did have one kickoff that went out of bounds, but early in the game when field goals were all that each team was getting, it looked like it might be Crosby vs. Blair Walsh.  Kickers are often an unsung hero on most teams, unless they're hitting a game-winner in a big game, but Crosby has been very good for the Packers this season.  Since his horrendous 2012 season, Mason has been reliable.  

Side note: Crosby is a free agent after this season.

Dom Capers

One more game ball than I typically prefer to offer up, but as much heat as Capers has taken during the three-game losing streak, he dialed up a more aggressive game plan against Minnesota and his players did their jobs, for the most part.  They kept rushing Bridgewater, even with a smaller lead and seemed willing to take some chances.  This is the type of game that can return a lot of confidence and give this defense some more swagger.  They can certainly use it, with a tight divisional race and a four game deficit in the NFC.

Lame Calls

Randall Cobb

Cobb got open and had the first touchdown catch of the day.  He was wide open and Rodgers found him and. . . he caught it.  But Cobb had another few big drops in this game and it's a trend that continues for #18.  He didn't seem too bothered by it, as was evidenced by his "bombing" in the background of Rodgers' post game interview, but Cobb has to start stepping up and contributing like this team needs him to.  Simply stated: the drops have to stop!

David Bakhtiari

Two more penalties on Bakhtiari against the Vikings.  He's getting bull rushed all day long and while I realize he's still dealing with a knee injury, he's either healthy enough to be out there or he's not.  He looks good enough to go, but he's average-at-best and has topped out at what he'll be at left tackle.  Hopefully he's enough to get the Packers through this season, specifically the quarterback.

Nate Palmer

Palmer just looks lost more often than not.  He's exactly what he should be: a late-round pick who is average at the very best.  He took horrible angles on multiple Peterson runs, and who doesn't, but he's out of position every game and isn't a playmaker.  He was credited with a sack but Bridgewater gave himself up and Palmer was the closest Packer in the area.  When Jake Ryan came in during the Carolina game, he seemed capable of making some plays, which is more than Palmer has added.  Why Ryan hasn't supplanted Palmer is both a mystery and another example of how this coaching staff are slow to make changes and more on the stubborn side.


Some others to mention:

  • Jeff Janis probably should have also received a game ball, but I had more-deserving guys ahead of him.  Janis had a huge kick return and until Ty Montgomery is healthy enough to return, Janis should be the kick returner.  His speed helped him get around the edge and take it 70 yards.  He also had a big special teams tackle and drew a key pass interference penalty to keep a drive alive.  It continues to baffle as to why Janis can't get on the field more often, but he seems like the type of guy whose play would improve the more he's on the field.
  • Aaron Rodgers was less than 50% on the day but he moved around and made some throws he hasn't been making lately.  He's still holding onto the ball too long at times but hopefully with some new life and trust in his receivers, the offense will evolve and give AR some quicker targets and options.  Is the slant back?  Davante Adams caught one and had a few nice grabs in this one to help pad Rodgers' stats.
  • Sam Shields had the recovery on Adrian Peterson's fumble and tackled well today.  Made a few nice one-on-one tackles. 
  • Micah Hyde went out early with an injury, but he was awful in coverage during his few defensive snaps.  I like Hyde and he's come through for the Packers on a few occasions, but he  can.  not.  cover.  anyone.  Let him rest until he's completely healthy.  This defense can run with Hayward and Rollins.
  • Richard Rodgers continues to be a non-factor in this offense.  He's nothing but a body and while he's good in short yardage near the goal line, he's not contributing nearly what he needs to between the 20's.  Andrew Quarless returns this week and Rodgers will find himself watching from the sidelines if Quarless is able to jump right in and be a bigger factor right away.



Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

  • Like Like
  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (70) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

croatpackfan's picture

More or less I agree with your judghement. But (as always but!):
I would like to add Ha-Ha to the Game balls. He was the factor in anti-run game a lot and helped CBs and Morgan in the backfield.
Mycah Hyde played injured and I think that was the reason of that TD...
I think we should fire Dom Capers! He is old and wasted! He can not put defensive schemes and good defense week in and week out! ~~~~~
Hello haters of Dom Capers!

marpag1's picture

Bakhtiari actually committed FOUR penalties, although one of them was offset by a MINN personal foul. He is second in the league for the most penalties, and commits more than 15% of GB's penalties.

WKUPackFan's picture

Love Bakh (it's difficult not to) but it's getting pretty bad out there.

Packer_Pete's picture

Maybe he is better working on his Creme Brulee recipe... As a LT he is a waste. Backup at best. But we all knew that. Whats worse is that Bulaga doesn't play better even though he is the highest paid OT on this team, and pretty highly paid for NFL standards.
Overall the OL improved once Linsley was out injured. So maybe Tretter is the better option here.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No, we all did not know Bakh was a back-up LT. I got pummeled for suggesting he was a below average LT at the end of last year. The only person I recall supporting my position was Dan S, but you and others may have agreed and I don't remember it. Still, last year Bakh was a moneyball player, since he was kinda of adequate (we could live with his play and hope he improved his run blocking) and played a position that costs a lot normally to man. Obviously he has regressed in all phases of the game this year.

chugwater's picture

Quick aside: I always thought personal fouls trumped regular penalties. Shouldn't the roughing the passer have superseded the holding call?

zoellner25's picture

Both of our tackles look pretty awful to me

marpag1's picture

It is not ALWAYS true that a personal foul trumps other fouls. I'm not a rules expert, but on this particular play I THINK the rule that is in play is this one: "If one of the fouls is of a nature that incurs a 15-yard penalty and the other foul of a double foul normally would result in a loss of 5 yards only (15 yards versus 5 yards), the major penalty yardage is to be assessed from the previous spot."

Bakhtiari's holding was a 10 yarder, not a five, so they do offset.

chugwater's picture

Thanks marpag...that helps. Will be paying closer attention moving forward.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Shouldn't the roughing the passer have superseded the holding call?"

I guess not, talk about giving a pass rushers a maul the quarterback for free card.

marpag1's picture

They can still be ejected (and fined), even if the foul is offset.

FITZCORE1252's picture


NashvilleCheesehead's picture

Game ball for Eddie Lacy! Out ran A. Peterson and picked up hard fought 100 yds.

BELIEVER's picture

Lacy deserves a game ball, did you notice the play action passes!

4thand1's picture

Play action is huge for any offense. When teams have to worry about a guy like Lacy, the offense is instantly better.

4thand1's picture

Play action is huge for any offense. When teams have to worry about a guy like Lacy, the offense is instantly better.

MCM's picture

Been thinking all along that Q's absense is more significant than people thought. He didn't put up the biggest stats but I felt like he was always making a play when they needed it most. It'll also give them the option to run 2TE formations, something we've rarely seen this season.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No, no, and I hope not.

Q isn't better than R Rodgers. They have different strengths/weaknesses, but both are way below average. They both should be #3 TEs.

I don't recall Q making plays when we needed it most.

No reason to play two TEs given that it is our weakest position in terms of talent and competence. The TE is supposed to be a dual threat in that teams can run behind the TE's blocks, the TE can chip and release, or immediately run a pattern. Neither Q nor R. Rodgers is a decent dual threat.

johnnyd17's picture

great team win! Packers actually did trail 6-3

4thand1's picture

Another come back win for Rodgers.

slicknic007's picture

A Lame call should go to each Viking that wrapped Lacy up by the ankles and proceeded to roll 3-4 times while holding his ankles. This happened at least 2 times, the first being the most blatant of all.

Nick Perry's picture

Nice! That was why Lacy got up in his face. We all saw what type of team the Vikings are when they get beat up on. Same with Peterson, he was obviously frustrated and started getting stupid out there more than once. F the Vikings!!

WKUPackFan's picture

Nick, Peterson's actions exhibited a portion of the "emotion" discussion that has been prevalent in recent weeks. It appeared (speculating) that he lost concentration after Raji, Clay, got him riled up early.

Not a good test case unfortunately because AP loves him some AP. Speculating again, but it's a good bet that AP couldn't care less whether the Vikings win or lose.

Nick Perry's picture

Can't believe Eddie Lacy isn't mentioned. Half the problem with this offense is they really haven't had mich of a running game, and Lacy wasn't being used much. Even after his ankle injury, when he wasn't on the injury report any more, Lacy was never given a chance to get in a groove. I mentioned it 3 or 4 times l this past week where Lacy had got 15 carries or more only TWICE all season. Each time he gained 85 yard or more. Yesterday he started slow again but then had a 10 yard run, then a 27 yard run a little later. For once the Packers continued to feed Lacy the ball, not give up on it and it was the difference in the game.

Cobb needs to stay after practice and catch balls from the "Jugs Machine". MY GOD, that's a $10 million dollar a year WR out there, catch the damn ball!

Defense played GREAT for 2nd week in a row. They didn't even give up the proverbial 'Garbage time" TD.

Tundraboy's picture

Love that there was no let up and no garbage TD.

jasonperone's picture

My thinking re: Lacy is that if I put him in there, have to include the O line. They were much better today in run and pass pro so. . because there were already quite a few gamers handed out, he was left off. It was a great day for 27, but it's been way too long for him. If he gets 100 this week, he's in for sure.

Nick Perry's picture

Understood, hopefully they review Lacys stats for each game this year, it's not Rocket science. When lacy gets the all 15 times he gains 85 yards or more. Everytime.

Tundraboy's picture

Have to add Lacy to game balls. Injured or not he gritted it out and had a very good game.

GVPacker's picture

A win on the road against a team with a winning record!

GVPacker's picture

Special thanks to Cordell Paterson for Head Butting Mason Crosby after his great kickoff return! 15 yard penalty sure came in handy You Stupid Butthole!

D Ernesto's picture

Shouldn't call him stupid

Packer Bob's picture

Eddie Lacy should definitely get a game ball. That was some tough sledding out there today and we desperately need that kind of physical running attack.
The line actually created some holes and creases today and Lacy looked like his old self; we need that kind of battering ram.

Agree with the other game balls. Janis probably doesn't deserve a game ball but can we all at least agree this kid deserves more opportunities to make plays? He helped set up 10 points against the Vikings. He's made some big yardage plays with very limited opportunities.

MarkinMadison's picture

Very consistent that either Lacy has a big game or Starks does. I can't remember the last game where both were highly effective. Both seem to need the reps to be effective running the ball.

Hey Cobb, you stole Jordy's money. Seriously, pretty much the whole front seven is a UFA next year (Daniels, Raji, Neal, Guion, Perry), plus Mason Crosby. You're the highest paid receiver on the team. Play like a #1, or at least a #2. Oh wait, you did.

I know sacks come in bunches, but the Vikings line was no worse than Denver's line or Detroit's line. I wish him no harm but the Packers D should have ushered Manning to the Social Security line. Instead they made a guy who is losing his job look like a Pro Bowler.

I've got a lot of grumpy comments for a win.

Packer_Pete's picture

That's alright... Actually, I wish the coaching staff would figure out pretty quickly who has the hot hand and either leaves Lacy in or Starks. Seems they alternate, even though yesterday was better. Lacy was a beast, given that he still is clearly bothered by the ankle.

Neal and Guion are just guys. I actually saw a nice play from Bruce Gaston in the Bears game. Too bad he got away, he's just as good as Guion. Neal is invisible. I think he can be easily replaced. Daniels, Raji, and Perry should be re-signed, even though Perry seems to be injured a lot. But when he is healthy he is actually quite good. Peppers is playing his last season...

At least there was some fire from the D. Can't say the same about the O.

dobber's picture

"Peppers is playing his last season..."

Was happy to see Jayrone Elliott getting some snaps in yesterday because it likely meant that Peppers was getting a breather. Peppers plays too many snaps to be at his best. Packers missed the boat in the draft when so many good OLB prospects slid into rounds 2 and 3. It will be a position of need in the 2016 draft.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Peppers played 40 snaps per Demovsky, and 44 per football outsiders (+ 4 ST snaps). That is a little high. He also was doubled teamed a lot (34.8% per McGinn). Peppers had a sack and several pressures.

Re: Packer Pete: McGinn had good things to say about Neal again. He noted 8 pressures between Peppers (40 snaps) and Neal (20 at OLB and 18 at DE) but didn't break it down. What is clear is that the coaches play Neal much more than Perry. In this game, Neal had 47 snaps to Perry's 24. So far in 2015, Neal has played 442 snaps to Perry's 205 snaps. I suppose some of Neal's snaps come at DE, but I don't think that or injuries account for the disparity in playing time. Of course, it is possible that the coaches are just dumb and stubborn.

RCPackerFan's picture

Game Balls.
Definitely have to add Lacy to the list. He was really, really good. If he doesn't get rolling I don't know if the offense does.

Lame Calls.
Coaches unwillingness to use Janis... Ok, I get it, there is something that isn't there that the coaches trust. But you can't deny his big play ability. Every time he plays he makes a big play. And until he makes a huge mistake, he should get some playing time. He might just be a gamer right now. A guy that doesn't practice well but plays well.

Either way, he better be the KR until Montgomery gets back and even then I would consider still using Janis until Ty gets fully healthy. But I have a feeling we will see Hyde go back there if he is healthy enough to.

Tundraboy's picture

Agree. Janis needs to return kicks. Maybe punts as well. Problem is MM will almost certainly not play him 2 games in a row. Why? Who the hell knows.

RCPackerFan's picture

That is something I really don't get.
Janis comes in plays really well against the Chargers. We really haven't seen him until yesterday.
Jack Ryan goes in and plays really well (at least we all thought so) against the Panthers and we haven't seen him since.

He admitted that Abbrederis was ready to play for over a month, and yet we really didn't see him until last weeks game.

Why does it take so long to get these players involved?

4thand1's picture

Its always been this way with MM coached Packers. I have no clue either. We've seen guys make plays all the time only to get very limited or no snaps the next week. I don't give a shit how a guy looks in practice, if he makes plays in a real game, play the man. Elliot all but won the Seattle game. And Ryan looks waaaay better than Palmer. Janis has made a difference when given the chance.

Tundraboy's picture

Drives me crazy more than just about anything else about MM

Packer_Pete's picture

Jason, did you watch only half the game? Quite a few strange statements in there... Vikings did lead 6-3, Crosby hit 5 FGs, Bakh committed 4 penalties. The Jones drop was on 2nd down.
Unless you're right and I simply had a couple beers too many ;)

jasonperone's picture

I'm not sure why you're pointing out the lead and Crosby's FGs? But yes Jones was 2nd down and Bakh had 4 penalties. My point on Bakh was that 2 of them were especially blatant and he's getting pushed off the ball. Maybe I should give him 2 lame calls?

dobber's picture

I think he's pointing out your comment about a battle of FGs between Walsh and Crosby. MN kicked no FGs yesterday.

jasonperone's picture

That would make sense, although I was trying to convey, by saying "might be Crosby vs. Walsh" that at that point neither team was moving the ball into the red zone and punching it in.

marpag1's picture

It's probably because some people read the article in its original form, and also the comments that are now deleted.

Fejs Buks's picture

Clay Matthews for game balls, he is a reason why Adrian Peterson only have 45 yards, for most of the time on 1 st down, he was tackled behind of line scrimmage. He have 2 missed tackles, but overall he set the tone on defense.

Fejs Buks's picture

And BJ Raji, he is also a reason why this year we have great run defense.

phillythedane's picture

I don't think I have a man crush on Matthews, but holy cow, that guy can ball. Helluva pick way back when.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

Matthews isn't getting a lot of love anywhere that I've seen. We may be taking him for granted. Thought he played a very nice game. Seemed to have him mirroring AP on quite a few plays and it was effective. I didn't re-watch but I wanted to see if my initial impression holds. Anyone?

