Hopefully everyone saw that QB Aaron Rodgers is looking great. And RB Ryan Grant is going to be fantastic again this season. The offense did a great job moving the ball, creating big plays, and not turning the ball over (although they had a couple fumbles that could have been lost). The offense's big problem was penalties. I'd love to say that was due to sloppy week 1 play, but they had a lot of penalties last season too.
DE Jared Allen had his first game with the Vikings and had no tackles and no sacks. Does LT Chad Clifton deserve the game ball for shutting Allen down? Maybe FB Korey Hall for catching a TD and making a big block to spring Grant's big 4th quarter run. WR Greg Jennings had a huge game. And of course Rodgers.
The defense was very good at times, but had a lot of sloppy moments. They got good pressure on QB Tavaris Jackson and held RB Adrian Peterson in check except for a couple runs. But they let Jackson run free for some big gains, could not stop Minnesota on 3rd and 4th downs, and made several penalties. Still this was the first game for a couple defensive starters who missed the entire preseason, DE KGB and NT Ryan Pickett, and the first game back for S Atari Bigby and LB A.J. Hawk after they missed the last couple preseason games.
Special teams had a field goal blocked, but K Mason Crosby sent every kickoff into the end zone, P Derrick Frost had a good first game with the Packers, and CB Will Blackmon had a great punt return for a TD. They were a big part of this win.
Overall it was a comfortable opening win. The Packers took the lead early in the 2nd quarter and Minnesota never got closer than five points. It wasn't the prettiest game, but winning the divisional games are always important. Onto Detroit next week!
Look for the link to the complete game detail after the poll.
- QB Aaron Rodgers starts his first game in a row. Can we move on now?
- The first drive stalls because of penalties. Way too many penalties in this game.
- I want to mute Kornheiser and keep Jaworski's volume on, but no such luck.
- First punt by new P Derrick Frost. Not a long punt, but right along the sideline with no chance for a return. Just a solid directional kicker.
- DE Aaron Kampman is great, but he got frustrated early, tried to slip inside and just opened a big running lane for QB Tavaris Jackson to run for a first down.
- Dumb luck that WR Greg Jennings recovered that fumble. RB Brandon Jackson does have to do a better job holding the ball, but a Viking player did get his helmet on the ball.
- Three straight offensive penalties lead to a 1st and 33. Unbelievable.
- Great cutback 34 yard run by RB Adrian Peterson. CB Charles Woodson blitzed and ran right by him, he probably should have had him, but that was one fast cut back and run.
- LT Artis Hicks is playing well in place of starting LT Bryant McKinnie because the Vikings are putting a tight end over to that side to help him on nearly every play.
- An awful pass by Jackson trying to convert a 3rd down. Some how the Vikings keep converting 3rd downs although they can't pass the ball.
- It took Brad Childress nine quarters, and three seasons, but Minnesota's offense finally scores a point against the Packers defense.
- What a crappy kick by K Ryan Longwell. He gets no distance on his kickoffs which is the main reason why GM Ted Thompson let him go after 2005.
- What a great play by Jennings. Rodgers threw it where he was supposed to, but Jennings had to go up and take the ball away from the defender.
- Minnesota gets their only sack of the night on Rodgers, and it's waived off by a penalty.
- Rodgers was fantastic on his TD throw. He kept sliding over, buying time, and threw a perfect pass to FB Korey Hall.
- The Vikings have rarely blitzed, and they aren't getting to Rodgers. Then they blitz, the Packers call run, and RB Ryan Grant has a 20 yard gain.
- Jaws ran threw Rodgers' TD pass showing how he looked at four different receivers and then saw Hall for the TD.
- They gave Brandon Jackson almost as many carries as Ryan Grant. I don't think it's going to be like that all season once Grant gets a week or two under his belt.
- Nice 2 minute drill goes for nothing due to a blocked field goal. It looked easy, overload to one side and the guy on the end runs around and gets his hand on it. Apparently the snap and hold were just too slow by the new long snapper and holder.
- Minnesota comes out throwing and Jackson looks sharp. He really locks onto his first option, but he can be accurate.
- Kampman is rushing really wide and giving Jackson a wide open side to run through. He's gotta stay in his lane.
- CB Al Harris got flattened by Peterson in the first half, but makes a great open field tackle on this drive.
- RG Tony Moll is a penalty machine. His third penalty brings back a long TD pass to WR Donald Driver. Hopefully C Scott Wells is back next week.
- Frost is a good punter. All his punts are near the sidelines. Minnesota only had 4 punt return yards on 5 punts. No chance for a long return.
- CB Will Blackmon is a very good punt returner. He's shown this the last couple seasons, but hasn't had the chance to show because he's missed so much time due to injury. Nice punt, it was close to the sideline, but the Packers did a great job opening running lanes.
- Minnesota is throwing a lot which is better than handing off to Peterson. They also brought in a new left tackle who doesn't need help blocking from the tight end so they could get another receiver out in the pattern.
- The Packers aren't closing the deal on 3rd downs, but they are making them slowly work the length of the field. No big plays is a good thing.
- Finally! A stop on 3rd down. Then WR Sidney Rice scores a TD on 4th down when the Packers leave him uncovered as he runs across the field. Luckily Jackson misses on the 2 point conversion.
- The offense stalls to start the quarter. The offense hasn't done much, but they've only had two drives because Minnesota held the ball so long.
- Finally! A three-and-out from the defense. Make them work the field, but eventually you've got to stop them.
- What a huge hole for Grant to run through! It's great to have Ryan Grant back. A move at the 10 yard line to dodge two defenders, and he almost made it all the way. Tony Moll had some bad penalties in the game, but he shoved DT Kevin Williams out of the way to open the hole, and FB Korey Hall took out former Packer S Darren Sharper to spring him.
- The Packers ran right over Minnesota's great run stopping DT Pat Williams on Rodgers' TD run. Great job by Colledge on Williams, and Clifton on Allen.
- It's great to have LB A.J. Hawk back too. He made some nice tackles downfield, and popped Jackson on one blitz.
- Another long pass interference call. This time on CB Tramon Williams. Harris had one earlier, and a couple near ones. Jackson can't complete anything down the field, but he's drawing some flags when he does throw it.
- Another 4th down conversion! On a sneak! The defense is pumped up and intense, but big penalties and too few big stops on 3rd and 4th downs.
- That onside kick was awful close to being recovered. If S Atari Bigby gets his hands on it, instead of letting it slip right through, it might have stayed in bounds and Minnesota could have gotten it.
- Frost was great early, but his last two punts were right in the middle of the field and very returnable if not for great kick coverage.
- No turnovers by the offense, but none by the defense until only one minute left in the game. Bigby's INT ended the game, but a big turnover earlier could have iced the game a long time ago. That was an awful pass by Jackson. There wasn't a Viking within 5 yards of that pass. Why didn't Bigby just run out of bounds instead of running across the field and risking a fumble?