Packers vs. Vikings First Impressions – 2014 Game 5

Packers Eddie Lacy hurdles a Vikings defender.

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:  2014 Game 5  (Packers 42, Vikings 10)

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.


The Packers return home a .500 team looking to build on their strong second half against the Bears.

All week, talk has been about the running game – on both sides of the ball.

Teddy Bridgewater, who led the Vikings to victory over the Falcons last week, is not ready to play after suffering an ankle injury in that game. Christian Ponder will start.


Tonight’s captains will be T David Bakhtiari (offense), LB Clay Matthews (defense) and CB Davon House (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
11 WR Jarrett Boykin
16 QB Scott Tolzien
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
58 LB Sam Barrington
72 C Garth Gerhart
93 DL Josh Boyd

57 LB Jamari Lattimore will start for 59 LB Brad Jones, who is active after missing the last three games.

Minnesota Vikings
5 QB Teddy Bridgewater
52 LB Chad Greenway
58 LB Brandon Watts
66 G David Yankey
72 G Austin Wentworth
82 TE Kyle Rudolph
95 DE Scott Crichton


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Bridgewater out: We kind of felt all week it was going to be Ponder.

Cordarelle Patterson: Unique to have a high-cut long-striding player like him returning kicks. An exceptional athlete…anytime he touches the ball, he has the ability to take it to the end zone

Packers run defense: Formations you happen to line up in are part of the game – at the end of the day, you have to run your assignments. They did some good things schematically and we’ve gone over those things in this short wee.

Mike Zimmer: Mike’s very good at what he does. has been for a long time. he challenges you, his guys always come hard, pursue

Offense success: We found our tempo and rhythm., Aaron did a great job at the line of scrimmage with getting the play off quickly and making adjustments. Big play production was obviously key When you don’t punt, it’s a good day.

Running game: Every year I have to go through this. I’m sick and tired of the negative focus on everything. Let’s be real, Eddie Lacy is a good football player. When he gets his touches and Starks gets his touches, I’m confidant everything will be fine

Big game? 3rd division game in however many days. We did a good job scheduleing to make sure our guys are freesh and ready to go.

Jordy: He spoils you – this is Jordy. He’s getting more opportunities and he’s just taking advantage of it.




Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and elect to receive.

Lacy hits hole and plows over a few guys on his first carry for 5 yards.

Packers three and out and Masthay punts. First time since Detroit game.

Packers getting good pressure and penetration right away. Datone Jones draws a holding penalty. Three and out for Minnesota.

Return of the Road Grader – Little hesitation from Lacy tonight. Four carries, 58 yards.\

Asiata is a helluva fullback for a halfback. Feet never stop churning.

Morgan Burnett with a couple of really nice, aggressive tackles already. Had to double-check the jersey number both times.

Rodgers to Nelson on that classic (from 2 years ago) play action double-move post for a TD.  Wow – don’t know if Nelson has ever been more wide open on that play…

Packers defense having one of those games where everyone’s flying to the ball. If they could only bottle that…

Do you EVER have any doubt the #Packers are handing the ball off on 2nd and 10? Ever? You think the defenses know? Um, yes… Lacy bottled up for loss…


Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 14 MIN 0

Never understand tossing it back 5 yards on third and 1.

OMG a screen on 2nd and 10. Even though it didn’t work – Thanks Mike!!!

Julius Peppers in coverage, takes a deflected pass to the house. Ran like a linebacker.  LAMBEAU LEAP!

Love me some Luther Robinson, just called up from the practice squad.  Big, aggressive – tipped the pass that Peppers picks off.

And on the very next series… Luther Robinson again in Ponder’s face. Another INT, this time by Lattimore.

Robinson playing in because Datone Jones injured an ankle and is doubtful to return.

Casey Hayward recovers a fumble caused by Morgan Burnett. three straight turnovers.

OK, so why won’t Rodgers just throw it over Starks’ head out of bounds and avoid the sack. why? why? why?


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 28 MIN 00


Packers vs. Vikings – First Impressions – Second Half:

Packers were only 1 for 6 on third downs in the first half. Viking defense is better than the turnover-helped score indicates.

Greg Jennings – 0 catches in the first half.

Lacy with a “Starks-like” cutback. Plant your foot and go. nice…

Jennings and Patterson look like they want no part of playing football tonight. Half-hearted efforts.  If I were Zimmer, I’d sit them both down.

Packers threw to Lacy with great success in pre-season. Had mostly been forgotten until tonight. It’s a defense-crusher.

