There are few things worse than getting your clock cleaned by a division arch-rival. It turns out that regaining the lead late, then giving it up again because your run defense is less effective than a New Orleans levee, then getting a chance to take the lead back with 30 seconds left and having your big leg kicker miss it by mere inches...yeah, that feels much worse.
So where did we go wrong? Shoot, where didn't we go wrong?
- Deactivating Brandon Chillar: I ask, why? He's our best coverage linebacker and was sorely missed when Nick Barnett got hurt in the second half. I don't want to get bogged down in conjecture, but I will say this: Chester Taylor's TD reception would not have happened had Chillar been on him instead of the lead-footed Desmond Bishop.
- Derrick Frost's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day: Gave the Vikes great field position all day, where All Day was able to capitalize all day. Why is he here again?
- Run defense: Yes, Adrian Peterson is an absolute monster, but he had a big day even for him. 30 carries for 192 yards? That's why they call him "All Day". And that's why they call the Packers' run D "Swiss Cheese".
- Pass protection: Was there any? Four sacks in the first half and five overall against a one-armed Jared Allen point to some issues on the O-Line (what else is new?)
- Lack of commitment to the run game: Ryan grant ended up with 75 yards, but he had less than 10 carries before halftime. He was achieving moderate success against a tough Vikings run defense, and could have definitely taken some pressure off of the passing game.
- Aaron Rodgers: Yes, he took a beating, but looking at his stat line makes me react in one way and one way only: Ewww. 15/26 for 142 yards? At least he didn't turn it over, but he certainly didn't play well.
- Challenging Peterson's TD: Having not watched the game, I don't know how bad of a challenge it was, but it cost the team a timeout it may have been able to use in the final drive.
In the end, it was a superb performance by the defense wasted. Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, and Will Blackmon gave us hope. Even Ryan Grant looked good today. But even with Gus Frerotte playing just like Gus Frerotte, the Vikings won because of their superior run offense and their stifling defense. The Packers could not execute basic football, and when you can't do that, there's no way you can win.
Today, the Vikings were superior. It may have seemed close in the box score, but it was not even close. They earned their win today. And we earned our loss. Blech.