Packers Vs. Vikings: First Impressions – 2014 Game 11

Green Bay Packers Mike Daniels vs. Minnesota Vikings

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:  2014 Game 11 (Packers 24, Vikings 21)

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.



Packers play outdoors in Minnesota for the first time since 1981.

Just like Julius Peppers was captain for the Bears game, Letroy Guion is captain vs. Vikings.

The Packers have scored 30-plus points in six of their last eight regular-season games against Minnesota

The First Vikings game is when Letroy Guion really started to show up on our radar. Has been solid ever since…

Just as things were getting settled with the Packers LB corps, Nick Perry (shoulder) is hurt and will miss this game. Lot’s of Mike Neal today. Jayrone Elliot was questionable going in, but with Perry down, he’s up for this game.

Jarrett Bush (groin) is also out, which means Rookie Dimitri Goodson gets his first game day activity.


Today’s captains will be G Josh Sitton (offense), DT Letroy Guion (defense) and LB Brad Jones (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
24 CB Jarrett Bush
53 LB Nick Perry
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
83 WR Jeff Janis
86 TE Brandon Bostick

Minnesota Vikings
44 RB Matt Asiata
48 FB Zach Line
56 LB Mike Mauti
58 LB Brandon Watts
66 G David Yankey
72 G Austin Wentworth
73 DT Sharrif Floyd


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Miss the Dome?: No – dome was a very difficult place to compete in. I definitely don’t miss the dome

4 division wins as a benchmark: Absolutely. 78% of teams that win divison games make the playoffs.

Home averaging 44 pts,  road averaging 22pts.:  One thing that’s consistent, you have waves of production during the season. That factors strongly into that.

talk of Packers peaking too early- do you have any control over that? There are so many variable to playing good football in this league. Have to stay in tune week to week. Last week’s game will not factor at all today.

Big deal for Minn: You can’t mess around with rivalry games. Doesen’t matter where or when they’re played or what the records are.

Adjustments due to missing Perry: We’ll have a couple diff rotations in sub and see how that works out. How Minnesota plays will determine what we do.

Bridgewater: Very athletic and can make all the throws. Gets the ball out of his hands quickly

Good Minn run game: They have a good run blocking unit. Definitely committed to the run.

Vikings getting sacks – use the blitz?: Not really – they’re able to do it with four. Do a good job of creating one-on-ones and are doing a good job of winning those.

Special team errors last week: A learning opportunity. Don’t ever want to see a blocked punt and field goal . Bigger empahasis in practice this week in FG and punt protection.

weather: It’s clearing up, better than we thought it would be. We did plenty of ball drills during the week. I think our guys are prepared.




Packers vs. Vikings- First Impressions – First Half:

Vikings win the toss and defer. Putting our offense on the field first? Well, thank you!

Well, it works for them. Packers get only one first down and must punt.

Jayrone Elliot shows his speed, bringing down the Viking punt returner as he tried to get outside Elliot.

AJ Hawk looks like he’s running in mud trying to cover Kyle Rudolph. After the catch, knows he has no chance so starts running to a spot 20 yds downfield. That was ugly.

Charles Johnson was the Jeff Janis of that year’s draft.Small school guy with big play potential if he can handle the jump in class.  Packers drafted him, but injuries derailed his progress. Smart pickup by the Vikes.

Vikings with a sound strategy – send tight ends at AJ Hawk and entice him to try to cover them.

What have we learned? It will take a two handed grab for interference to be called. Ok, at least we know…



Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 7 Min 0

Vikings not looking for field goals today. Know they will need points.  Go for it twice on 4th down .

It pays off as former Packers draft pick Charles Johnson runs by Tramon Williams who gets no safety help. Easy TD.

With how the Vikings are playing this, I’d be looking to throw to my TEs and RBs. Lacy with no catches so far.

Packers have been close to picking off Bridgewater several times. Micah Hyde finally brings down a Bridgewater floater.

Packers take my advice and use Quarless and R. Rodgers on a TD drive. Take what the defense gives you.

He got that INT on the TB floater, but Micah Hyde is giving up a lot of catches in his area today. Would rather see Casey Hayward getting more snaps.


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 14 Min 7


Packers vs. Vikings- First Impressions – Second Half:

Packers squib kick and give the Vikings the ball on the 39 yard line. Where is that Crosby leg on kickoffs? Walsh is putting them out of the end zone.

