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Cheese Curds, 9/14: Packers offense rolls in Minnesota, but defense remains concerning

While Rodgers and his receivers rolled, the Packers’ defense once again showed flashes of frighteningly good and frighteningly bad play.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings

It was a truly tremendous start to the season for the Green Bay Packers’ offense on Sunday, particularly for Aaron Rodgers. The veteran quarterback made a massive statement in his team’s 43-34 win in Minnesota, throwing for over eight yards per attempt and generally looking like the Rodgers of old.

Of course, he got some help from his supporting cast. Davante Adams was the focal point of the passing game, as most expected, but the team got enough in contributions from the secondary options in the passing game to get the job done. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard each caught four passes and each scored a touchdown as Rodgers totaled 315 yards to those three players alone.

On defense, the day was much more mixed. The Packers allowed just ten points through three quarters, shutting Minnesota out entirely in the third, but gave up three touchdowns and three two-point conversions in the fourth. Thankfully the offense was still clicking to keep the score out of reach — Minnesota never got closer than the nine-point final margin of victory — but it was a concerning effort late from that unit.

Just how excited or worried should fans be about the performance? That’s up to the individual fan to decide. But this writer is choosing to be bullish on Rodgers’ chances for a return to an MVP-caliber season based on how he looked yesterday.

Packers' Aaron Rodgers tosses four touchdowns in win vs. Vikings | ESPN
Davante Adams said he felt like Rodgers was locked in this week, calling it a "laser focus." Whatever he did, #12 looked like he was his old self again, throwing the football with consistency and accuracy throughout the entire game.

Jaire Alexander’s big second quarter shifts the tide for Packers |
Although he gave up a touchdown in garbage time, Alexander was one of the biggest reasons for the Packers' turnaround in the second quarter after red zone disappointments. His sack of Kirk Cousins in the end zone was a momentum-shifting play, while his highlight-reel interception led to the Packers' second touchdown in the last minute of the second half.

7 things to know from Packers’ 43-34 win over Vikings in Week 1 | Packers Wire
The Packers now have started 1-0 in six straight years, with four of those games coming on the road. Meanwhile, Davante Adams tied Don Hutson's record for most receptions in a single game with 14.

Green Bay Packers should temper excitement over offense | (subscription)
While there are plenty of reasons for optimism on offense -- and for pessimism about the defense -- Tom Silverstein says fans should be wary of drawing conclusions about either side of the football.

Statement from Green Bay Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy |
The Packers chose to stay in the locker room for the national anthem on Sunday, and Murphy addresses that decision here. Whatever your initial reaction is to this decision and the reasons behind it, keep in mind that the NFL only started having players on the field for the anthem in 2009.

Three humpback whales spotted in crocodile-infested East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park |
This is a bizarre story - hopefully the whales are big enough to defend themselves from any crocodiles that decide to get aggressive. Hopefully the next story, though, will be about a local plastics manufacturer discovering transparent aluminum.