The Green Bay Packers trounced their archrival Minnesota Vikings in the Humpty-Dump Sunday by a score of 31 – 3. The 100th meeting of these teams was not without irony as the Packers’ all-time leading scorer (Ryan Longwell) and all-time leading passer (Benedict Favre) played in this game… for the Vikings.
The game got off to a slow start with the Vikings scoring the first three points and then the Packers systematically proceeding to score the last 31. The Packer defense smothered Percy Harvin throughout and held him to very minimal production. Clay Matthews and Company harassed and roughed up Benedict mercilessly. Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers dreamed up a new look for this game, playing three behemoth nose tackles on the defensive line totaling 1,000 pounds. Those big guys did a pretty nice job of bottling up Adrian Peterson too. By keeping Harvin, Favre and Peterson in check, the Brad Childress gang had no more playmakers to trot out and the rout was on.
As stubborn as the Packer defense was, Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense became equally impressive in the second quarter as Rodgers masterfully picked apart the Viking secondary by throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns went to Greg Jennings who put on a clinic burning the Viking cornerbacks. Jennings has become Rodgers’ “go to” receiver after the loss of Jermichael Finley.
Towards the end of the second quarter Favre threw a critical interception and then retreated to the sideline where he could be seen arguing with the Vikings’ Offensive Coordinator. As the game continued to spiral downward for the Vikings, two players were caught on camera yelling at each other. It got even uglier as the unhappy Viking fans chanted, “Fire Childress,” which is exactly what happened on Monday morning. Childress thus becomes the second head coach to be fired in the last two weeks following lopsided losses to the Packers. There are no crocodile tears in the Land of Cheese though, I can assure you.
In the last three weeks the Packer defense has given up a total of only 10 points against the Jets, Cowboys, and now the Vikings. That is an awesome accomplishment. The Packers committed zero turnovers and only a single penalty against the Vikings. They are firing on all cylinders now and that is a good thing in late November. Kudos to the Packers. In spite of numerous season-ending injuries to key players, a sweep against the Vikings makes the 2010 season already a good one and just maybe this Packer team is positioning themselves for a deep playoff run.
Next week the Packers travel to Atlanta where they will face a very good Falcon team that is playing very well. The Falcons have an excellent offense with a good quarterback and a topnotch receiver. Additionally, Michael Turner is a big, strong running back who can wreck havoc. I expect the Packers to counter Turner’s threat with more of the three big-nose-tackle program. The Falcons’ defense is not as good as their offense so therein lie opportunities for Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense.