Halloween week typically means dressing up in some farfetched costume, using it as a way to mask your identity for one night and be something extraordinary or unreal. In Celtic culture it was traditional to dress up in costumes during All Hallows Eve in order to trick evil spirits who were thought to be more active during the darkest months of the year. The Vikings’ decision to dress up as a professional football team did little to trick the invading and ‘evil’ Green Bay legion.
The Vikings came out of the gates swinging. A deep kickoff was returned by Cordarelle Patterson a record 109 yards for a quick touchdown. This 7-0 lead would prove to be the only Vikings lead of the day. The Packers quickly responded with a precision touchdown drive to tie the game at 7, and they never looked back. The Packers were able to carve the Vikings linebackers and secondary up like a jack-o’-lantern, and Jared Allen apparently decided to dress up as a ghost this year for Halloween. Jared failed to register a sack or even a lowly tackle against a supposedly weak Packers offensive line.
The Vikings’ trouble continued on offense with the return of Christian Ponder at quarterback. In a game that he had nothing to lose, and that he was supposedly confident to play in, Ponder was back to his old ways. Looking for nothing but quick outs and refusing to even to consider pushing the ball down the field. Christian finished 14 of 21 for a pedestrian 141 yards.
Adrian Peterson showed flashes of his typical brilliance but was limited to 13 carries despite averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Apparently the coaching staff was more interested in watching Ponder scramble around Mall of America field like a chicken with his head cut off than giving Adrian Peterson a chance to break one loose.
Aaron Rodgers proved to be too much for the Vikings to handle once again. In Rodgers’ last 8 games against Minnesota he has managed to win seven. During that time he has thrown 22 touchdowns against only 3 interceptions. Rodgers quite simply was allowed to have his way with our porous secondary, finishing 24 for 29 with 285 yards passing. He never looked flustered or needed to take any chances down the field. He took what the Vikings defense gave him and shredded them.
These two teams are heading in complete opposite directions. It appears that Green Bay is setting up for another deep playoff run. The Vikings are getting ready for one of the top picks in the 2014 draft and another rebuilding project built around a rookie QB.
Next up for the purple is a road game against the Dallas Cowboys. Prepare for more of the same. I don’t expect Freeman to play again for at least a couple more weeks, and I can’t imagine the play calling becoming much more exotic. So enjoy your Halloween, and if Leslie Frazier shows up at your door during trick or treating, make sure you give him the trick. He certainly doesn’t deserve a treat at this point.