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 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
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
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
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.——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, 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 Drafttek.com.