The Packers never, ever have to play another game in the miserable Minneapolis Humpty Dump, and so a good riddance party was in order. By a score of 44 – 31 the Green Bay Packers pounded the Minnesota Vikings in an impressive victory. It was their fourth win in a row and allows the Packers to maintain their lead in the North Division.
It didn’t start out well as the opening kick-off was run back for a Minnesota touchdown, but as soon as Aaron Rodgers got his hands on the ball good things started to happen. Rodgers put on a clinic hitting Jordy Nelson with two first-half touchdown passes. A balanced running/passing offensive attack was unleashed which led to numerous long drives and allowed the Packers to maintain ball control. Micah Hyde had impressive punt return for a 93-yard touchdown and at the half the Packers were up 24 – 17.
The Packers got the ball to open the second half and drove the length of the field with a 15-play drive, consuming over eight minutes and ending with a short touchdown run by Eddie Lacy. Running back James Starks got into action spelling Lacy and he burst for a 25-yard touchdown run to put the Pack up 38 – 17. The balanced attack of Rodgers’ throwing and the brutal, pounding running style of Lacy and Starks was spectacular. Granted, the Vikings’ defense isn’t that great, still the “new look” combining the power running with Rodgers’ efficiency in throwing the football and managing the flow of the game looked very, very impressive.
The Packer offense converted 15 of 20 third and fourth down conversion attempts. At some point in the second half when all this offensive efficiency was being mercilessly dished out, I thought how it would be if I were a Vikings fan and had such an onslaught delivered on my team. It has to be tough to be on the receiving side. The Packers scored on every meaningful possession they had on the evening, not having to punt the ball a single time.
On the day the Packer defense was pretty impressive too. Defensive lineman Mike Daniels continues to impress when he gets into action in the sub-packages. He had two sacks on the day. The Packers are so deep now on the defensive line that they are able to rotate the big guys to keep fresh legs on the field. Adrian Peterson was held in check and when that happens, so goes the Vikings.
Cheeseheads have to feel really good about a win like this. It was a fitting way to exit the Humpty Dump. The Packers’ growth areas are special teams coverage and creating turnovers. The latter should get a boost soon as ball-hawking Casey Hayward works his way back from injury into playing time.
Next up are the Chicago Bears in Green Bay on Monday Night Football. The Bears had their bye week this past week and thus shall be rested up for the date at Lambeau. The Bears, like the Packers, have some serious injury concerns, namely quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs. Arguably their two best players, neither are expected to be available Monday night. Look for the Pack to be a prohibitive favorite in this contest.