Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 24 MIN 10 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Erik Walden
Erik Walden

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:

My unfitered game day running blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today:  WR Jarrett Boykin; CB Davon House; RB James Starks;LB Frank Zombo; WR Donald Driver; DT Jordan Miller; DE Jerel Worthy

Inactive for Vikings today:  QB Christian Ponder, WR Stephen Burton, OT Troy Kropog, DE George Johnson, DE D’Aundre Reed, LB Tyrone McKenzie, CB Brandon Burton


Game Notes:

It’s come to this: inactive for a home playoff game. Gotta feel bad for Donald Driver…

Vikings throw a  monkey wrench into the Packers defensive game plan – Christian Ponder inactive.

Packers are 2-4 in their last six home playoff games. In all six of those game, the opposing team scored on their first possession.

16 of the last 21 Packers – Vikings games have been decided by seven points or less.



Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Ponder: Joe Webb – very athletic QB. Had some time to look at him during the week, even today as it became more apparent he will play.

back-to -back same opponent: In a lot ways, we feel we’ve had 2 weeks to prepare for this game. QB change is an adjustment for our defense.

Stopping AP: Good solid run defense. It’s about us. We’re at home, it’s about the mission we have before us.

Scheme: Run defense is not a one man deal. If you watch our DL line play, they played very well, but it takes a lot more than that. Everybody has to tackle, and they will tonight

Ross: Both Cobb and Ross will get some work in the return game tonight

Offensive Strategy:  We don’t want to be one dimensional. We’re not going to come in here and throw the ball 50 times. That’s not in the best interest of our football team.

Dujuan Harris: He’s going to start tonight as far as getting the first carty and then we’ll see how it goes. it’s all about riding the hot hand.

Special teams coverage: We had one or two individuals who just didn’t do their job properly. I’m confident our play on special teams will be better tonight



Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – First Half:

Just heard Leslie Frazier was quoted before the game saying they are resting Christian Ponder to “get him ready for next week.”  Hope someone is whispering that in the Packers’ ears at this very moment…

Packers win the toss and… defer.  Was thinking they might change up – wonder if Ponder injury changed anything…

Joe Webb first carry: Killer when you have it stopped on 3rd down and you let it slip away…  killer

That Minnesota field goal would have missed from 40 yards. Was hooking badly… Good omen.

Possibly the ONE thing Rodgers hasn’t mastered – the 5-yard pass. Always throws it low.

What Webb did there (trys to throw with Walden all over him)  shows he’s no rocket scientist either…

3rd and half yard – throw.  3rd and 2-3 yards run. Got it…

Hmm, no targets to Jennings yet. Wonder what his sister is saying?

Ryan Grant looks so slow compared to Harris, doesn’t he?

If McCarthy keeps calling screens, I’ll fly to Green Bay and kiss him…

#Packers are doing what I said on Monday: Make AP get his yards between the tackles…

End of First Quarter: Packers 7 Vikings 3

Keep thinking Packers will get a pick six, but then I though about it more. For that to happen,  most likely Webb would need to get the ball near a receiver. Don’t know if that’s happening…

Nice adjustment by Rodgers on a handoff to Harris.  Harris ran the wrong way, Rodgers switched hands on the handoff and prevents a broken play.

THERE it was. Peterson tries to bounce out, Matthews and Moses waiting on each side of him – nowhere to go. That’s the key.

The difference between Ross and Cobb in returns: Ross makes up his mind immediately and takes off. Cobb jukes too much for a returner.

Who knew Tom Crabtree can fly?

Wish the Packers would take their 4th and five calls and use them on third and five.

Anyone know when the last time that fullback dive on the goalline worked? Packers settle for three.

On the bright side, the #Vikings aren’t going to score many points w/ Joe Webb at QB. Especially if the Packers D keeps playing AP this way

I guess I’m feeling better about Crosby. Didn’t even bother to watch the FG. Assumed he’s make it. wow, that’s progress!

Wonder what all those people who told me Harrison Smith wouldn’t be any good are thinking now…

Kuhn TD: Much better designed play than the dive. Packers OL just don’t get the movement needed on straight dive plays. has to come out of the playbook, but you know it won’t.

End of second quarter: Packers 17 Vikings 3

Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – Second Half:

Thinking about it, giving the ball to Kuhn on the TD probably surprised Minny. Doubt they expected GB to try again. Glad it wasn’t a dive.

What a weapon Harris is becoming… Now as a receiver too.

If the Packers get serious about being patient and taking what’s there (dumpoffs, screens, running the ball). The offense is unstoppable.

TD Kuhn: If I remember correctly, Marques Eversoll, one of our writers, predicted a couple of TDs for Kuhn tonight. Well done!

Did I just see Sam Shields with a solid hard tackle on Adrian Peterson? Great fundamentals, hit low, wrapped up. Took him right down.

Remember how excited we all were over Davon House early on? Sam Shields has made us all forget House – especially that he’s now tackling too

Sam Shields gets rewarded for his hard work in the tackling department with an INT.

