The Green Bay Packers failed to score 50 points for the third consecutive game on Sunday.
Just kidding. Anyways, the Packers’ starters actually had to play meaningful football into the fourth quarter as the Packers hung on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-21. Green Bay now has sole possession of first place in the NFC North thanks to the Detroit Lions getting blown out by the New England Patriots.
Instead of the aerial fireworks that won them their previous two games in blowout fashion, the Packers used a power attack to wear out the Vikings. Minnesota kept it close throughout thanks to leaky pass defense by Green Bay, but in the end the worn down Vikings defense just could not stop the Packers’ rushing attack.
Green Bay is now 4-1 against the NFC North and don’t face another divisional opponent until Week 17 against the Lions at Lambeau Field. That game could very well be the NFC North championship game.
Here are the players who played well as well as those who didn’t in the win over the Vikings.
Lacy is such a special player. Last year he carried the team as a rookie while Aaron Rodgers was out with a broken collarbone. He rushed for over 1,100 yards and won Offensive Rookie of the Year.
This year his game has had to evolve. With a healthy Rodgers, the Green Bay offense will always be centered around the pass.
That said, the Packers have not forgotten about Lacy and now that they have a powerful running back, they can use him to wear down opponents in the colder months.
This was on display against the Vikings. Lacy finished with 125 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving).
Winter seems to be Lacy’s time to shine. A hot Lacy combined with a hot Rodgers should scare the daylights out of opponents.
It is such a treat to watch Daniels play football. The guy just does not give up on plays.
Against the Vikings he had one sack and one tackle for a loss, but he was far more disruptive than that. He kept the heat on Teddy Bridgewater all game and was the sole provider of pass rush for the Packers.
Daniels has been a saving grace for the defensive line. It will be fun to see how he does against Tom Brady next week.
This was the quietest game Rodgers has had in almost a month but when you call 19/29 for 220 yards and two touchdowns “quiet,” that usually is a sign your quarterback is playing at a very high level. 30 touchdowns and three interceptions through 11 games would qualify, one would think.
Rodgers’ ridiculous one-yard touchdown to Richard Rodgers was longest one yard pass anyone had ever seen.
Just Aaron being Aaron.
The Packers had a bad day in the pass defense all around, but Williams was especially feasted on.
It’s unclear on some of the longer plays if he was expecting some safety help or what, but Williams had a rough afternoon.
It’s tough to be overly concerned given how well the secondary has played lately. Maybe they needed some humble pie.
Starks had a solid year playing in relief to Lacy, but he had a rough game against the Vikings.
A costly fumble that kept the game close as well as a miss on a pass kept the pressure on Lacy to carry the running game. The Packers need to be able to force opponents to respect the run no matter who is in the backfield.
Starks failed to do that Sunday.
You get a flag, you get a flag. EVERYBODY GETS A FLAG!!!
For a crew that apparently had the fewest calls thus far this season, there sure were a lot of flags on Sunday as well as penalties that were missed. Jordy Nelson was often mauled by the Vikings and no flag was thrown.
15 penalties combined for 152 yards between the two teams slowed the game down a bit and perhaps kept the Packers from establishing their patented high tempo on offense.
Mike McCarthy said he wants his team to clean up a little bit but having a little less zealous officiating group next week would help just as much.——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com 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 CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke