Packers 42, Vikings 10: Game Balls and Lame Calls

After a shaky start to the 2014 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers appear to finally be firing on all cylinders.

The Packers blew out the Minnesota Vikings 42-10 Thursday night at Lambeau Field in a game that showcased the Green Bay offense’s potential.with Eddie Lacy finally breaking out and having his best game of the season.

The defense also continued its stellar play, sacking Christian Ponder six times and intercepting him three times. Without Adrian Peterson or Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings looked absolutely inept on offense.

Here’s who played well for the Packers, and given the final score, there’s plenty to choose from. There also is only one lame call.

Game Balls

RB Eddie Lacy

Lacy set the pace early with runs of 18 and 29 yards and never looked back.

Looking much more decisive than he has in the past few weeks, Lacy finally flashed his 2014 form and finished with 13 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. One of his touchdowns put Lacy’s sheer power on display as he absolutely trucked a Vikings defender on his way to the end zone.

Hopefully this was the confidence builder he needed and will finally unleash the two-headed monster everything thought the Packers’ offense could be.

DT Letroy Guion

Playing against his former team was apparently just what the doctor ordered to wake Guion from his season long slumber.

Displaying a fire and intensity that had been sorely lacking up until last night, Guion finished with 1.5 sacks and was far more disruptive than he has been all season. It’s only one game but hopefully this will be enough to get him going as the Packers will not have B.J. Raji the rest of the season.

DE/LB Julius Peppers

If there was any doubt remaining, the signing of Peppers is now officially one of general manager Ted Thompson’s best moves in a long time.

Peppers seemed to be getting better each week and against the Vikings, his pick-six off a tipped Ponder pass put his freak athletic ability on display. Can you believe this guy is 34 years old? Hard to tell given how fast he’s moved since he arrived in Green Bay.

Lame Call

Head Coach Mike McCarthy

It’s a bit odd giving a lame call to the coach when the team won by 32 points, but during the second quarter against the Vikings, McCarthy displayed his head scratching decision making that gives so many fans indigestion.

After a sizzling start by the offense and two consecutive touchdown passes by Aaron Rodgers as well as strong running by Lacy, McCarthy got away from what worked early and the offense again went stagnant in the second quarter.

McCarthy needs to stop outsmarting himself and once he finds something that works, stick with it. Taking the ball out of Lacy’s hands that soon was ludicrous and though he corrected it at the start of the second half, the game should have been over much sooner.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


47 thoughts on “Packers 42, Vikings 10: Game Balls and Lame Calls

  1. “Lame Calls” is such a stretch. How can you call out a coach in a 32 pt win? By taking the ball “out of lacy’s hands” as you state, he is putting it in #12’s hands, who had already thrown 2 td passes. You do realize the other team actually has some players that are trying to win as well, right? GoPack!

    1. After watching the 2nd and 3rd drives with Lacy running everywhere, McCarthy throws long on 1st down the next three series for 3 incompletions and we punt after three and out. Only thing I can think of is not making our offense predictable. I won’t give MM a lame call just wondering about that – so Kris I see what you are saying.

      1. Yeah, 4th possession is
        Inc. deep Pass, run Lacy 1 yd, Sack.
        5th: Pass for -1, run Starks for 5, Run Starks for 0
        6th: Inc. deep Pass, 3 yd pass, Inc. pass.
        7th: Run Lacy O, Pass Quarless 9, Pass Adams 11 TD
        8th: Pass Sack -4 Pass 3 Pass Inc. short to Nelson Punt

        So, yes, the 4th, 5th and 6th possession, all 3 and outs, do all start with a pass, with the 4th and 6th starting with Incomplete deep passes. The 5th possession started off with a short pass for -1 to Starks, but I don’t remember if that was the (gasp) screen pass or if it was a check down to Starks. But it was a pass.

      2. Nice that somebody here is capable of independent thought. MM is a joke for a HC, pure and simple. Take away AROD and this bum is in the streets. Same w TT.

        1. Pure and simple based on what Archie? your opinion? I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s paper “McCarthy and Thompson shown the door because Archie and BigT think they suck”…….

    2. I don’t understand what Kris is alluding to about the 2nd quarter play calling. And this is from someone who is officially a naysayer regarding MM (that’s a joke).

      1st Possession:
      Pass short to Starks for -1 (like dumpoffs to RB) 2nd/11
      Run Starks for 5. 3rd and 6
      Run Starks for zero. Punt.

      2nd Possession:
      Deep to Adams Inc. 2nd and 10
      Run Lacy for 3. 3rd and 7
      Deep to Adams Inc. Punt. (I like seeing Adams targeted).

