Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 33 MIN 27

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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:

Here is my unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions. Personally, it’s good to be back home after three straight weekends out of state, although I’m not going to complain about being in Green Bay last week. ( #Throwbackweekend )

The Packers come to Minnesota today looking to get the Christian Ponder era off to an inglorious start.  The big matchup to watch will be Marshall Newhouse trying to block NFL sack leader Jared Allen. While Chad Clifton has always had good success handling Allen, when the task has been put in the hands of backups, the results have been much different. Rodgers need to be looking out for his blind side today.

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Inactive for the Packers today are:

Shields ,Francois, Zombo, Lattimore, Clifton, Neal, Dominguez.

Today brings the first active duty today for OLB Vic So ‘oto, a fan favorite in preseason. So ‘oto figures to fill in for Lattimore on special teams and might see a spot appearance or two at OLB in pass rush situations.

Bad break for Frank Zombo, who finally made it back from his scapula injury last week, only to suffer a hyper-extended knee. As has become the Zombo custom, he finished out the game, but now needs to sit down to allow proper recovery.

Hopefully, Sam Shields has learned his lesson from the incredibly bad notion he had to run around with the ball in the endzone. I’m actually glad he got his bell rung there, otherwise, he may have tried that silliness again. Now, I don’t think he will.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Vikings’ reversal of  fortunes: It’s still early in the season. Our focus is to get another division win on the road.

Favre not involved: Nothing has changed for us, it’s always been about the Vikings and the Packers.

Adrian Peterson: Adrian’s a tough back to tackle. He breaks a lot of tackles can get the ball to the outside and cut it back. Have to gang tackle and take some shots at the ball.

Harvin: I believe Percy Harvin is the best football player on their team. Dynamic player who can hurt you in many ways.

Ponder: Christian is an athletic, smart young man. I think they’re going to move him around.

Minnesota Pass Rush: Their 2 defensive ends are playing exceptionally well this season. It’s a focus of ours, as it always is, especially with the crown noise.

Newhouse: This is his biggest test. He has very good foot speed and hand speed – those are the traits needed to handle this type of matchup.

Looking past to the bye week? It’s always a concern, we’ve discussed it. I look for our team to be motivated and focused today.

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Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – First Half:

Oh Tramon. Boy, did you bite on that move…  Couldn’t tell what Peprah was doing from the replay, but I doubt Tramon was supposed to have man-to-man down the field.

I’m expecting a big day for Jermichael Finley today.  Vikes secondary is made for him…

Touchdown Kuhn, after which he executes a fabulous spike that bounces straight up and drops right into the referee’s hands. Usually they end up hitting somebody…

Matthews and Walden swap sides and Clay forces Peterson inside and makes the tackle.

On Jared Allen’s sack of Rodgers, Kuhn was in position to help, but had to step up to block the inside blitzing LB, leaving no help for Newhouse.  Still thought Rodgers had time to get the ball off, I guess he didn’t have an open receiver.

You know Charles Woodson is smelling a pick six against a rookie QB…

And, after being praised by Shawn Slocum last week for his punt-catching skills, Cobb muffs a punt. Minnesota ball.

Is there really any reason for the# Packers to run the ball this game? Rodgers is so zeroed in… 12 for 12 at this point…

As Jayme Joers pointed out on the CheeseheadTV live blog, “I like the fact that after Cook’s name on the inactive list it said (jail) instead of ankle or something”

Now Cobb drops a pass to break Rodgers consecutive completion streak. Not a good day for Randall so far…

Vikings get the ball back and Capers is now dialing up the pressure.

Clay Matthews doing a great job against the run today. Not quite spying Peterson, but checking him first before doing anything else.

Have to say, With the Vikings secondary what it is, I’m surprised the Packers haven’t taken a deep shot down field yet.

Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – Second Half:

Aaaaaaaand, there’s your deep throw down field. Greg Jennings was even more alone than Michael Jenkins was on the first play of the game.

Now Rodgers finds Finley for a TD. I think Rodgers has a passer rating of 1000 today …

Woodson jumps an out route and gets the INT. He’s been looking for that all game. I think he’s pissed he couldn’t stay on his feet and take it back for a pick six.

Six minutes into the 3rd quarter, Aikman points out Rodgers has a “perfect” QB rating. Like I was saying…

MM with the first down handoff to Kuhn on the seven yard line. Um, just throw the ball in the end zone please…

Charles Woodson feasts on rookie quarterbacks – pick #2…

Isn’t obvious the Packers have replaced Mason Crosby with a cyborg?

That’s twice now Bishop didn’t give up on the play (like Hawk did) and chased down Adrian Peterson. What effort.

Crosby with the 58 yarder – still perfect this season … I knew it all along…  ;)

Referees completely miss Matthews getting held, and then call him for roughing, which was ridiculous. he hit ponder just as he released the ball.

Vikings pull within six. And this is why Crosby field goals don’t excite me. I want TDs…

Well, the Packers are back to last year’s script (keep other teams in the game). Hope it works out the same way – big defensive stop to finally seal the win.

I don’t know Dom, on third down so deep in their own zone, I’m bringing more heat onto Ponder than Jarret Bush from the outside.