Packers first possession of the second half: I want see a handoff to Lacy, pass to Lacy drive here…

Well, Mike actually complied with my request, but penalties screw up the plan, including a long gain on a Lacy screen.

Packers playing sloppy, sloppy football. 6 penalties so far.

Charles Johnson drops a wide-open sideline throw. He did show some of that in his brief time with the Packers.


 Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 17 Min13

I’d love to see Dujuan Harris get snaps in this quarter for a change-of-pace in the running game. Will never happen, though.

Packers with the tricky (and rare, for them) inside shovel pass to Lacy and he takes it in for seven points.

AJ Hawk has got to have some type of nagging leg injury. While never swift of foot, he looks extra, extra slow today.

Clinton-Dix with an impressive leap over a receiver’s back to knock away a pass. Lots of smiles and wows on the Packers’ sidelines.

Mike Neal has drawn 3 penalties from RT Matt Kalil with his power edge rush move.

Can somebody please hide the challenge flag from Mike McCarthy?

Packers defense  allows a 13 play, 79 yard drive and a two point conversion. Packers lead by a field goal with 3 minutes left.

Packers make no bones about it, line up with only 1 WR for 1st two plays. Handoff to Lacy, handoff to Lacy .

On 3rd and two, come out with two WR alignment and Lacy gets the first down up the middle.  Thank goodness they didn’t go with the toss play there.

Two more handoffs, a Lacy first down and that’s it. Victory formation.


Final Score:  GB 24 Min 21


Final Thoughts:

Taking a deep shot on 3rd and one is cool if you will go for it on 4th down anyway. Throwing an out pattern to get 1 yd when you’ll punt on 4th is not.  Let Lacy get you a yard and extend the drive.

Keeping contain and holding the edge are the two things Nick Perry does best. Mike Neal is not that disciplined.

Jayrone Elliot is quite the handful one-on-one as a pass rusher…

Mike Zimmer is a very, very good coach who put together a very good game plan.

What the hell was with that squib kick to start the second half? Are we that afraid of Patterson?

A couple of Lacy big plays nullified by penalties. Eddie was not happy.

Packers defense would have been a shambles against a good offense today.

Can somebody please hide the challenge flag from Mike McCarthy?

A win is a win is a win, but this was not a good day for Green Bay.


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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


25 thoughts on “Packers Vs. Vikings: First Impressions – 2014 Game 11

  1. This was a game that we knew would be closer than the 10 points given to Minny but………way too many stupid, unnecessary penalties. Minny receivers were wide open too many times and either dropped the ball or were thrown poorly by Bridgewater. Not happy with Tramon’s playing today. Hawk is still running into the locker room, man is he slow. Holding on Nelson, wtf was that call? Yes, a win is a win and they’re now in alone in 1st place and that’s all that should count, but……

  2. Hawk looked terrible all game I’m not a huge hawk hater but Rudolph wasn’t even 100% today and hawk had no chance the defense as a hole also did not look very good today

    1. I agree with Al when he mentioned Hawk being slower than normal. He definitely did appear that way. It seemed to me Hawk probably got hurt on the very first play or so. Not hurt to where he had to come out but I remember thinking to myself that Hawk got up a little slow. Yes, he’s slow but on that Rudolph catch you could almost see a limp when he was running to catch him. I will give Hawk the benefit of the doubt and assume his leg was hurting and it affected his speed.

        1. Don’t like Hawk anymore than the rest here but I am just trying to be fair and balanced. Something was wrong with him health wise.

  3. I have an idea. Like Bucky plays the Gophers for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, the Packers need to strike a deal with the Vikings. They win both the home and away game against the Vikes, the Packers get to take that @&^%$!# annoying horn.

    Want it back? Win both games against the Packers next season. And if you do, the Packers will even throw in a 8×10 photo of what the Lombardi looks like sitting in a trophy case.

    That thing has got to go…

  4. Meh. I expected a blowout and if GB had acted at all interested it would have been. But GB played like they were already onto next week. Whatever. They won. Bring on the Pats. It’ll be nice to see where we line up going into the playoffs (not that that matters all that much come January).

    While everyone here measures ultimate success in winning a Lombardi, any season that includes a sweep over duh Bares and the hapless and tasteless Vikings can’t be a total loss.

  5. I didn’t think it was a poor effort. The offense easily goes over 40 if the blatant MN defensive holding penalties were called and without the GB penalties. Lacy would have had a bigger day but GB was in bad down/distance situations a lot.