Fejs Buks's picture

Look above :-)

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

Yep Fejs, great minds think alike. Must have been typing at the same time.

Since '61's picture

Game balls: Eddie Lacy, who ran well in spite of less than effective OL play. Mason Crosby, 5 for 5 on FGs.
Sam Shields for a big fumble recovery. Packers DL, Raji, D. Jones and M. Daniels. They all contributed to stuffing AP and pressuring Teddy B. all game.
Lame Calls: Bakthiari's penalties and pass blocking.
Cobb's dropped passes, that must stop.
Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

oregonpacker's picture

It seems to me Kuhn is being overlooked. I believe the running game is darn near non-existant without Kuhn leading the way for Lacy or Starks. Wonder what the coaches think? And what happened to Starks yesterday? He was the starter and how many attempts did he have?

Since '61's picture

I think they are saving Starks for the Thursday night game only 4 days away. Thanks, Since '61

Archie's picture

Defense played out of their minds. That's two weeks in a row. Following two horrible weeks. How can a defense have such variability? It's got to be mental. So what's the excuse for the down days?

Offense woke up though still not what we are used to. Defense won this game. They set the tone as in Dat One!

PaulRosik's picture

In the second half the line was much better and Lacy got going. Is this an indication Tretter should stay the starter? Or is there something else at work there?

Bryce Hansen's picture

Linsley got blown up at least once before he went out. Maybe you're on to something.

4thand1's picture

Sophmore slump. He doesn't look no where near as good as last year.

4thand1's picture

Sophmore slump. He doesn't look no where near as good as last year.

Bryce Hansen's picture

How about a lame call on the ginger wolverine. Why did we ever cut Jon Ryan? We should just go for it on every 4th down if we're gonna trot that turd out there.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

I've got 2 Game Balls to give out.

#1 I'll give to the Defensive Line & Linebackers, especially CM3. They stopped Peterson. That was a key to the Victory.

#2 I'm giving to my friend JAMES JONES!! Nobody seems to know he's on the team. Cobb gets 10 mill, & can't seem to catch a cold. Thank God for James Jones. I'll give him that 1 drop. He more than made up for it. I think he's proved to all the nay sayer's here, that he's still a Pretty Good receiver. GREAT GAME James!!

It was Nice to have the money the other way for a change. LVT

Nick Perry's picture

Exactly right LVT...I completely forgot about James Jones, hell he was the one player catching the ball. That TD pass was a thing of beauty, so was his long gain down the left sideline. Rodgers leads him 12" less and he's in the end zone. 2 Thumbs up and Game Balls to JJ. Makes me wonder again where this team would be without him.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Nick Perry, Thanks Nick!! LVT

marpag1's picture

If I remember, Jones did have one utterly inexcusable drop that would have gone for a first down. But yeah, he made up for it.

4thand1's picture

JJ looked healthy again. The hammy must be healed. He along with a few other weren't the same the last few weeks. Get healthy Packers and kick some ass. Cobb needs a kick in the ass.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, We need a Left Tackle before Thursday night. Anybody have any suggestions? LVT

Razer's picture

Good assessment Jason. Very thankful for this win and its contribution to our divisional showdown.

Aside from the win, there is great promise for this team. The defense played well but the offense has a lot more in the tank. Our play this past month had me wondering if we can compete for the big prize. Until the Vikings, I couldn't see us with the Cardinals or Patriots. While we have a ways to go, Rodgers and company may be starting to make the turn.

We definitely need Montgomery healthy and Quarless in the lineup.

Kyle Graham's picture

I loved seeing Rodgers go under center. Seeing the run game work under the I formation was boss. I loved it. Power football wins the big games.

D Ernesto's picture

Datone played his best game ever. I may have to remove him from the bust brothers list. Cobb maybe doesn't like going over the middle and getting his bell rung. I have no idea but the drops are costing us and like other commentary this has gone on long enough. Janis has shown he should be playing more. Let him have ejordys role and run like sob down the sidelines. Fretted great job filling in. Tough thing to do, bravo.

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook



"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"The Bears still suck!"