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Cheese Curds, 12/29: Jaren Hall brings different dimension to Vikings’ offense

The Packers’ defense will need to deal with a mobile quarterback once again this week.

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Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

On six occasions this season has the Green Bay Packers’ defense allowed an opposing quarterback to rush for at least 20 yards. On three of those, the opposing QB has put up 50 or more, and twice have they gone for 70.

Containing mobile quarterbacks has been anything but a strength for Joe Barry’s defense this season, and anecdotally, it feels like that has been the case going back through multiple defensive coordinators. But when you see this list from just this season, it’s clear how much of a challenge it has been in 2023:

  • Justin Fields: 59 yards
  • Desmond Ridder: 39 yards and a TD
  • Russell Wilson: 21 yards (on a single carry)
  • Justin Herbert: 73 yards
  • Patrick Mahomes: 26 yards
  • Tommy DeVito: 71 yards

On Sunday night, the Packers may have another challenge in this area, thanks to the Minnesota Vikings’ switch at quarterback. Four different QBs have started for the Vikings this season, with Hall playing just 20-some snaps, but he will make his second start on Sunday amid Nick Mullens’ turnover-prone ways costing Minnesota a shot at a win last week.

What Hall brings to the Vikings is a different type of mobility than Mullens, perhaps more akin to the improvisation ability that Joshua Dobbs displayed in the middle of the season. Based on how the Packers’ defense has performed this season, that added dimension could pose some serious problems.

Let’s look at the Vikings’ decision to switch, as well as one stat that has changed for the better in Green Bay this season.

Vikings to start Jaren Hall at QB vs. Packers, benching Nick Mullens - The Athletic ($)
This will be the second time the Packers see Hall this season, as he came in during the teams' first meeting after Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon.

Packers must contend with mobility of Vikings rookie QB Jaren Hall | Packers Wire
Although Hall is inexperienced, his ability to move should be a factor on Sunday. The Packers had trouble with Tommy DeVito scrambling a few weeks ago, so they will need to find ways to keep Hall contained in the pocket.

Packers cashing in on goal-to-go opportunities with depth, creativity | Packers.com
Last year's Packers squad scored touchdowns on just 50 percent of goal-to-go situations, worst in the league. This year, they're sitting at #1 at just under 95%!

Packers rookie Tucker Kraft hurdling his way into bigger role - ESPN
Kraft has delivered a score or two in those goal-to-go scenarios, but he has been making plays between the 20s as well. He's also making his hurdle a signature move, even after taking a shot to a particularly sensitive area two games ago.

Joe Barry’s Packers Defense Played ‘Very Well’ for 53 Minutes; Really? - Sports Illustrated
Barry does know that the game is 60 minutes long, right?

Disney Releasing New 'Alien' Book Aimed at Preschoolers | Collider
Keep an eye out for "A Is For Alien" on shelves next year.