    AJ had 70 tackles going into the game. Not bad for a guy that’s so awful. The bigger question is what is Brad Jones doing on the field?

    1. I think Hawk got “credit” for a tackle when he was nearest to Rudolph when he stepped out of bounds 20+ yards downfield after he blew by AJ.

      Any stiff playing inside linebacker will pile up tackle statistics.

      Only a stiff like AJ could make Kyle Rudolph look fast.

      1. AJ is definitely not the fastest guy out there. It wasn’t his best day today. However, I continue to wonder why Dom can’t find a way to keep him out of covering TEs (please no snarky comments about the best way is to put him on the bench).

        1. Not snarky, but serious question for those blaming Dom, what exactly does a D coordinator do with Hawk on passing downs?

          He can’t cover RBs. He can’t cover TEs. He is awful as a blitzer. What exactly do you do with him to maximize his “abilities,” which I confess I am not smart enough to recognize.

          1. Complete D wasn’t presented in that game. It was worst D game of the season. Some flashes and, yes, thank God, there was Teddy Bear, not beast at Viking QB position. If otherwise, we would see blowout which would not be nice to handle…

      2. The problem with Dom’s defense is the 3 of the 3-4 is taking up blockers, as expected, only to have AJ simply there. He doesn’t make plays. He just latches on and gets credit for tackles.

    2. most of those tackles are when the runner runs into Hawk by accident five yards past the line of scrimmage….he’s been a fine Packer but its gotta be his last year or he’s got something over on Ted T….

  6. Division games can be tight and unpredictable at times, I am hoping that was just what we saw today. Overall I thought they came out pretty flat especially in terms of passing offense and defense.

    If they play like that against the Pats even at Lambeau then they are going to take a beating. I thought we could have easily lost that game today against a better QB, Vikings’ receivers were wide open thanks to blown coverages at times but luckily Bridgewater couldn’t find them.

    The main plus point is obviously Lacy running well, they are going to need to have some semblance of a running game against New England to keep that defense honest.

    At the end of the day a win is a win even if you don’t play your best football. But they need to be a lot better next week against a formidable New England.

  7. Today was a good illustration on the value that Nick Perry brings to the defense. Holds the edge better than any of our LB’s and it’s not close. Always troubling when you see #59 on the field. Hawk looked awful, and I too am not usually a Hawk hater. SoCalSchen put it best when he texted me a message saying Hawk tackles like a punter. I was very surprised how poorly Hyde played. Always seemed either late or confused, even on PR. — game kind of reminds me of yesterday’s Badger game at Kinnick stadium, always a tough place for Bucky to play, just like this game in Minny for the Pack. Good division win. GoPack!

  8. The Packers hurt themselves today with offensive and defensive penalties, otherwise this game is probably about 34-13 Pack. In any case we got the win and the Kitties lost so we sit alone on top of the division. Hawk cannot be allowed to cover Gronk in the Pats game next week. Also, Hyde had a pick but he did not have a good game otherwise. Packers offense was very balanced, 32 runs and 30 passes. Just not as efficient as usual due to penalties. Bakhtiari with too many holding calls. A road win and 7 wins out of last 8. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Too true…even with Kyle Orton under center, Buffalo will be no pushover at their place.

      I watched both Packers and Lions vs. Pats today. The Pats have plenty of cover guys, but they seemed to have Stafford thoroughly confused today. He was pressured a lot, too. The bottom line: the Lions might have added Tate in the off-season, but their offense is pedestrian, the OL isn’t nearly as good as it was a year ago, and the defense is carrying them. They’ll lose a couple yet, and I don’t think they’ll beat the Packers at Lambeau.

      1. Kyle Orton has had some success against the Packers. Yeah it was mostly the defence, but he’s competent enough to beat the Packers if his D keeps them in the game.

  9. on Thursday the KC Chiefs lost in the same situation against a winless team. I don’t care how we did it, we got the “W”. That is what matters. Fix the mental mistakes, hope for a different officating crew next week and move on.

  10. I had the same thought about Neal. Yes, he drew some penalties from Kalil, but Kalil is not playing well. I have been intrigued by Neal for a couple of years, but he is no where near Perry for holding the edge. Case in point, 1st quarter, Neal takes an inside rush, the lineman pushes him farther inside and Bridgewater scoots for 11 yards and a first down (I think it was either 11 or 15 yards). I can’t help but realize that Neal’s cap # next year is $4.25, and cutting him saves $3 million. A win is a win, but this was a bit ugly. Go pack!

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