End of third Quarter: Packers 24 Vikings 3

Packers recover a muffed punt. As much as everything went the Vikings way last week, it’s the opposite tonight.

Seems like the only thing that stops Packers drives are themselves: long throws on third and manageable.

Not much else to write about here.  Packers just running the clock, Vikings still can’t do anything on offense.

As I write that, Packers safeties disappear on a play and Webb completes a TD pass to an all-alone Michael Jenkins. Whoops!  Could have used some of that Packers soft zone right there… (just kidding)

Call me crazy, but I like throwing six yard passes on third and five (instead of throwing deep).  Packers get first down and now they can run more clock…

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, #Packers had at least one game vs. Vikes where they kept Peterson “under control” like this. So, it is possible.

See you all next Saturday night Packers fans: Same bat time, same bat channel…

 Final Score: Packers 24 Vikings 10


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


40 thoughts on “Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 24 MIN 10

    1. ponder in = different game.


      you are a fountain of football knowledge.
      you know far more about football than i could ever dream of knowing.


      next week the “rubber hits the road”.



      ‘9ERS BY 3 SCORES.

      1. That’s all I ask for…

        And keep it up. Lucky charm.

        I do agree that it’s a different animal. Not predicting any wins or making any bets this time.

        Only cheering… If Justin Smith is out or not 100% it’ll make things much, much, much easier…

      2. You must be so disappointed that we won. . . . Why do you come to a Packers website to trash the Packers? Surely your comments would be better received on a Bears website, or whatever team you root for.

        Also, Ponder in = different game, same result.

      3. Cow42… Just be quiet now. You and that other negative puke “Big T”, can both go comfort one another. It wouldn’t have mattered WHO played QB for the Vikings yesterday, the Packers are a better team. Period! They’re also going to beat the 49ers next week. Why? Rodgers and the receivers will move the ball. Jarrett Bush will not be the starting CB, Shields will. Scab refs won’t be calling this game like in week one so the 49ers corners won’t be mugging the Packers receivers all the way down the field. Seattle and New England have shown everybody the 49ers defense can be gashed.

  1. W

    Any news on the injury front? Rodgers seem concerned that people went down… All I saw was Jordy.

    GBP 4 LIFE

    1. Packers official twitter only reporting Finley with a hamstring.

      But I think they’ll be all cleared to play next week.

      1. Finley had a very good game (minus the endzone drop). He had a several chips helping Barclay – 1 that sent the Dlineman on his arse. The artcile about cutting him seems to have lit a fire. I hope it continues to burn.

        Walden was a controlled beast tonight. Is he playing for a contract?

  2. Ross should take over on punt returns. Not because of the risk to injury to Cobb, but because Ross is better at it.

    1. I think they are concerned about ball security on punt returns. Cobb has proven he can be secure over several seasons. Ross has not yet.

      1. Well, let’s not get all revisionist on Cobb’s security.

        He’s proven -this year- that he’s finally got the ball security issue nipped in the butt. Last season, he was just as scary as he was electrifying on punt and kor..

        1. Maybe I didn’t phrase it in the best way, but all I was saying was he’s had more than one season of experience with it and he has now shown he can be secure with the ball. I wasn’t revising history.

  3. Sam Shields, thank you for putting your body on the line.

    Didn’t this defence look different with Woodson out there?

    Harris, thank you Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

  4. Packers have a better defense with Woodson on the fiels even with Ponder out. AP without Woodson = 200 yards. With Woodson 99 yards.

    1. Are you sure it isn’t “AP With Ponder = 200, AP witout Ponder, 99”?

      No, I don’t really think it has anything to do with the QB, just illustrating that there are a lot of factors that go into winning run defense, and you can’t really just boil it down to the presence of one player.

    2. It wasn’t Woodson (although he helped). It was the commitment and discipline to keep AP inside the tackles and not let him bounce plays outside.

    3. I think it does matter that Ponder was out. Yes, Woodson helped and the tackling was improved because they were aiming lower,but the Pack committed 7 to 9 men on the line of scrimmage because Webb can’t throw.

  5. Good win. Love humiliating the Vikings.

    The offense needs to turn it up a couple notches next week though. They scored 24 but they should have been knocking on 40 today. I’d say “31” is the magic number to beat the Niners but yeah, step it up boys. Except you Harris, you little devil you. Love what we’re seeing from this kid. It would be nice to have Alex Green be the #2 back next week, give a nice 1-2 punch. Grant looked like bollocks once again.

    As far as the defense goes, yes, Woodson did a nice job. But let’s credit Dezman Moses for doing a good job setting the edge, Walden showing some power and getting off his blocks, and the D-Line for putting their backs into it.

    Go Pack!

    P.S. Stop. Giving. Kuhn. The. Ball.

  6. Good win, love betting the queens and shutting up their fans. Good job containing AP…the pack will need to step it up next week. . Rodgers knows this and mentioned it.

