Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 44 MIN 31 All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:  2013 Game 7

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.


The 1-5 Vikings host the 4-2 Packers in the teams’ first meeting of the season. Though the Packers have rebounded from a slow start and fight through a number of injuries to key starters, the Vikings just seem to be in shambles. Christian Ponder will start today after recently-signed Josh Freeman took the nod last week. Greg Jennings will want to light up his former team, especially after all of the controversial sound bites, and Adrian Peterson will want to get back to form after rushing for a total of only 90 yards across the past two games. On the other side of the ball, James Starks is back to possible spell Eddie Lacy in the ground game, while the Packers defense looks to maintain their dominance at the line.

Today’s captains for the Packers: – C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith, DT Johnny Jolly, K Mason Crosby.


Inactives for today:

The following players have been declared as inactive for tonight’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
25 CB James Nixon
52 LB Clay Matthews
53 LB Nick Perry
59 LB Brad Jones
82 TE Ryan Taylor
88 TE Jermichael Finley
89 WR James Jones

Starting lineup changes: 81 Andrew Quarless will start at TE in place of Finley, 11 Jarrett Boykin at WR for J. Jones, 96 Mike Neal at OLB for Perry, 55 Andy Mulumba at OLB for Matthews, and 57 Jamari Lattimore at ILB for B. Jones.

Minnesota Vikings
12 QB Josh Freeman
27 CB Shaun Prater
40 FB Rhett Ellison
44 RB Matt Asiata
60 G Jeff Baca
83 WR Rodney Smith
91 DT Chase Baker


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Recent success in Metrodome: Communication, verbal and visual. Have to be able to overcome it, especially in big situations.

Rivalries for fans vs. players: Players and coaches still feel rivalry. Not beneficial to get involved in emotions of it. Need to play emotionally, mentally disciplined.

Finley’s health: He’s getting better. Testing is still going on. No timetable at this point.

Bush, Hayward returning: Always want them involved on special teams. How Vikings play will determine Hayward’s participation.

James Starks returning: Would like to get him involved tonight.

Stars shining (Rodgers, Peterson): Can’t forget Jared Allen. Big time players make big plays in big games. Confident in our players over theirs.

Greg Jennings on tape: Different to play with three different quarterbacks. Tough on the perimeter guys, especially with timing. He looks good like always.

On Christian Ponder: Athletic, will enhance their QB-movement packages. Strong run game and him moving around is a good formula.

Vikings special teams touchdowns: Their returners have been very productive. Ball placement and coverage units have a big challenge. Our own return game needs to get going tonight.



Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers defer and Patterson takes it to the house. If this is the only TD they give up, it won’t matter in the end.

Boykin responsible for the Packers’ first three first downs.

Those naked boot play actions don’t seem to be very effective this year.

Interesting to note how much they’re tossing the ball to Lacy rather than the traditional handoff.

Give Rodgers just one great receiver, and he’ll make you pay.

Patterson and Peterson are slippery. The defense needs to clamp down on tackling, and they’ll be forcing a lot of punts.

Packers continue to work their three wide receiver sets, despite injuries at the position.

Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 7 MIN 7


What was that? McCarthy totally showing his hand with seven offensive linemen on the field. Maybe it sets something up for later?

Rodgers with tons of time but no one to throw to. Takes a coverage sack and Crosby puts the Packers up 10-7.

Wasn’t lowering the head like that supposed to be a penalty for ball carriers?

Packers need to lock up their emotion and play with some discipline. Datone Jones gift-wraps 3 points for the Vikings.

McCarthy talked about Ponder’s mobility in the pre-game interview. So far it’s been bothersome, but not a huge problem.

White Lightning! How that throw and catch are made is beyond me… Rodgers and Nelson make it 17-10

Great discipline with the gaps on that play by Lattimore to stop Peterson.

Packers force Vikings to punt with 1:46 left in the half. They can double up on points here, since they deferred.

Hyde does his own Patterson impression and takes it to the house! Great return by the rookie.

A horrible pass interference call against Williams helps the Vikings get a touchdown in the final seconds of the half.

Score at end of 1st half:  GB 24 MIN 17


Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – Second Half:

Franklin replaced by Hyde on kickoff returns after making a few poor decisions.

Quarless makes a nice solid block on the DE to help Lacy get 10 yards and a first down.

Penalties are making this game closer than it should be so far.

Love Rodgers’ competitiveness and drive to get into the endzone, but I hate seeing him get piled on like that.

Mike Daniels is playing his butt off this year. Great sack on Ponder.

Rodgers isn’t sliding virtually at all tonight… Worries me.

WOW. How the heck did the Packers get that first down? Rodgers escapes a jersey grab and Boykin makes a great second effort after the catch.