      3rd Possession:
      Lacy run for zero 2nd & 10
      Pass Quarless for 9. 3rd and 1
      Pass Adams TD! (Adams reminded to Leap!)

      4th Possession (with 1:56 seconds left in the half at GB 34)
      Pass play – Rodgers sacked for -4. 2nd and 14
      Pass to Starks for 3. 3rd and 11 (like more dumps to RBs)
      Minn off sides – no play, 5 yd penalty. 3rd and 6
      Incomplete short to Nelson. Punt.

      Not sure what Kris didn’t like about these play calls. Seems to me there are some running plays mixed in. Until the last possession, there are 4 run plays and 5 passes. Final possession produces a 2nd and 14, so there are 2 more passes. Not surprising, but it does lead to 8 passing plays to 4 runs in the 2nd quarter. Still….

      1. Agreed.

        Even after all of MM’s “stagnant offense” yesterday, Aaron Rodgers finishes the game with a passer rating of 139 (!!). And people bitch that MM “took the ball out of Lacy’s hands.” Gosh, what a crime!

        Last week everybody bitches that MM rode Lacy and that Starks didn’t get his touches. This week Starks gets some touches and people bitch that MM didn’t continue to ride Lacy.

        People bitch that MM doesn’t do anything new and surprising, and then bitch even more when MM does not continue to do the exact same thing that he had done earlier.


        I guess people see what they want to see, and at least some times that seems to mean, “McCarthy is evil because McCarthy is McCarthy.” And they generally don’t consider any context that is wider than this very minute.

        1. marpag you don’t understand. MM rode lacy when he was losing yardage every carry. Now last night he pulls him when he is in beast mode and running over everyone. There is a difference. MM can be your mentor and hero that is fine. Real men know his elevator doesn’t quite go all the way to the top.

            1. It’s the same thing every week, Guion is a p***y, MM and TT are a**clowns, “real men”, it doesn’t stop. Vulgar speech is an indicator of lower intelligence, in addition to being classless. Every time I read a Big T post I waste a few seconds of my life.

              Again, just go away. Quit depriving decent people and animals of precious oxygen and polluting the gene pool.

              1. Wow, you two should read your posts before deciding who is wasting seconds of their life. You are as predictable as MM’s play calling. It is very obvious you can’t think on your own. You can only regurgitate what your malt liquor drinking buddies say. You should try to be rational and think on your own. Also pretty sure that you can’t decide who posts on here. Some people on here may think that your posts are assanine, however, just move on instead of insulting you.

          1. I thought you crawled into the hole with Archie and Cow after a Packers blowout win. You were one of the idiots saying Lacy had lost it and Starks should starting. Of course, for years before that you were bitching that Starks should be cut.

            marpag doesn’t understand? The comparison of your posts makes it clear who doesn’t understand much. It’s also clear that your hatred of MM and TT clouds whatever judgment you have. Go away, you’re detracting from my enjoyment of this excellent blog Al has provided.

            1. Lacy was successful last night because our idiot HC finally woke up and tried running him from the I w QB under C. And you want to give the idiot HC credit for that because it only took him 5 weeks to figure it out? Like it took him 4 weeks to figure out that we should use teh whole field in the passing game – not one side or one end. You people really make me laugh. You call yourself Packer fans but you really just want to cheerlead management. Apply your brain and do some critical thinking for god’s sake. Back to my hole.

              1. Archie – you want critical thinking after we have won the last 2 games against divisional opponents by a combined score of 80-27. I’ll take that play calling for the rest of the season. After that you still come up with criticisms of the coaches. As an FYI, critical analysis also includes accurate and clear thinking about positives as well as negatives. Any amateur analyst can find things to criticize but a thorough analysis includes focus on strengths. weakness, opportuinities and threats. You see not only the negatives but you prefer to dwell on the negatives to the point where you are no longer rational about it. Based on my critical analysis of your posts and Big Ts, my advice to you is to RELAX and Enjoy, something, anything. Good luck Archie. Thanks, Since ’61

              2. Please join Big T in going away permanently. Do the human race a favor for once in your miserable life.

              3. I, too, thought Lacy was more productive running from the I with the QB under center, and with a lead blocker sometimes to boot. However, another blogger pointed out that the statistics do not bear that out. That stats surprise me (they exclude the Vikings game):

                ” So far this season, 19 of Lacy’s 53 carries have come from out of the shotgun formation, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s
                35.8 percent of his runs. He’s gained 81 yards, or 4.26 yards per attempt. His longest run of the season, a 17-yarder at Detroit on Sept. 21, came out of the shotgun. Lacy’s other 34 carries have come with quarterback Aaron Rodgers
                under center, and he’s gained 80 yards on those carries – an average of 2.35 yards per rush.