Lacy now bulldozing and running through people. Scary sight for defensive backs.

Jennings draws some hearty boos as he pulls in his first catch with the score 42-0.


Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 42 MIN 00

Vikings driving into Packers territory for first time all game, as Packers defense look “relaxed”

Rodgers takes a seat, as does Lacy, Cobb and Nelson.  Jeff Janis in.

Flynn’s first pass of the season is an… interception.

On next play, former Packers draft pick Charles Johnson almost pulls in a 30yd TD from Ponder. Couldn’t get both feet in.

Janis with his first NFL reception, a 9 yard catch on 3rd and five.

Not much left to say – at this point it’s like watching the last quarter of  a preseason game.


Final Score:  GB 42 MIN 10


Final Thoughts:

Regardless of how well the Packers do, will just never understand some things MM does – especially when they continue to not work.

If you needed any more evidence of the freak athlete Peppers is (even at his age), hopefully that INT return did it for you.

Both Peppers and Adams had to be reminded about the Lambeau Leap. Newbs…

Seems like Letroy Guion found some mojo in Minnesota tonight. Perhaps we can get him a purple visor so every team looks like the Vikes?

And how about Luther Robinson. Signed from the practice squad today, ends up with meaningful snaps when Datone Jones gets hurt. I really liked this kid in preseason. Was thrilled when he was signed to the practice squad.

Early in the game, there were huge holes for Lacy. In the second half he was making his own yards with pure effort. This was missing in 2014.  Was it just a confidence thing?


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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


31 thoughts on “Packers vs. Vikings First Impressions – 2014 Game 5

  1. Pretty much a dominating performance by the Packers. Great defensive effort, especially against the run. Thanks to the Vikings for the practice. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  2. This was a thumpin that I had been waiting for. Sweet. List in order of most satisfying; 1) Good play by Baktiari and Linsley and Oline getting more cohesive, 2) decisive strikes (Rodgers), 3) opportunistic defense and decisive Safety play on run support, 4) strong LB performance; Lattimore, Hawk, Peppers, 5) Sacks/pressure, 6) diversity of blitz, 7) better mix of play call on 1st down. 8) a screen play called. 9) getting Janis in the mix, 10) no significant injuries.
    Only complaint; tackling. Are there practice drills for that?

  3. Great win. That being said Brad Jones is a dumpster fire filled with babies diapers. He couldn’t even make a tackle on special teams being a foot away from his man. Good riddance.

  4. The one screen pass to Lacy, that went nowhere, it had potential. Had blockers in front of him, but they didnt block. Clean that up, and the screen has a chance to work.

  5. …I love a game like this especially against Minnesota. Hope no serious injuries: Datone Jones and perhaps Ryan Taylor,
    Packers getting to look a great deal better in all aspects. GB stopped the run cold all night except in junk time up 42 to 0. Big relief especially after Bears ran over them. Great effort by everyone on D – sacks, tackles, hurries, interceptions. Poor Ponder. It was not all his fault. Pack came to play and now 10 days to next game.

  6. A smashing victory. So happy for Eddie Lacy!! Kudos to Luther Robinson and Mike Pennel who both shored up that run defense just as I thought they would. Morgan Burnett was outstanding!! Mike Daniels, Julius Peppers. Lattimore, the list goes on. What a enjoyable game.

  7. Great to see you mentioned Morgan Burnett- I was saying to my buddy during the game that Burnett was having a career night. He was flying all over the field making tackles with a thump. I’m interested to see how many tackles he’s credited with. Amazing game for Burnett.

    1. Yes Oppy, this was by far Morgan Burnett’s finest hour as a Green Bay Packer. If he could play like this every single game or come close this defense would be unbelievable.

      1. Unless someone dissuades me otherwise, I’m going to believe that Burnett was never 100% last year after the season opening hammy. He may just be rounding into form. Also, don’t if he was out there for all of Burnett’s plays, but Burnett plays a lot better when Hayward is on the field.

    2. Morgan Burnett is doing that from week 1 this season. He leads team with tackles…

      1. Again, tackles by itself doesn’t mean anything…

        But Burnett, and Hawk, played one hell of a game last night. Burnett in particular was all over, he had a great stop in the first half and caused a fumble. Hawk, too, had an early stop.

        Gotta give props where it’s due. It was against a subpar offense without its best players, but nonetheless they played great. If they continue to do so, this defense can be really good.