Sitton = Thor’s before picture for Weight Watchers #JimmyFallon

Score at end of 3rd quarter:  GB 31 MIN 17


When was the last time the Packers had two rushing TDs with two different running backs?

The Packers’ performance with all these injuries just goes to show how important it is for teams to put a lot of their stock into a Grade A quarterback.

Jamari Lattimore is going to make it hard for Brad Jones to come back from his injury and start.

And the Metrodome crown boos with a Vikings 3-and-out. Packers are owning this game completely now.

If I were McCarthy, I’d be resting Rodgers and Lacy at this point.

The Packers have not punted once in this game. Apparently it’s the first regular season game they’ve done this since December 1989. I was 7 years old.

Ponder scrambles for a 17-yard touchdown, but Nelson secures the onside kick, and Rodgers closes out the game in the victory formation. Lots of garbage time points in this one.

Final Score:  GB 44 MIN 31



Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski


27 thoughts on “Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 44 MIN 31

  1. This Packers run game is the real deal. This game was a statement to that. T.O.P., running average, 3rd down efficiency. Everything points to this being what is now one of the best running teams in the NFL.

    Furthermore, that defense has made quite the turn-around. It will only be scarier when Perry and Matthews return. I honestly think that as soon as they come back, Packers will have the identity of the best team in the NFL.

    1. I sure hope so, but the Saints are looking scary as hell right now, and the Broncos, Colts, Seahawks, and 49ers are all tough customers as well.

      Honestly, there may be more powerhouse teams in the NFL this season than any season in recent memory.

      Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

      1. Pound for pound, the Packers probably have the most talent of any team in the NFL, and they have the most efficient QB in the NFL.

        The No. 1 reason the Packers have lost two games is because of injuries. Had Morgan Burnett been playing in the first game, there would have been absolutely no way that Anquan Boldin would have had 200 yards receiving. Had Eddie Lacy played against Cincinnati, they wouldn’t have had the gafs in the run game and in the turnover margin (most likely at least).

        That secondary is so good that the front seven, even without their best two pass rushers, was able to contain AP to just 60 yards and sacked Ponder 3 times and kept him under 150 yards passing like they did against Weeden last week.

        You’re right that there are other power house teams out there right now, but the Packers are, like I said, starting to look like a team that can challenge them up front pound for pound.

  2. Rodgers only has 5 incompletions – and at least 3 were throwaways.

    Greg Jennings 1 catch for 9 yards. Hope he enjoys watching the playoffs.

  3. If the Packers can get everyone healthy by seasons end this team is a Legit SB contender!

    Where is Cow these days? Haven’t heard from him in, like, EVER!! LMFAO

  4. Lots of people talking about Jamari Lattimore making it hard for Brad Jones to re-take his starting role..

    Jamari is playing extremely well- at a starter level- but Brad Jones was playing lights out before his injury, blowing up numerous plays behind the LOS.

    I feel bad for Brad Jones, for whatever reason, he’s constantly under appreciated. He had a great rookie season when Kampman unexpectedly went down, and the very next year, everyone forgot about him and started jumping on the Zombo train. Now, Jones came in and had been, quite frankly, playing better than Desmond Bishop, before he went down with injury, and what happens? Everyone wants to forget Jones and jump on the Lattimore train.

    Brad Jones is an excellent football player. Give the guy some respect, people!

    1. The main point is GB is very deep at ILB and for that matter, virtually every position on defense (except safety). When healthy, this team has the potential to be dominant on both sides of the ball and returning kicks (not defending them).

      The better news is the defense and running game is exactly what the team needs to be to win in the playoffs.

    2. Brad Jones is a good football player, NOT a great one. Right now, I think Lattimore is being more impactful than Jones was, and its going to be hard for McCarthy to bench Lattimore just to get Jones back on the field. Hopefully they can find a way to get Jones some snaps, but it shouldn’t be at Lattimores expense.

        1. I think he probably will, but it won’t be because he is the better player. The Packers always give a starter his job back when he returns from an injury. Personally, I think Lattimore is a better ILB right now than Jones is. Be nice if they can find a role for both of them. Maybe use Lattimore on run downs and Jones in coverage… IDK, but I wouldn’t bench Lattimore for Jones. He’s just being more impactful IMO.

    3. I think the comments are more about seeing the good things in Lattimore than they are a slight on Jones.

  5. Nice solid win, but I hate those cheap TD’s they gave up at the end.

    Rodgers was magnificent. To win with that receiving corps(exception Jordy) was special. The two TD passes to Jordy showed pinpoint accuracy. And Jordy not only made those plays but quite a few more on low throws. He’s such a good receiver.

    Running game is good when it needs to be. Lacy was the sacrificial lamb as they were trying to run clock. Starks was impressive with limited carries.

