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Initial Reactions: Vikings vs. Packers 10.24.10

October 25, 2010

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 28-24 at Lambeau Field on Sunday night.

THE VIKINGS:

The Good:

William Percival Harvin III. He can return kicks, run the ball, and catch passes. Every time the Vikings needed a big play, Percy was there. He might just be the best player on this team. He is certainly the most electric.

Brett Favre. Good Brett, bad Brett continues. He always puts his team in a position to win the ball game. Contrastingly, he puts his team in a hole at times as well.

Adrian Peterson is a beast. He rushed for 131 yards on 28 carries with 1 touchdown. He also added 2 catches for 41 yards. It’s tough to lose a game when your running back puts up numbers like that, but turnovers spelled disaster for the Vikings on Sunday night.

Containing Clay Matthews. The Vikings’ offensive line allowed one sack, but more importantly, the front five slowed down the NFL’s sack leader. Matthews got to Favre twice, but neither time resulted in a sack.

The Bad:

Penalties. Overall, the Vikings only had 6 penalties for 40 yards, but the timing of the infractions was devastating. A “12 men on the field” penalty killed a momentum changing tackle by Pat Williams. Instead of stuffing the Packers for a loss, the penalty gave the Packers new life and a fresh set of downs inside the one-yard-line, which they immediately converted into a touchdown. The biggest mistake came on the game’s final drive. With the Vikings driving for the winning score, offensive tackle Phil Loadholt grabbed and pulled Clay Matthews’ facemask, which negated a completion to Visanthe Shiancoe. The pass play would have set up second-and-five from the Green Bay 10-yard line, but instead the penalty pushed the Vikings back to the 30-yard line and effectively ended any chances of a Vikings comeback.

Brett Favre. He did his best to channel his inner Scott Mitchell. He looked great when he had time to throw the ball, but he was awful when he was pressured by the Packers defense. You don’t win many games when you throw three interceptions.

The Vikings were on the wrong side of some questionable calls by the referees. After negating a touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe, the Vikings settled for a field goal, but lost the all-important momentum a diving touchdown catch brings. After the game, Childress was extremely unhappy with the officials. He may be hearing from the league about his comments, but his frustration was justified.

THE PACKERS:

The Good:

Brandon Jackson is for real. AGAIN on limited opportunies, Jackson looked great. He carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 3 passes for 46 yards. He looked explosive and powerful whether he was catching screen passes or moving the pile. Sooner or later, Mike McCarthy is going to have to feed his running back the ball.

Mike McCarthy. Other than two fourth-and-one handoffs to the fullback, his playcalling created a rhythm and he did a fairly good job of mixing up the run and the pass. It didn’t go according to plan, but McCarthy even called a fake field goal. And I can’t remember the last time he has ever won two challenges in the same game.

The Packers’ offensive line. What a difference a year makes. In the first Packers-Vikings matchup last season, the Packers allowed 7 sacks. This year the offensive line of the Packers was airtight. The front five did not give up a sack, and barely allowed the Vikings front four to touch Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers battered defense. Dom Capers’ defense was missing four starters, but they found a way to force big turnovers when the game was on the line. Kudos to Jarius Wynn on his first career sack on the final drive of the game. His play energized a tired defense, and gave the Packers the extra spark they needed to hold off a Brett Favre comeback.

Only 2 penalties. Penalties killed the Vikings, but the Packers were charged with only 2 penalties for 20 yards.

The Bad:

Turnovers. Two first-half interceptions thrown by Rodgers killed the Packers’ momentum and took away much needed points.

Two fullback dives on 4th-and-1. When the game is on the line you put the ball in the hands of your best player and let him do his thing. The Packers best player is not John Kuhn.

Not converting chances. The Packers had three drives inside the Vikings 35-yard line that ended in failure. The Packers have to feel lucky to escape with a win after ending those drives with two interceptions and a turnover-on-downs.

Miscommunication. Rodgers and his receiving corps were not on the same page all night. The usually sharp Rodgers was way off the mark on multiple occasions.

Overall:

This game was a huge win for the Packers. Both teams left everything out on the field, and the Packers ended up on the winning end of this one. If you could view this one with an objective eye, it was a fantastic game to watch. I can’t wait for the rematch.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 25, 2010 11:56 am

    The rematch should be interesting, that’s for sure. I really do think that Childress’ anger was justified. I, too, was fired the fuck up.

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