                Last season, Lacy carried 284 times for a Packers rookie
                franchise-record 1,178 yards, an average of 4.15 yards per carry. Of those, 97 carries came from the shotgun formation, or 34.2 percent of
                his attempts. He gained 453 yards, an average of 4.67 yards per attempt.”


                In fairness, another reputable person noted that those stats don’t tell the whole story. The stats do not account for zone runs from gun vs. the “dot.” Running a zone play from gun and from the dot are two different animals and Lacy is better at depth. YPC don’t always tell the entire story and why coaches don’t get hung up on basic stats. [Note: I am referencing two other persons; the thoughts and words are not mine.]

          2. To the simple, everything is simple. But how do you know that Starks wouldn’t be in “beast mode” just as much as Lacy unless you actually put him on the field and give him more than just a token carry? And what about putting Starks in as a way of reducing the beating taken by a guy with a history of concussions? And how do you know that the MN defense wouldn’t dial in and shut Lacy down if they kept seeing one Lacy run followed by another? And when the best player in the league is earning one of the highest QB ratings of his career, is it really that stupid to let him chuck it down the field now and then? Is it foolish to think that Lacy’s strong running in the first quarter might open up the passing in the second quarter? And if you want to bitch that McCarthy’s play calling so very unimaginative and predictable, how can you now be telling him to do the same thing over and over and over?

            Like I said, a lot of fans just don’t understand the thing in context. To them, it’s all so very simple…

            1. MM’s playcalling is morhing into what teh fans have been calling for and it is working and MM gets the credit for this?

          3. We assume that MM pulled him or rotated him out when it’s entirely possible that he took himself out.

          4. Big T- I agree that there was a difference between Lacy’s usage in the Bears and Vikings games. It DID seem strange to me that MM pulled Lacy out so quickly and extensively in favor of Starks, and I remember calling for Starks against the Bears. I think MM was over-compensating for completely forgetting about Starks last week. Anyway, whatever, GREAT WINS!

  2. Game Ball to McCarthy and Capers for having these guys ready to play. Defense was playing out of its mind. Christian Ponder is lucky that he left the game under his own power.

    1. Great comment savage! The Pack came ready to -play last night. Now they have a mini-bye before their next game. Then only 3 games to their official scheduled bye. This can all work out very well for the Pack. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Just think how miserable the next 10 days would have been if they lost this one…

        Some people want to pan the win as beating an opponent who is beat up and undermanned, but you still have to play the game. No one is going to put an asterisk after this win.

    2. Capers looks like a genius after that game. Hope we are able to say that the rest of the year.
      Weird stats department
      What if I said:

      1) Aaron Rodgers only gets 156 yards passing
      2) Packers get a total of (15) 1st downs in the game and….
      By the end of the 3rd Quarter it’s Packers 42 Minnesota 0 and Rodgers is on the sideline gabbing with McCarthy.

  3. Are there any good tackling drills we could send over to DC? Defense played well….but if you take away the 3 takeaways…lot of missed tackles in the backfield, and the D wouldn’t look too great.

    1. Packett – the 3 take ways were the result of strong play by the defense. Good pass rushing, good coverage and a smart play by Burnett to cause the fumble. Yes, tackling could have been better on some plays, but I will take last nights’s effort every time. Go Pack! Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Not disagreeing with you. 1 takeaway makes up for 5 missed tackles. But Just before the string of takeaways, I was going nuts watching the missed tackles. That’s all. Very happy for the scrappy defense. But when I watch other games, just appreciate other teams who have commanding tackles as a unit.

        1. Missed tackles are frustrating, I agree. We just have to take one game at a time and hope they continue to improve on defense. The good news is only 40 points allowed over the last 14 quarters, going back to the second half of the Jets game. That averages out to a little over 11 points per game. If they can keep up that level of play we’re going to win a lot of games. Thanks, Since ’61

  4. Giving Guion a game ball, now that is a joke. Everyone around him was playing outstanding, so of course he was going to get an opportunity. Even a fat blob getting pushed around will be in the right place at the right time sometimes. Agree with MM lame call. Lacy is in beast mode, yeah take him out and hand off to Starks. Great victory.

    1. Only Daniels rivaled Guion on the Dline. Minnesota has a pretty good offensive line. Guion had 4 Tackles, 2 solo, 1 tackle for loss, and 3 more QB hits. That is a good game! Guion had a solo stop on Minn’s first drive (2nd and 15) for 1 yard, leaving 3rd and 14. His other tackles were after a 2 yard gain (on a 1st and 10) and a 3 yard gain on a 1st and 10. Final tackle was after a pass; Burnett slowed down the receiver and Guion hustled over for an assist after 7 yards.