        Capers, too, changed from all those nickle 2 high looks, calling more base, more 3-4, and more cover 1. McCarthy stopped with only calling shotgun runs for Lacy. They corrected course faster than I thought they could.

  8. Hawk seems to be driving in and through guys after the catch more than I can ever remember. It would be nice to see him doing that more on runs.

    1. Yes, I keep seeing a GB LB really hit a RB or TE head on and driving him back. Then I see Number 50 and go, “Wow, about time”.

  9. I loved the butt kicking as much as the next guy, but let’s be honest. No Adrian Peterson + no Bridgewater + no Rudolph + no Fusco + no Greenway = no chance. There’s a reason why previous games didn’t go quite this well. But I’ll take it.

    1. but this crappy team just beat Atlanta… Bridgewater’s good but not that good. GoPack

      1. When did Atlanta become a good team? They’re 2-2, and their two wins came against struggling teams that are currently a combined 2-6.

        I agree that it’s too early to anoint Bridgewater, but I did mention a few guys in addition to him…

        1. marpag, I get where you’re coming from and I’m not suggesting Atlanta is great, but they’re certainly not horrible. I just don’t want people to diminish what transpired. We crushed a bad team, as we should, if we are to be considered a good team. Our Dline really took it to them and I was happy to see the degree to which our D was flowing to the ball. But, you’re right, we didn’t knock off a championship team last night! GoPack!

          1. Atlanta’s offense is good, their D is awful, although Kroy Bierman (sp?) would be a great addition to the Pack D.

            1. We’ll see how the season plays out, but I think there is a fairly good chance that Atlanta’s “powerhouse offense” is a mirage. Three of their four games have been against BOTTOM SEVEN teams in terms of total defense (MN, NO, TB). By contrast, three of Green Bay’s five games were played against TOP SEVEN defenses (SEA, DET, NYJ)).

              Atlanta has faced one quality defense, CIN. The Bengals stuffed them for 10 points on 300 yards of total offense.

  10. I see Greg Jennings stayed classy after the game: “There’s nothing I can do. I can only do my part,” Jennings said. “That’s the one thing that always sucks about playing receiver is that you can’t throw yourself the ball.”

    Good to know Greg. I guess you can’t throw the ball, but you can still throw your teammate under the bus…

    1. I usually don’t say this about players because it’s impossible to know for sure, but it sure looks like GJ got paid and that was that. It’s difficult to blame him for his performance, he knows if he gets hurt there’s no payday next year. GJ has accomplished all he needs to on the field. The blame lies with the Vikings for signing him to an outrageous contract to begin with.

  11. Peppers is definitely making a difference on the defense. I believe that even had Bridgewater played the Vikings would have had a tough night. The D was very aggressive to the ball, and outplayed the Vikings O line.

  12. ‘He made a business decision’ – Eddie Lacy, referring to the Vikings safety who decided that getting trucked all the way into the end-zone was the one thing still missing from the crappy game he played.

    Not only a helluva running back, but funny, too!

    1. The odd thing about that statement is that when football players use the phrase “He made a business decision”, it is typically in reference to a defensive player making a very poor attempt at a tackle or getting out of the way of an oncoming ball carrier entirely- it’s a ‘business decision’ in the sense that they fear getting injured, which hurts their ability to go to work and get paid.

  13. First Lacy run was vintage. Oline gets Lacy 2-3 yards and then Lacy gains the other 2-3 yards after contact. Lacy’s YAC average is going to be huge! Loved the play where Lacy knocks Minnesota’s DT to the ground (who was being blocked by Bakhtiari?) and then reverses field for a nice gain. Vintage. Someone else took the handle of Lacyfan, or I would think about changing mine! I still like Starks, and never stopped liking Lacy as the main back. Great 1-2 punch.

    Burnett had a very good game. Lattimore looked really good. On his interception, no, he did not undercut the route to get the interception as the TV guy said, but he was in pretty good position and when Ponder threw the ball a bit behind the receiver, Lattimore CAUGHT (i.e. made him pay!) the ball, secured it, and made a nice little return. Good stuff.

  14. best run-blocking I’ve seen from the OL in a long time, and a fearsome pass rush. 6 sacks & 16 hits on the qb as well as a few near-misses. Of course, Ponder helped alot, but I think even a better qb would have struggled. coverage was tight, for the most part, and I didn’t see alot of gaps. DB’s were doing a great job of stopping wr’s short of the sticks, and every dump-off option seemed accounted for. a bigger test will come next week, but I think this D will at least be great playing with the lead, and Arod should get lots of leads.

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