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Recap: Vikings Defeat Green Bay Packers 38-26

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Right after the game, there was a Brief Recap post with my initial thoughts after the game. Take a look at that post for a brief summary of the game. After the jump is the specific break down from the play-by-play.

The only significant injury was LB Brandon Chillar, who has a broken hand. Luckily they've got a solid backup in LB Desmond Bishop, and it meant more playing time for LB A.J. Hawk too. We'll have to wait until later this week to see whether Chillar can have it placed in a cast and so he can continue to play. Even in the best case scenario, he should miss next week.

I'll give a break to rookie LT T.J. Lang. He's gotten thrown into a tough situation, and has gotten beaten badly by DE Jared Allen in 2 games against him. But he's shown some promise. Even if he did leave Allen unblocked on one sack. But as far as this season goes, it's great news that LT Chad Clifton will be back next week. Tom Pelissero said "[Clifton] expects to practice on Wednesday and be ready to face Tampa Bay."

There is no excuse for not benching RT Allen Barbre at this point. RT Mark Tauscher went through his first full practices last week, and is as ready as he is going to get.

Vikings vs Packers coverageVikings vs Packers recapVikings vs Packers boxscoreDaily Norseman

From the play-by-play:

First Quarter:

(12:56) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep right to 80-D.Driver ran ob at MIN 40 for 20 yards.

They had 20 yards on this play alone, but only 47 yards on offense in the 1st half. The receivers just started getting open in the 2nd half. They adjusted and figured out how to attack the Vikings' zone coverage.

(8:15) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep middle to 85-G.Jennings [56-E.Henderson].

I point this out because LB E.J. Henderson was in coverage. I've always thought of him as a run stopper, but he did a great job dropping back in coverage. LB Chad Greenway was great too. It was the hidden success of the Vikings pass defense early in this game.

(7:11) (Shotgun) 4-B.Favre Aborted. 65-J.Sullivan FUMBLES at MIN 39, touched at MIN 35, RECOVERED by GB-97-J.Jolly at MIN 21. 97-J.Jolly to MIN 21 for no gain (76-S.Hutchinson).

One of the few mental mistakes the Vikings made in the game. Too bad the Packers only turned it into 3 points.

2-M.Crosby kicks 61 yards from GB 30 to MIN 9. 12-P.Harvin to GB 14 for 77 yards (30-J.Kuhn).

Just a horrible performance by the special teams in this entire game. Bad kickoffs, bad kick coverage, and a missed FG. P Jeremy Kapinos was OK, averaging 43.2 yards/punt. But he wasn't great either, and contributed to the overall bad field position. The Vikings only started with the ball 3 times inside their 35 yard line (all 3 led to punts). The Packers only started with the ball once out past their 35 yard line. 

(3:40) 4-B.Favre pass short right to 29-C.Taylor to GB 14 for -5 yards (56-N.Barnett). PENALTY on GB-97-J.Jolly, Personal Foul, 7 yards, enforced at GB 14.

Usually Mike McCarthy doesn't say negative things about specific players during press conferences, but he called out the terrible personal foul on DE Johnny Jolly. They had them stopped on 3rd down, but he kept the drive alive and it led to a Vikings TD.

(1:21) 28-A.Peterson right guard for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

I was glad to see Brad Childress go for it on 4th down here. He should have just taken the points. The Vikings took a couple risks that paid off for them.

Second Quarter:

(10:48) (Shotgun) 4-B.Favre pass short middle to 81-V.Shiancoe for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Close doesn't cut it, but that pass was right between CB Tramon Williams and SS Atari Bigby. There were several times in the game when the coverage was just a step late. Though Favre had too much time to pass and a perfect pocket to throw in. The pass rush was M.I.A. again against the Vikings.

(10:38) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at GB 15 for -8 yards (69-J.Allen).

Troy Aikman was commentating, and said that Rodgers had to step up in the pocket to move away from edge rushers. But it didn't seem like he was walking into any sacks. It seemed like the tackles should have been doing more to push the defensive ends further downfield.

(9:23) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right to 89-J.Jones (52-C.Greenway).

A great dive by Greenway to break up the pass on 3rd down.

(6:58) 28-A.Peterson right guard to GB 8 for -1 yards (50-A.Hawk, 79-R.Pickett).

A chance taken that backfired. They had a sure FG from 25 yards out, but Childress turned it down after a 5 yard penalty on 4th down got them within 1 yard of converting. NT Ryan Pickett had a monster game, and has bounced back big time from a disappointing 2008 season.

(3:16) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers sacked at GB 19 for -4 yards (94-P.Williams).

On this sack, C Scott Wells missed the block and NT Pat Williams ran straight ahead for the sack. It was the only time someone other than DE Jared Allen or DE Ray Edwards got a sack. Once again the middle of the offense line did a solid job. 

Third Quarter:

(13:20) 4-B.Favre pass deep middle to 12-P.Harvin for 51 yards, TOUCHDOWN. GB-36-N.Collins was injured during the play.

