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Point of Veau: When Penalties Add Insult to Injury

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Point of Veau: When Penalties Add Insult to Injury

We're not talking about injury in a literal sense (although it appears defensive lineman Jerel Worthy and wide receiver Jarrett Boykin couldn't escape Sunday's game unscathed), but the Packers three times incurred penalties at the worst-possible moment.

Don't get me wrong, the reason the Packers lost to the Vikings in the regular-season finale was because they couldn't find ways to stop Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder.

But in three separate instances on Sunday, the Packers had penalties following plays in which they lost yardage creating down-and-distance situations of more than 15 yards.

The first time it happend was in the second quarter after a sack by Jared Allen for a loss of 12 yards.

Facing second-and-22, the Packers offense failed to allow themselves a sufficient amount of time to get to the line of scrimmage and read the defense. They were penalized for delay of game and ended up punting the ball back to Minnesota.

The next occurrence was in the third quarter following a sack by Everson Griffen that dropped Aaron Rodgers for a three-yard loss.

What should have been second-and-13 turned into second-and-18 when James Jones was called for a false start.

Fortunately, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings for a gain of 45 yards that set up a touchdown connection between the two just two plays later.

Then in the fourth quarter Griffen again sacked Rodgers, this time for a loss of eight yards.

On second-and-18, the Packers got two yards back on a short completion to Jermichael Finley, but third-and-16 became third-and-21 after Don Barclay was found guilty of a false start.

Once again, Rodgers bailed the Packers out. A hook-up with Finley netted twenty yards and then a fourth-and-1 conversion from Rodgers to rookie Jarrett Boykin got the Packers a first down, which eventually led to a game-tying touchdown.

The Packers are lucky to have an elite quarterback with a great set of receivers that can bail them out of such less-than-enviable circumstances.

But they'll have to avoid committing the same sort of silly mistakes beginning on Saturday when they face the Vikings in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.

All it takes is one ill-timed penalty that can cost the Packers a chance at winning. They learned that very lesson on defense when Tramon Williams was flagged for illegal use of hands late in the fourth quarter.

Instead of forcing a field goal, the Vikings were able to find the end zone with a touchdown by Michael Jenkins. That capped a forgettable evening for Williams.

The Packers have plenty of weapons capable of beating the Vikings. Rodgers can make sure of that. But they can't afford to beat themselves.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tony's picture

I think his film review today will get him motivated for Saturday. He's a good player, but he does have a tendency to get into those little scuffles.

jrunde10's picture

So many blown opportunities and poor plays overall yesterday, but the ones mentioned stuck out. This team should be motivated by the fact that they almost beat a good team with that many mistakes. If they can tighten things up, they are very dangerous.

RC Packer Fan's picture

the penalty that irritates me the most is the one they didn't call on the vikings on the final drive that scored their last TD. The holding penalty against Clay Mathews that didn't get called.
He was held and could have/would have made the play on peterson not allowing him to run for 20+ yards to set up their final Field goal.
I just get tired of missed calls going against the Packers this season.
Also the rule on throwing a challenge flag is just dumb. Why punish coaches for wanting to get the call right.

Neutralfan's picture

Woulda, coulda, shoulda, the sound of a whining loser. There was holding only in your biased eyes, there were more holding calls that should have been called against the packers by far. Your defense sucked, plain and simple.

And what with all that whining from the packers, every game, it is pittiful. Rodgers whined the most. I can see where it all comes from, fans/team/ect.

But the Pack will win in the rematch, its called homefield advantage.

Ruppert's picture

I'm glad you're neutral. I'd hate to see what a biased post on your part would look like.

At least grow a sac and be honest about your allegiance. I could be wrong, but only a MN native queens fan could be this pathetic (gutless). Man up, Heidi.


Not-neutral Ruppert

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture


Drealyn's picture

I swear I thought I was the only 1 who seen that. There's been SOOOOOO many blown holding calls against the Pack in the last 2 Packers/Vikings games. The majority of Peterson's huge gains on cut-backs there are a few missed holding penalties.

Edward's picture

I saw one of our DBs being held by a receiver on that same run.

JJ's picture

100% RC. That was a take down on Mathews. That flag would of forced OT

maxginsberg's picture

Mistakes - be they turnovers or penalties - are magnified in the playoffs. Only the best teams remain so mental errors prove costly.

Players have to be calm, collected and efficient. I'm glad Rodgers is on our team. He embodies all three of these ideas.

Brian's picture

When he is screaming at the coach?

Bomdad's picture

Hopefully we've seen the last of the weaker official teams too. If there are two or more replay instances in the first half, they are simply a bad crew and will affect the outcome. So speaking if composure, I wish MM woukd make his policy to not challenge until the last 5-7 minutes of each half.

These penaltiies Brian points out are clearly mistakes by the pack.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

"I wish MM woukd make his policy to not challenge until the last 5-7 minutes of each half."

Crazy talk. If there's a blatant no-call/bad-call, and he still has time-outs/challenges, he's going to throw the flag whatever the clock says.

Matt Lambeau's picture

Face it. The Vikes played their A+ game and eeked out the win. Now, this short video keeps things in perspective. It's all about the RING baby!


FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Been removed.

MarkinMadison's picture

Packers penalties: 7-43
Vikings penalties: 10-98

Refs miss calls all of the time. I wish they would not miss so many committed against Matthews, but we all know the game tilts to the offense. The numbers in this game do not show a big anti-Packers bias. The eye test was not much different to me.

Brain is absolutely right about the poor timing of three of the Packers 7 penalties. Heading into third down guys need to be focused. These penalties were just dumb. You can give Barclay a pass for experience/youth/environment. Not so much for the other two.

Chad Toporski's picture

To me, the referees just seemed incompetent. Not favoring the Packers or Vikings, but simply unable to make the right calls and manage the game appropriately. Peterson's and Jones' "fumbles," the "completed" pass, slow to get the ball placed... These refs were not in midseason form.

Ruppert's picture

Any discussion of poorly timed penalties from Sunday has to include the two third-down defensive penalties inside our own 5 yard line. BC mentioned 3, these 2 make 5. I forget the other two, but 5 penalties out of 7 were realllly at bad times.

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