      BTW: liked seeing Pennel in there. 2 solo tackles but each tackle was after a gain of 5. Like seeing the young man get his feet wet, though.

      1. Pennel didn’t have the splash of a week ago, but he was pushing guys around and very active. Robinson was the same way. That’s what this defense needs at this point.

        1. I agree Dobber. For as much as I pumped up Pennel this week, it was Luther Robinson that caused the int by Peppers and he had another rush the next series where Lattimore was the recipient. Pennel didn’t splash as much like you said but he did have a bull rush that also forced an int. that Matthews caught and returned last week.

          Not bad. Two weeks in a row we had two major splash plays by two free agent defensive linemen that forced the int. We are getting impact plays from these guys in their very early stages of their development. That’s more than I could say for B.J. Raji the past couple seasons.

          Those three (Guion, Robinson and Pennel) we know can rush the passer at times. When they can shut down the run as well we see the end result of our defense. A total dominant defense. Looking damn good right now despite a rocky start.

      2. Yeah, as much as everyone hated Guion last week and the fact he used to be a Viking, I have to also give this guy credit. He had a great game. He said he knew these guys from playing against them for 6 years so he had a slight advantage in that regard but at least the lad made some plays and was not a liability for the first time in 5 games.

        I really hope he carries this forward along with other young guys like Luther Robinson and Pennel. Those three might be a tad smaller than Raji but they all have a little more juice to their games which I guess is what the Packers wanted to change this year. Get smaller and quicker on defense. So far it’s starting to work and they are getting better and better each week.

    2. Give Guion a break. We all recognize that he’s not automatically an all-pro after that one performance, but he did play well last night and in a role he was signed to play. He wasn’t signed to be the starting NT, after all.

      People go on and on about those fans who “drink the Kool-aid” but you look just as silly when you can’t open your eyes long enough to recognize what happened on the field and stop spewing the vitriol.

      1. Heh heh… shows what you know, Dobber. It’s “malt liquor” not Kool-aid.” Now shape up and start hating or else someone might call you an “assclown” and “kick you in the ding ding.”

        1. Hey Marpag – if we combine malt liquor and kool -aid would we have malt aid or Kool-liquor?. Maybe we should ask Archie and Big T, I’m sure they’ll know. Thanks, Since ’61

  5. Packers had only 2 INT. Morgan causes fumble, recovered by Casey. So, there was 3 TO, not 3 INT. I know you are high because of convincing victory, but you are writing articles. And articles should contain proper data…

  6. Kris – I think a game ball should have gone to Daniels. He played great all evening. Maybe Luther Robinson also, coming off the PS and making some impact plays. I’m not sure about Guion, but he definitely played his best game as a Packer to date. As for MM, I don’t understand the lame call critique. Maybe we should be giving him credit for calling the 66 yard TD to Nelson. I will be happy to take his last 2 games of play calls for the rest of the season. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Agreed. There actually shouldn’t be anyone in the lame column. That would actually tell you just how dominating a performance it was from the Packers for the person who was on Mars and missed the game.
      The entire team and coaches should get a few days off for this performance. Truly one of the most dominating performances I can remember in a long long time. As a fan, this is the kind of game you live for and why you watch.

  7. yea I still can’t get over Peppers’ return. that’s a 6’7, 287 lb guy looking like a TE out there. and even the biggest TE’s only run about 260 lb.

  8. I just thought of something “lame” that happened in that Packers/Vikings game. Matt Flynn throwing that ridiculous pass for an int? Really Matt?
    I’ll be honest. I am a Tolzein fan and I had the Packers defense on my fantasy team but come on man!! You can’t give them the ball like that especially how the defense busted their ass for a shutout. That was about the only disappointing thing I can think of because they scored off that int.
    Based on how great Tolzein played in the rain compared to Flynn in the preseason game in TN, I was honestly thinking they might put Tolzein ahead of Flynn just for this game because of the heavy rain forecast but they didn’t. I wonder if there was even a discussion about it behind the scenes?

    1. I would have to say that Julius Peppers’ attempt at a Lambeau Leap was a little embarrassing as well. Looked kind of like a whale trying to beach itself. Give him a game ball for the pick six, and a lame call for the Lambeau lunge.

  9. I concur with game balls to the coaching staff for having the team ready to go, and a winning plan. How ’bout some love for Ted Thompson for putting this team together. Not only the Arods, Peppers and Lacy – how about guys like Lattimore, quarless, and Luther Robinson? Ted keeps coming up with these guys to fill the holes.

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