I wrote earlier about chances taken by the Vikings that worked out. This was another one. Just a classic Favre heave-downfield-and-hope-something-good-happens. When he was a Packer, I saw this play get picked off all the time, but I didn't think much of it then because it would often act like a punt. Here Favre threw into triple coverage, but all the defensive backs collided with themselves trying to get to the ball, the defensive backs were just a step late again, and WR Percy Harvin grabbed it and ran for the TD. Dumb luck.

(13:03) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep right to 85-G.Jennings pushed ob at MIN 40 for 30 yards (20-M.Williams).

After only 47 yards of offense in the 1st half, this was a welcome sight.

(8:31) 2-M.Crosby 26 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn.

I wanted them to kick the FG. After such a dismal 1st half on offense, they couldn't walk away with nothing on this good opening drive.

2-M.Crosby kicks 36 yards from GB 30 to MIN 34. 96-B.Robison to MIN 42 for 8 yards (50-A.Hawk). FUMBLES (50-A.Hawk), RECOVERED by GB-36-N.Collins at MIN 41. 36-N.Collins to MIN 41 for no gain (33-J.Sanford).

One of the other few plays that went wrong for the Vikings. Just take a knee Robison.

(6:36) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep left to 41-S.Havner for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

A great throw by Rodgers. The safety was all over TE Spencer Havner, and Rodgers threw it out and low where only Havner could make a play on it. I'm really impressed with Havner's hands; he seems to catch anything that comes his way.

(5:57) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 34-A.Green pushed ob at GB 28 for 12 yards (23-C.Griffin).

OK, it was neat to see RB Ahman Green back as a Packer. Though I don't think he does anything RB Brandon Jackson can't do. 

(5:21) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep middle to 89-J.Jones pushed ob at MIN 30 for 42 yards (20-M.Williams).

This deep crossing route was there for Driver, Jennings, and now Jones. It can't be run all game, but it did seem like the place to attack the Vikings zone coverage.

(2:03) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short right to 41-S.Havner for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Havner again. The Vikings seemed to forget about him in the coverage scheme.

2-M.Crosby kicks 56 yards from GB 30 to MIN 14. 12-P.Harvin pushed ob at GB 38 for 48 yards (38-T.Williams).

Another great return, another short field for the Vikings. 

Fourth Quarter:

(14:16) 29-C.Taylor left end to GB 2 for 8 yards (36-N.Collins).

LB Clay Matthews had a great game. He seemed to spend a lot of time in the Vikings backfield. But he was running around before the snap, and by the time he got back in position he was blocked out by WR Sidney Rice and RB Chester Taylor ran right past him. It got the ball down to the 2 yard line and made the TD off the play action pass to the tight end possible.

(11:37) 12-A.Rodgers right end ran ob at MIN 15 for 35 yards (41-K.Paymah).

It might seem like he's taking a big risk running for all those yards, but he's still probably safer in the open field then in the pocket...

(10:31) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short right to 85-G.Jennings for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on MIN, Defensive Holding, declined. Penalty on MIN-41-K.Paymah, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.

It's been a disappointing season for Jennings, but that was a great catch. He reached down and got it while the defender was illegally draped all over him.

(7:33) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers Aborted. 63-S.Wells FUMBLES at GB 27, recovered by GB-12-A.Rodgers at GB 27. 12-A.Rodgers pass deep left to 80-D.Driver to 50 for 17 yards (21-A.Allen) [91-R.Edwards]. GB-80-D.Driver was injured during the play. PENALTY on MIN-91-R.Edwards, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, enforced at 50.

An incredible play by Rodgers. He scoops up the bad snap just as the pocket is collapsing, but is still able to take a step and find Driver. And take a big hit at the end.

(5:49) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep left to 80-D.Driver (22-B.Sapp).

(5:43) 2-M.Crosby 51 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right, Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn.

I thought this was the end of the game when it happened. Kicking the FG was probably the right thing because Rodgers had just taken (another) hit on the play before and limped off the field. They were still only down by 5 points after the miss, but time was running out. They just could not afford the miss, but Crosby pushed it right. It had the distance and it didn't appear tipped.

(5:38) 4-B.Favre pass short left to 28-A.Peterson to GB 15 for 44 yards (55-D.Bishop, 20-A.Bigby).

It's not surprised they allowed a big run right after the deflating FG miss. Too bad it happened and ruined a great statistical game by the run defense, who held Peterson to only 53 yards on his other 24 carries.

(3:54) 4-B.Favre pass short left to 87-B.Berrian for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Once again, the coverage was almost there. Not that almost counts. It was a game of inches.

(2:59) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short middle to 89-J.Jones to MIN 48 for 15 yards (23-C.Griffin). PENALTY on GB-78-A.Barbre, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at GB 37 - No Play.

But this was the true end of the game, and the end of any explanation for starting Barbre over Tauscher. Barbre allowed 2 sacks, and I don't know how many big hits (at least that one shot Rodgers took to the ribs from DT Jimmy Kennedy). Jones got the ball into Vikings territory for a 1st down, but it came back on the holding penalty. I was willing to give Barbre the benefit of the doubt up to this game. He's a first year starter, he's getting better, etc. I hadn't even thought too much about the sacks in this game, up to this point, but that penalty was the end.