Are we sure the NFL eliminated the fourth preseason game? More to the point, did anyone send the memo to 1265 Lombardi? The Green Bay Packers kicked off the 2022 season with another clunker, casting a foul stench over their September for the 2nd year in a row. No amount of ayahuasca journeys and Panchakarma cleanses will help us forget about Justin Jefferson running wild past confused safeties, but there is always some good to be found even in the worst of losses. AJ Dillon picked up where he left off last season, totaling 91 yards on 15 touches and scoring the Packers’ only touchdown late in the 3rd quarter. Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson both showed promise
The Vikings began the game marching methodically down the field and scoring on a Justin Jefferson touchdown, giving him 47 receiving yards before the halfway point in the quarter. On the Packers’ first drive, fans came face to face with a horror that will haunt us for months to come. Packers second-round rookie wide receiver Christian Watson stacked Patrick Peterson with ease, leaving him in a cloud of dust. Aaron Rodgers put the ball on the money, but Watson dropped the would-be touchdown. Write that one down in the long list of Packers “what if’s” of the last few years.
After the drop, a battle of punts ensued, with the Vikings being the team to break through on back-to-back scoring drives near the end of the half. The Packers went into halftime facing a 17-0 deficit. The bleeding stopped in the second half to the tune of just two Vikings field goals, but outside of AJ Dillon’s goal line touchdown, the Packers were unable to crawl back and fell 23-7. The Packers will look to rebound next week in a friendly spot against the Bears, but for now, let’s check out the top plays from Week 1. Be sure to vote down below for your favorite play and click the headers to watch the play in question.
With the Packers down 17-0, the Vikings recovered an Aaron Rodgers fumble and were in business at the Green Bay 33-yard line. After Justin Jefferson set the Vikings up with a 3rd and 5, the Packers were granted a small reprieve from his destruction as he was called for offensive pass interference, moving the ball back to the 38-yard line and setting up a 3rd and 15. Kirk Cousins swung the ball out right to Jefferson, who had no blockers in front of him, and was met swiftly by Rasul Douglas. The Vikings would go on to kick a field goal, extending the lead to 20-0, but leaving the door creaked open for the Packers.
The Packers’ next drive, their only scoring drive of the afternoon, was highlighted by an Aaron Jones run for 29 yards, one of the Packers’ few splash plays on the day. Zach Tom pulled and washed D.J. Wonnum out of the play, creating just enough space for Jones to shoot through and get to the second level. From there, Jones made some magic happen with quick feet and some helpful downfield blocks from Romeo Doubs, setting the Packers up in Minnesota territory on a drive they would eventually score on.
On that same drive, Doubs was rewarded for his effort blocking downfield, and got his number called twice as the Packers entered the red zone. The first play was an end-around the left side for Doubs, in which Jake Hanson and Josh Myers pulled right to suck in the defense. Yosh Nijman acted as Doubs’ lead on the play and threw a block to secure the first down. What makes the play special, or rather, morbidly funny, is Rodgers’ attempted block filled with all the spite he could muster on Za’Darius Smith. Predictably, Rodgers was sent flying to the ground and looked to have suffered a shoulder injury for a brief moment. Luckily, he got up and the Packers punched in the TD a few plays later.
Slim pickings on this week’s top plays, but next week should bear more fruit as the Packers take on the Chicago Bears in week 2. Leave your vote below and follow us on Twitter @acmepackingco for all the latest recaps and previews as we head into the Sunday Night Football clash.
Which play from the Packers’ Week 1 loss to the Vikings was the best?
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Rasul Douglas Shuts Down Justin Jefferson on 3rd and 15
Aaron Jones Breaks Free for 29 Yards
Romeo Doubs Fights for the First Down on the End-Around
Other (Leave your pick in the comments!)