Packers Periscope: Week 12 vs Minnesota Vikings All Green Bay Packers All the Time

The Past: The Packers played their last game at the Mall of America Field at the Metrodome in week 8 and showed exactly how dangerous a balanced Packers offense could be.  In short, the offense was brutally efficient; even without Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley, quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 24 passes out of 29 for 285 yards and two touchdowns to Jordy Nelson while adding 31 yards on 6 scrambles.  However the running attack needed no help from Rodgers this time as Eddie Lacy ground the Vikings defense for 94 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown while James Starks provided the change of pace with 57 yards on only 7 carries (8.1 ypc) and a touchdown.

On defense, the loss of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry certainly didn’t help with the pass rush, but with Adrian Peterson’s body obviously starting to break down plus a “give up” call to put Christian Ponder back after perhaps the worst quarterback play in the history of the NFL by Josh Freeman the week against the Giants before left the Vikings offense in shambles; Peterson only managed 60 yards on a paltry 13 attempts while Ponder completed 50% of his passes for only 145 yards.

Perhaps the most interesting story of the night happened after the game where Greg Jennings purposefully pulled Aaron Rodgers aside and proceeded to awkwardly hug/presumable apologize for about 5 minutes to which Rodgers just nodded dutifully.  Neither Rodgers nor Jennings has fully disclosed what was said on the field, but as both players might be watching from the sidelines this game probably means that this will be a non-issue for either team (not that that will stop the media from covering it like it was).

The Present: The Vikings are perhaps as injury riddled in key positions as the Packers are, which is no small task.  Star running back Adrian Peterson has been hobbled by a groin injury and hasn’t been as explosive as he once was.  Leading wide receiver Greg Jennings was a surprise scratch from last weeks game against the Seattle Seahawks, much to the dismay of head coach Leslie Frasier. If Jennings does indeed miss his homecoming against the Packers, how much of it will because he simply doesn’t want to be on the field when he knows he can’t win back the fans?  The Vikings still also have questions at quarterback, Josh Freeman was expected to see the field at some point after recovering from his concussion due to his relatively large contract, but hasn’t seen the field as Matt Cassel played in relief of starter Christian Ponder when he dislocated his shoulder two weeks ago.  Aside from Christian Ponder’s shoulder injury, he will also be without his favorite target in tight end Kyle Rudolph, who is likely to be out with a broken foot.

On defense, the Vikings aren’t nearly as injured as they are on offense, but age is quickly catching up to a once dominant defensive front 7.  Star defensive end Jared Allen has had a up and down season but is still having one his of the worst seasons as a Vikings, but the biggest issue for the Vikings, like the Packers is pass defense.  The Vikings have the 2nd worst passing defense in the NFL (only to Miami) and can point to a squad of very young players as well as losing safety Harrison Smith to IR-recall.

The Future: While the Packers season very well could rest on winning this game, the Vikings have bigger issues to address.  Adrian Peterson is human after all and is starting to decline at age 28; after being the focal point of the Vikings offense for every season save maybe 2009, Peterson has been run to the ground with nearly 2,000 attempts and the cumulative damage to his body is starting to overshadow his ability to heal.  Hopefully, Peterson doesn’t fall off a cliff as quickly as Shaun Alexander did, but the Vikings can only reasonably expect maybe 1 or 2 more decent years from Peterson.

Peterson’s career could be extended by having a more balanced offense where defenses couldn’t load up the box to defend Peterson, but unfortunately the Vikings don’t really have an answer at either quarterback or receiver.  It’s obvious that the Vikings no longer view Ponder as the quarterback of the future or Josh Freeman wouldn’t have been signed, but it’s also now apparent that the Vikings are having some buyers remorse with Freeman as he hasn’t seen the field even after being cleared from his concussion.  Finally, and perhaps most ironically, the best quarterback currently on the roster is Matt Cassel, but the Vikings front office is so convinced that he’s nothing more than a career backup (which might be true), that they don’t want to start him under an circumstances.

At wide receiver, Greg Jennings hasn’t made the same impact he did as a Packer, which isn’t all too surprising since Jennings was never a scheme-transcendent player with outrageous physical attributes that could overcome poor quarterback play and at this point it seems unlikely that Jennings will see his full contract before being released.  The Vikings do have a wide receiver with outrageous physical attributes in rookie Coradelle Patterson, but Patterson is still too raw at the moment to save any of the quarterback’s careers but could be a star in the future, again if they find a quarterback.

On defense, age is finally getting the better of Vikings as their front 7 is too old and their secondary is too young.  Hopefully the secondary will take it’s lumps this year and be an improved unit next year, but in the trenches some tough decisions are going to have to be made.  Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are both on contract years and neither is likely to be resigned, leading to a changing of the guard.  Hopefully 1st round pick Sharrif Floyd can make up some of that difference along with Everson Griffin.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


42 thoughts on “Packers Periscope: Week 12 vs Minnesota Vikings

  1. Good article, except it should be noted that given all that was said, the Vikings still have more overall talent than the Packers. That is why, even against arguably the best QB in the league, the Vikings managed to split the series last year. With no Rogers, the Vikings have the advantage in talent. Thompson’s draft only strategy has to be near perfect to compete talent wise, and he has been less than perfect, matter of fact, he has been just average or less. The Packers are forced to compete against the rest of the league with one hand tied behind their back. With Rogers, they have a change to win a Super Bowl, without, they are one of the least talented teams in the league.

    1. I’m not sure I’d say that the Vikings have more talent, but they do have comparable talent to the Packers save of course most notably at the quarterback position. Then again all teams have very close talent pools except when comparing for the maybe the very bottom and the very top (say Broncos vs Jaguars)

      Also, I think you have to take drafting with a grain of salt; “less than perfect” is actually pretty good when there’s about a 50% of busting even in the first round on “sure thing” prospects. Thompson or any other GM for that matter will never bat 1.000 every year.

      1. Who said they should bat 1.000 every year. Thompson gets a lot of credit for accumulating talent that he does not deserve. Rogers covers up for him and his talent reducing policies. Because of Thompson’s refusal to sign 1 – 3 million dollar free agents to improve the talent base and fill holes that drastically reduce the chances of super bowl runs ( safety comes to mind ), Rogers career is being wasted.And for the record, I do not believe he should sign top tier 10 million dollar free agents. BYW, I am getting really tired of these ridiculous straw man arguments.

        1. “Thompson’s draft only strategy has to be near perfect to compete talent wise”

          Near perfect sounds like you want him to be hitting 1.000 or like at least .950. I’d be happy if he hits .750

          Also, every star quarterback covers up for his head coach and general manager, look at Bill Polian for example, who was considered one of the greatest GMs whose teams never lost more than 5 games a season etc. etc. Of course Peyton Manning’s injury showed exactly how flawed that team truly was.
          In reality, every team is that dependent on the quarterback, especially if they have a star quarterback. I see no reason why Thompson should be any different; he designed a team that catered to Aaron Rodgers and and without Rodgers the team falls apart, what were you expecting?

          1. I read John as saying that if TT isn’t going to pick up cheap free agent role players, then he has to find them in the draft. In turn, that means TT needs to hit at a higher rate than he has been lately. The batting .750 – 1.000 argument is still a straw man, just as John says.

            TT drafted Collins, Aaron Rouse & McMillian at safety. He’s one for three with safeties. That might be good enough if Collins were still playing. But he isn’t, so it’s a problem.

            As for Polian, he probably got too much credit for his drafting. Polian had the No.1 pick in the 1998 draft. To his credit, he didn’t pick Ryan Leaf. But say the Colts had won one more game in ’97. (Not impossible — they were within a FG in a number of games) No No. 1 pick, no Manning, no accolades for Polian.

        2. TT’s SB team. Howard Green, Charlie Peprah, Eric Walden were cheap and necessary. Pickett and Wood were FAs. Early TT was drafting in middle of rounds, now late. Feels like there is a difference.

          Everyone knew SS, C, QB and RB lacked depth/starter at beginning of season. Only RB hasn’t hurt us. Lacy as advertised and Starks has managed to be better than expected[at least by fans] Safeties and/or Dom mean no lead is safe and no deficit could be overcome. A C would avoid the Newhouse debacles. Tolzien shows crazy potential, but going into the season it seemed we could have gotten someone beside SENECA WALLACE, e yu.

    2. With all the injuries, especially to AR, the Packers are a team with no identity, a very predictable offense and an average defense…Hoping for a win.

      1. Honestly, I think a predictable offense and average defense is good enough to beat the Vikings if the Packers play consistent and don’t turn the ball over.

    3. Are you high?! Viqueens do NOT have more talent than the Packers! Packers have the edge in every positional group on D if everyone is healthy. You see the queens w/o major injuries to speak of are 2-8, while the Packers injury riddled team is still 5-5. Yeah Rodgers loss has caused the Packers to drop 3 games, but they are breaking in an inexperienced almost rookie at QB and adjusting to playing w/o Rodgers. Peterson is on his last legs as a RB. 28 yrs old major knee injury year before last and another minor one this year. Another year and he’s done. A cluster fuck at QB, WR are decent but w/o a QB to get them the ball they’re useless. Still take the Packers WR over Jennings, Patterson and whoever the hell else they have. Minn OL is better, but the Packers are w/o 2 1st rd picks. We’ll see who’s OL is better next year.

      1. Are you high. The Vikings beat the Packers last year with a 32nd ranked starting QB. The Packers have arguably the best QB in the game. There is a reason for the Vikings overcoming those QB odds. That reason is talent differential at all the other positions. Stop buying into the Packer fantasies and maybe something can improve.

        1. “…Stop buying into the Packer fantasies and maybe something can improve.”

          Because convincing Stroh will immediately change the approach and decisions of Packer scouts and TT?

        2. I wouldn’t really use that as an argument for the Vikings talent pool. Keep in mind the Packers had already locked up the NFC north and a playoff berth and no matter how much the coaches and players say they care, you know by the 4th quarter they all just want to keep healthy, go home and get ready for the playoffs. Beating a team that doesn’t care if it wins doesn’t say much.

        3. Dude, the Packers are 6-1 over the past 3+ seasons vs Minn. So they won ONE game last year, every dog has his day. Packers are much better top to bottom than the queens. Even given you ONE win last year, the Packers won TWO games over the queenies last year! Go back to the DailyHorsecrap where you belong!

      2. The Vikings do have talent, perhaps not as much, but it’s not like this team is Tampa Bay or heaven forbid Jacksonville. The Vikings are also injured, but again not as bad as the Packers.

        Overall, I’d say the biggest worry for the Vikings is what they do in the future; the Packers are all injured this year but will return next year, who is going to be back next year for the Vikings?

  2. This is a fairly even tilt going into Sunday and maybe even the edge going to the Vikes. Ponder can be effective if given time and a weak secondary. We could be fitting that bill right about now. We need Peterson hobbling and their secondary down a pint if our depleted group in going to prevail. I might have to watch with one eye closed.

    Go Packers!

    1. is an even tilt tilted? (philosophical thought). If you are hoping for a hobbled Peterson and a weak secondary from the Vikings, chances are good you’ll see both on Sunday.

  3. I would like to see our secondary get aggressive and go after the ball.

    I would like to see Raji create some push.

    I would like to see Lacy run straight ahead without hesitating.

    I would like to see Chris Banjo and some better tackling.

    I would like to see Bostick get some action.

    I would like to see Newhouse on the bench.

    Is that too much to ask?

    1. Elo, I’ll see your ‘I would like’ list and raise you a few more!

      I would like to wake up next to Kate Upton every morning.

      I would like to win the lottery.

      I would like to have to choose between Lambo and Ferrari.

      I would like a 2 handicap.

      I would like to have a suite at Lambeau.

      I would like to own the MacCallan distillery.

      Probably too much to ask, eh?

  4. This is the battle of 2 teams in a downward spiral. 2 coaches that can’t find their azzes with both hands. 2 qb’s that could beat Favre’s interception record if they play long enough. 2 defensive backfields that should wear pink skirts for their uniforms. 2 defensive lines that can’t hold a fart let alone hold a lane. The only deciding factor is… Green Bay fans rule the league. Green Bay wins
    3-0 in overtime. We be goin to the superbbowl baby…

    1. if Green Bay fans rule the league, does that mean we aren’t being fanatic enough? I mean have you seen some of these comments?

  5. Hoping to see Sherrod start on Sunday.

    Bostick should get more targets.

    Starks should get more carries.

    Raji is playing not to get hurt. He made up his mind to leave when he turned down 8MM/yr. Ditto Allen on the other side.

    I just don’t see a hobbled AP tearing us up on Sunday. Playing outdoors in bad weather in front of Packer fans should be the deciding factors in this one. If Jennings catches 3TDs to beat us, I don’t even want to think about it.

    1. I’d like to know exactly how far Sherrod is in his recovery as no one has really figured out where he stands on the depth chart. Is he still not back or is he one poor game from Marshall Newhouse from playing? Also you’ll probably see more of 2 and 3; Bostick has to start getting some attention as the Packers will need more bodies to run block and Lacy is about to hit the rookie wall and feeding him the ball this many times is going to shorten his already likely short career.

      1. Bostick would not be in the game to run block. He’s a WR in a TE body. He’s like Finley in that way. When he’s in the game he’ll be one of the recievers, not a blocker.

  6. Raji playing not to get hurt.

    Jolly out hurt.

    Pickett playing hurt.

    Looks like 3 HIPPO space eaters are out of business. Maybe AP could tear us apart after all. Now I’m confused!

    1. Well AP is hurt as well, so there that at least. Raji might be playing not to get hurt, but he’s also playing for his next contract, whether that be in Green Bay or somewhere else. If he doesn’t start showing up, he’s going to have a cold reception in free agency and he knows it.

