Apparently the run by P Jon Ryan really was a called fake punt. CB Will Blackmon was a gunner on the play and he only ran half-heartedly down the sidelines, just enough to keep his man downfield, so it appeared to be a designed fake punt, but it had to be the worst one ever. Ryan ran straight into three Vikings, but somehow managed to cut back and run past them.
The Packers had four fumbles, two that were recovered by Minnesota, and it isn't surprising that Mike McCarthy is unhappy about it. The strip of TE Donald Lee was a near perfect play by S Dwight Smith. I'm not concerned about either WR Greg Jennings or RB Ryan Grant, yet, but McCarthy shouldn't be surprised about RB Vernand Morency. He had problems keeping his hands on the ball last season too.
The Packers made their choice this preseason to release last season's nickel CB Patrick Dendy and keep CB Jarrett Bush instead. Against Minnesota that didn't look like such a smooth move:
The Bears are going to target Jarrett Bush, just like Minnesota this past week and San Diego the week before. Assuming Bush remains the third cornerback -- coach Mike McCarthy gave his play a surprisingly glowing review Monday -- the Bears will have favorable matchups whether he's lined up over Bernard Berrian, Muhsin Muhammad, Rashied Davis or, on rare occasions, tight end Desmond Clark. There's also an outside chance Al Harris will be sidelined, which would further tilt those matchups in Chicago's favor.
Bush was kept because he looked better in single coverage along the sidelines than Dendy, which would make Bush more valuable if either starting CB Al Harris or Charles Woodson couldn't play and Bush had to start on the outside. Maybe it was intentional for Bush to give so much cushion with the idea of giving Minnesota short yardage but nothing deep, but that seems unlikely since QB Kelly Holcomb's deep passes were way off target and there was no real danger. CB Al Harris has gotten knocked out in at least two games this season, but keeps managing to come back and play great.
LB Brady Poppinga was not getting any love:
Meanwhile, the Packers were showing they haven't plugged the leaks that have allowed multiple "explosive" gains on running plays to two of their last three opponents. Not attacking any gap that's supposed to be occupied by Brady Poppinga would be a mistake.
Against Minnesota, he didn't make any big plays, but it seemed like RB Adrian Peterson had a lot of success running everywhere. If anything, it seemed like Minnesota had more success running to the weakside at LB A.J. Hawk, but since I wasn't tracking whether running plays went left, straight, or right, I could easily be wrong. All the linebackers could fill the holes better.