    It was strange to be able to clearly hear Rodgers play calling early in the second half in that dump.

    Both teams had a kick return for TD – so that was a push, but overall I don’t feel good about of ST coverage units.

    The PI call on Tramon v Jennings was horrible. The ref should be fired for that. He doesn’t make that call if he isn’t swayed by the home crowd.

    I wanted a 30 or more point victory. Greedy, yes but I hate the Queens.

    Still pissed that Detroit won like they did, but now it’s Bears week. A win next Monday puts them at 6&2 and three and 0 in the division going into the second half of the season. Not a bad position to be in.

    Don’t think there were any major injuries. Maybe the big mo is on our side going forward.

    1. “Don’t think there were any major injuries. Maybe the big mo is on our side going forward.”

      Much more important than margin of victory.

  6. Love much about the win; Rogers was impressive. Generally, great play calling and high percentage 3rd down plays. Salute to McCarthy, and for team execution.
    Big salute to the O-line. Sure good to see after all the pre-season worries/criticism; sure vindicates those who said that a good running game would ignite the O-line. Impressive for 4th round and FA players.
    Great to see Starks rip off some great runs. Impressive to have Lacy/Starks in backfield.
    But disappointed on defense missing a lot of the first tackles. I thought was a bit sloppy. Lots of plays should have been stopped for no gain. Gave up way too much in 4th quarter…so I can’t call it dominant yet. Until they pound all 60 minutes…I’ll just expect more of an elite team.
    Special teams is worrisome.
    Tired of Refs screwing Packers with bone-headed calls. Seems we get more than the average.
    What’s with Franklin?

  7. Love beating the Queens, and with no apparent injuries. Love the way Daniels is developing. Datone looks like he’s getting a little better each week as far as some pressure. By years end, he may be a contributer. I love the running game. Eddie Lacey is the man, but, with the Oline blocking well, I feel that Starks should get a few more opportunities per game, he’s earned it.

    It looks like Perry, J Jones and B Jones all have a really good shot at playing next week. We will beat the Bears at home next week, be 6-2 with 3 divisional wins. This team is going to go on a roll, provided the injury situation is manageable.

  8. The Lions game ,on Thanksgiving ,is going to be fun. Its probably the hardest game left on our schedule. The Pack manhandled them at Lambeau, so that make me feel good about winning the Division

    1. Only three games left on the schedule that *really* worry me, all on the road (Detroit, Dallas, Chicago). This schedule, that looked so daunting in May, has turned out to be fairly soft.

      Getting healthy and winning those big games (and the not-so-big games) will be important. I don’t see the Saints or Seahawks losing more than 3 games, and those are not places the Packers will want to go in the playoffs.

    2. …without Calvin Johnson…who is the best WR in the NFL…should be an exciting game…hope we have a few additional defensive players returned from injury by then…also, who to cover CJ?…and please do not say Tramon Williams.
      Am looking forward to our running game vs. their defense…But, let’s not overlook the Bears this weekend…

  9. Who was that WR “blocking” downfield that Toby Gerhart completely flattened on his garbage time TD run? Oh, that was #15…just saying…

  10. I thought that between the opening kickoff and garbage time the Packers played a great game, considering they were on the road and with all their injuries. I was very happy to see Starks back. Nice combo with Lacy. Bad penalty by DJones and terrible call by officials on Williams or the Queens would only have 7 points at half. Defense did the job against Pederson and O-line was good for the Pack. Rodgers was brilliant given the state of his receiving corps. A nice win all around except for opening kickoff and garbage time defense. Did anyone notice if Hayward was in the game? Thanks, Since ’61

  11. Greg Jennings should have given more thought to the value of having a top QB throwing you the ball before jumping sides to the Vikes. He could have been a 100 TD WR (career) had he stayed a Packer. Instead, he’s nobody on a nobody team. If was a WR or TE or RB, I’d want to play on a team that had AR as its QB. A few bucks either way wouldn’t matter. He turned down $10MM/yr to stay in GB. Why? Ego. He desperately wanted to be the straw that stirs the drink. Never gonna happen. Had he stayed in GB he might have had 3 TDs and 200 yards last night. Instead, one catch for 9 yards. He’s got to feel horrible this morning.

  12. Starks/Lacy combo has the NFC North teams scratching their heads this morning. They already have their hands full having to worry about ARod. I think Starks averaged 8.1 yards a carry only on a few touches. Our offensive line is starting to gell with the run block. This is probably the most balanced Packers team that I’ve seen in a while. If they can stay healthy and get injured players back, this team will be down right scary!
    The only negative I have to say is scrap the jumbo package! Newhouse looked lost and didn’t even get a block off.

    1. Starks looked good, but by the time he got into the game the TOP differential and Eddie Lacy had pretty much KOd the Vikes front 7.

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