  7. Stroh is right. The Packers have more talent than the Queens even with Rodgers hurt. They should find a way to win on Sunday. If the Packers were healthy they would be 8-2 or 7-3 at worst and no one would be saying they have better talent than the Pack. Having said that, we need this defense to play with some fire this week, create pressure and get some turnovers. Then we need I control the clock with our running game and hit some long throws against the Queens secondary, which Tolzien can do. Go Pack, 27 – 6.

  8. “Hopefully the secondary will take it’s lumps this year and be an improved unit next year, but in the trenches some tough decisions are going to have to be made.  Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are both on contract years and neither is likely to be resigned, leading to a changing of the guard.  Hopefully 1st round pick Sharrif Floyd can make up some of that difference along with Everson Griffin.”

    I have different hopes than you….I hope the Viks secondary never grows and gets better and I hope Floyd is a bust..why?..because I’m a Packers fan

  9. LOL ADAM! I can tell you’re STILL not over (let’s face it, you probably never will be) with being a new dad ha! Congratulations buddy!

  10. Vikings might have had an edge on overall talent 2 years ago, but not now. With Jennings being chipped-up like he is right now, I’d have to say that Boykin is about as The Vikings have resorted to buying players to supplement their roster, but only hit on about 50% actually being worth the money they spent. Desmond Bishop and Greg Jennings are two fine examples. (Not to mention that they were both Packers.) I’d rather have and play a UDFA rookie who is mediocre than an expensive veteran player who rides pine or is on the I&R list. TT’s way of developing players through the draft is a solid philosophy if you are not right on the verge of a Super Bowl run. I seriously doubt that ‘Raji is playing not to get hurt’! He and the rest are somehow expected to perform the same as if we still had a 4-3 defense. 3-4 linemen don’t get sack stats, they are there to control the middle of the field and push the run to the outside. As for QB talent? I see Tolzien as being almost on-par with Ponder. He got thrown into the fire without any reps with the starters. The next week after being coached by Rodgers, he was seeing the offense and making some really nice throws. I would expect him to work on seeing the defenses better this week. Like when in your progression, if you don’t see a LB underneath your #2 read .. THEN DO NOT THROW THE BALL TO HIM! It will be an INT. The kid will be be fine with a little more work. This will probably be a hard fought game through the first half. I fully expect that the Packers will make the changes needed to control the clock throughout the 2nd half and win.

  11. The only great games Ponder has had were against the Packers. We make him look like Fran Freakin Tarkenton…

  12. As far as the article writers, gung-ho Packer Backers are welcome here, but…
    Game8 Vikeings write-up might not be true in respect to a few details, i.e., the run attack by Eddie & GBs line. 3.24 is not very impressive in 2014 ball anymore. Back in the 60s 3yds. per was a good markter. In the advent of the kid down in Dallas back then tearing up the league that figure was thrown out. Then Sanders came and a few more who were weekly doing 5 yards a carry! Now that’s impressive. I guess the credit you give the Man in GB, Lacy deserves what he brings and brought to GB-land again. A good solid run game, produced by him alone, then you put the rest on the bench so long they are beyond rested. They are ready to fly with abandon, risking all to go like hell, for respect and a spot in McCarthy’s playbook the next week. You find yourself saying, look at that cat go!! And out of the block he flies.. Starks, Franklin, and Kuhn who has been leading the league in one catagory; maniac running back, bringing 260 pounds of crap to the table, which represents solid muscle on a mission. What 52 is to defense Kuhn is to offense. A crazy man gone to the limit on a gallon of RedBull & steroids. DuJuan is sitting with the nurse, thinking that is himself, and it does look like him, when he left and before that. The mix is good for the numbers, they explode as the gain possession, trying to gain a spot in MM… and so I speak in circles… but it’s still missing the rank and game totals of a Dorsett or the best all time, whoever that is in your book mine or any other cat who digs football.

  13. Dear M M (Mike McCarthy)
    RE: Run Attack-Surprise
    In thinking about what I wrote above, on Kuhn, and the GBP RB KamiKaze pilots, it might be prudent to think about using them in non-run situations, in a one-back set.(a little more, like 1 in 12 to 15 plays or so,) If they can get around the outside pass rusher, say bye… how about it?

  14. Oh, Wait, wait up… MM.
    You did that in the 2nd qtr last week and he did get around and fly (Eddie) How about James Smith? Is he fast? It seems the CBs run down our backs at ease almost. I know, you thought about that, right? Just checking. Nice going though… blah blah

  15. coverage has been employed in recent weeks. Just watching on TV there seemed to a lot of zone in the Bears game. Perhaps Dom is concerned about the Doctor’s (and maybe Burnett’s) ability to cover the DBs backs in man.

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