    The Pack only converted 3 of 14 first downs and only rushed for 76 yards. The niners D will be much harder to run on (and pass). Also, Webb is a terrible QB. The niners are a more rounded team and much more physical.

    This game will probably come down to the health of Justn Smiths arm.

    1. Live in the Twin Cities . . . Viking fans had been awfully cocky this week. Lots of talk about how they “dominated” us last week, how Peterson was unstoppable and if you committed to stopping him Ponder would beat us through the air. I expect to hear lots of excuses about how the game would have been different had Ponder played.

      1. We can expect to hear those same, lame excuses from all of the Dom Capers haters on our side of the border. Obviously, Capers needs to go because we WOULD HAVE BEEN dominated if only the all-powerful Christian Ponder had played. So fire Capers anyway.

        Kinda makes me laugh, actually.

  7. Worst play of the day was not even on the was the shot of Donald driver standing on the sidelines, surrounded by his cheerful teammates, witha slight glum look on his face. When you see such a talented player, such an inspirational figure, and such a great person do anything but give us his signature smile, it just feels empty. I’m not saying he should be putting on a smily face for the camera because I wouldn’t if in his shoes. But he wants so much to contribute to this team and its just upsetting that he can’t.

    1. I know this sounds like a complete dick thing to say, but you’re right, it’s upsetting that he can’t contribute. He couldn’t contribute last year, either.

      It’s upsetting that DD won’t go out with grace. He’s not the same player he used to be, and hasn’t been for over two years. Our young perimeter players are better options.

      Love DD, one of the greatest Packers of all time, but his time is past, and the post season is a time of year you absolutely do not play for sentiments sake, you play to win.

        1. RS, I sincerely hope it was a look somber reflection, but I worry that it was a look of jealousy and anger.

          1. There was absolutely no anger in his look. And he did go out with class. At one point, the team was one hamstring pull away from having him be the #2 receiver. That’s why he made the team, last year and this, and that is why he mentored the youngsters who took away his job (Boykin and Ross).

            Driver is what he has always been — a class act as a person, a player, and a member of the Green Bay community. He will still be that after he retires in July.

  8. What was ponders QB ratimg ghe last game, or any game, at Lambeau? The guy is absolutely horrible against the Pack away from the wussy dome. He had a lucky game last week anyways. He would not have made a difference.

    Queen fans are mad because A; the Pack dominated them and B; they contained AP.

  9. I’m actually surprised the Packers didn’t get more turnovers once I saw that kid just throw the ball up for grabs under absolute duress.. twice! Web was panic-stricken when the defense got hands on him.

    I was also pleased to see the defense not only played with far more discipline in the run game, and created more pressure on the QB without blitzing like mad dogs. Week 1 mission accomplished. Here’s to turning it up a notch, and a big notch at that, next week.

    Harris looking good as a receiver out of the back field, and as you know Al, I’ve agreed with you for years that Rodgers has almost zero touch on any ball that is 3 yards deep or less. That said, he actually did lay out a nice touch pass to Kuhn on the left behind the LOS, dare I say the finest pass of its type I’ve ever seen Rodgers make.

    Is there more wrong with Alex Green than just a concussion? I understand riding the ‘hot hand’, but Green hasn’t seen the field in two weeks despite being cleared, and he’s run well the last half of the season. I’m confused.

    1. I wonder about Green, too, but I have absolutely no problem going with Harris. In fact, I like it. Harris just runs with so much more violence and decisiveness.

    2. Oppy, short passes wher he has to lead the player he is fine with. It’s more the short pass directly in front of him where the receiver is stationary. BUT, he did complete a few of those passes later in the game, so maybe he’s mastered that too…

    3. Oppy, I think part of the lack of TOs was staying disciplined in tackling and against the run. If you wrap to take down the runner or receiver, you aren’t hacking at the ball. If you are staying where you need to be to stop the run or the YAC, you aren’t jumping routes for INTs. But with our offense, I’d rather see the D play with discipline than overextend for TOs, especially now that it is win or go home.

      As for Green, if the docs don’t pass him on the concussion he can’t suit up. That RB for Detroit has been waiting for a year and a half . . .

      1. Green has been cleared and dressed for the last two games, but has not been put in the game.

  10. This game was great prep for 9ers. A mobile quarterback (Webb) will have primed GB defense for the quarterback option or draw. AP provided a clinic for GB defense to be disciplined as a unit. Minn pass rush was decent prep for SF pass rush. This was very good practice game. It was just a practice game right?

  11. Good point Nick. Everyone forgets that the replacement Refs cost the Packers losses to both Seahawks and 49ers. I live in So-Cal and I will be at the game this Saturday along with thousands if other California Cheeseheads. I feel the Packers are overall a better team. If the Defense can stay disciplined, we should have the same results in the next game.
    Game balls go out to the offensive line. I blame Rodgers for those sacks. They seem to get better each week.

  12. Cow42….you are a coward of a fan….get off of this site. You thought that the Packers would get killed…you’re a coward and not a true fan. Get out of here you dope.

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