Ponder converts a couple of big 3rd downs, but then the Packers D finally stop the Vikings on downs – Vikings punt, which was the right move for them.

As Starks gains a first down with a little over 2 minutes, Vikings still have 3 timeouts and the 2 minute warning, yet the Packers beat writers at the game report scores of Vikings fans get up and start leaving. Huh?

Starks ices the game, earning a first down on 3rd and 7 .

Damn, I was hoping for a Mason Crosby 70yd field goal attempt…

 

 

 

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • PackersRS

    Starks is the biggest mystery to me. The guy has looked indecisive all game long, in fact, since after the Bears game Starks has looked indecisive, too much sidestepping instead of fighting for the extra yardage.

    Yet, in the final drive, he runs with purpose, like he did in the playoffs last year.

    The guy is really talented, he needs to have a more meaner mentality. He has to run with more purpose.

    Speaking of RBs, Adrian Peterson is being wasted in a pathetic franchise. He’s the best runner of this century and it’s not close. The guy is a monster.

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    Starks: I thinh he always runs with a bit of an attitude. Packers OL were not controlling the line of scrimmage most of the game.

    AP: Personally, I’d take Stephen Jackson over AP, but AP is definitely more of a big play threat.

    • PackersRS

      That’s really not it Al. He was getting the ball and sidestepping, instead of falling forward. Nothing to do with the OL.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        He was sidestepping offensive lineman that had gotten pushed back into the backfield. At least that’s what I remember seeing. I’ll pay closer attention when I re-watch.

      • Thomas Hobbes

        To be fair, Marshall Newhouse wasn’t exactly a run blocking machine.

      • Lucas

        When Starks runs with patience and lets the line either wash the backside or open the initial hole, he’s good. I think he dances after he realizes he pushed the point too quickly.

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          I think that’s a fair observation…

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Starks:

      13 rushes, 75 yards, 5.8 YPC
      3 passes, 24 yards, 8 YPR

      I’d say that’s a pretty good day. Probably as good as a running back is going to have in this offense.

      • PackersRS

        Again, nothing related to the OL or the stats.

        Unfortunately, it’s something that doesn’t show in the highlights, but re-watch the game and look at the difference between HOW he played the whole game and the last quarter.

        Of course when the OL blocked well and he could just shoot the holes he did well. The problem was when the holes weren’t big and there were defenders in his face, instead of fighting for the extra yardage he sidestepped and even fell down.

  • Bubbaloo

    Al, you’re being way too kind, the Packers stunk today, offense was way overshadowed by a truly lousy defense! The very definition of an “Ugly Win”. And PackersRS, now if TT were to trade 2 1st round picks for Petersen, I wouldn’t gripe at all, he’s worth 5 times what Carson Palmer is!

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Which is why my mantra for this season is “it doesn’t matter.” They can play poorly in a lot of phases and still win thanks to Aaron Rodgers and his assortment of pass-catching weapons.

      • Thomas Hobbes

        Who do you think covers up more for their team, Peyton or Rodgers? Or, to put the question another way, what record would the Packers have without Rodgers?

        • Bearmeat

          They’d be 4-3, with losses to the Saints, Falcons and Vikes

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I think we all agree that the defense is a little suspect at the moment, but when it comes to the offense, whenever they are protecting the league its going to look ugly, but it works. In the 3rd quarter, the Packers are playing the clock and not the Vikings, and when it comes to running the clock, its more about getting enough yards to keep the drive going versus getting touchdowns or big plays. It would help if McCarthy could get some 1st downs from his running backs, but the Packers have done this a couple times in this season alone and so far it hasn’t backfired on them.

      • Lucas

        Suspect…and yet opposing qbs are at a combined 86.4 rating.

  • Steve Cheez

    I was trying to pay a lot of attention to Newhouse vs. Allen today. For the most part it looked like he pretty much held his own. Certainly not the dominating force I was afraid he would be.

    • Elle

      Yeah that second sack looked like a miscommunication with the line thinking a screen play was called.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        agree – something went wrong on that play…

  • Chad Toporski

    Randall Cobb could easily be held responsible for 11 points that game. The first 7 to the Vikings on his muffed punt, and the difference of 4 between a FG and a TD on his dropped pass.

    Definitely not his best day.

    • Elle

      No question. Then again he should be “held responsible” for that huge return that set up another scoring drive, to be fair. That was the first catch Cobb dropped by the way. That other one he “dropped” was a Flynn pass that was thrown like 5 feet over his head.

  • Pete Kliman

    And the train kept a rolling all night long with a heave and a ho . I like Newhouse’s agility.He could turn into a very good run blocker in time.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Roll Pack Roll

  • Chad Lundberg

    I’m so mixed right now. Would I rather the Packers play perfect and watch a boring season unfold? Or would I rather it be closer games in which I’m glued to the television? After thinking about it, it really would be boring to see the Packers play perfectly week in and week out, however, I would still like to see them actually play at least one game with perfection just to prove that they can.

    On another note, this bye week may have come at just the right time. Defense stinks right now, but a healthier Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews with two weeks of rest and a hopeful return of Mike Neal might FINALLY get this defense back on track.

    Oh, and go Mason Crosby. Keep it up, because when you’re pleasing Al and Chad, you know you’re turning a corner.