Packers 24, Vikings 21: Game Balls and Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers failed to score 50 points for the third consecutive game on Sunday.

Fire everybody!

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.

Game Balls

Eddie Lacy

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.

Mike Daniels

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.

Aaron Rodgers

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.

Lame Calls

Tramon Williams

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.

James Starks

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 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


21 thoughts on “Packers 24, Vikings 21: Game Balls and Lame Calls

  1. You have to win these kinds of games during a great season. The #firecapers crowd needs to take a deep knee bend. This was the case of a team executing a well-conceived game plan and almost pulling it off. And the national media crazies who took the last two weeks to mean the GBP were locks to win it all have to realize the Packers’ D came back to earth and played exactly the game this particular D will play. They are not going to shut down every team, and they are going to give up more than we hope they will on more than a few plays. We have to live with that and hope that the opponent each week doesn’t figure out our offense AND defense as the Vikings almost did — the key word being ALMOST.

    (And BTW, we should keep and eye on the Minnesotas for the future. They’ve got some coaching and some young players who are only going to get better. Bridgewater has some talent and just needs to get older.)

  2. I thought Micah Hyde could be in the lame calls category. He, like the rest of the secondary, did not play very well. Seemed a step behind and that hold on Patterson on the Burnett interception was a head-scratcher. Good to gut out a division win on the road. GoPack!

    1. Thoughts on Hyde’s performance yesterday are widely varied. CHTV gave him a red chip for the INT, sack and punt return, while acknowledging difficulties in other areas. Al noted Hyde’s coverage issues, asking for more Hayward. Overall there seemed to be more positives than negatives, but Micah certainly had an up and down day.

    1. Some of those kickoffs (in this and other games) must be a type of a called coverage play. Crosby’s kickoff range also varies widely according to the weather. Still don’t understand why teams just don’t kick it out of the end zone as much as possible to avoid a run back.

      1. Yep… I’ve heard that nonsense year after year from the Packers staff. In the 4th quarter they had the wind at their backs… and still all he could do was kick it to the 3 on a line drive. The Vikings returned it to the 37. So there are two disconnects… 1) when Crosby should be trying to put it deep into the endzone and 2) that when your return team sucks… that you should be kicking it out of the endzone. Both answers are ALWAYS… yet the staff thinks otherwise. Either they are trying to save his leg, he can’t do it or they are idiots.

        1. A good point, but that is an apples to oranges comparison, even in the same conditions. The same conditions can effect different kickers in different ways.

  3. The way I look at this game is that the Packers had a bit of a let down against a division opponent on the road and still won the game. They made some mistakes/penalties and didn’t cover well on defense, especially T. Williams and Hyde but they made enough plays to win the game and the OL took over the game in the 4th qtr on the winning TD drive and to run out the clock. It was a closer game than expected but on the other hand the Packers never trailed in the game and got the win which is all that matters. Since the bye week the Packers have moved from #7 in NFC playoff standings to #2. Great job by MM and the team. Time to focus on the Pats. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Well stated. Not every game can/will be a blowout. Division games are tough, especially on the road (just ask KC). There is a reason for the cliche’ “throw the records out the window” during divisional games. It was good to see the team get tested and come out victorious. They played sloppily and managed to squeak one out. Nice win! GoPack!

  4. Hard to rag on the team after a win but for most fans the Packers didn’t live up to expectations. Hand it to the Vikings they played well and executed a good game plan. They have the start of a good team and a coaching staff to get them there. Going forward, they are definitely a more dangerous team than the Bears.

    What troubles me about yesterday’s game is the mistakes made at critical times in this game. Guys like Tramon Williams, Hyde, Hawk and Davante Adams made some costly errors that, against a better opponent, may have been the difference in winning. A team like the Patriots will not let us get away with sloppy play.

    1. The Patriots are one of the most penalized teams in the league, so they’re going to make their mistakes, too…

  5. A win on the road against a motivated long time division rival is always a good thing. Loved seeing Lacy getting his groove on. The defensive backs had a bad game, let’s hope it was just an off game, because, if they play like that next week, Brady will destroy them. It was disappointing watching our D backs look confused again. I was hoping that was all in the past. I also hope we have an answer for the Pats TE next week! I hope Perry can go and Clays groin is healthy.

  6. If Eddie Lacy had 125 yards on 25 carries I would say the offensive line should get some credit.

  7. Off topic: After watching the Saints/Ravens game, there’s no doubt AR’s hamstring cost GB the win. The Saints D is b-a-d bad. We’re talking epic proportions bad. The Ravens’s D wasn’t stellar, but at they could generate a pass rush (and there’s no doubt they’re the dirtiest team in the league).

    While we’re concerned about the Packers D, there’s some terrible defense being played across the NFL. A quick mental run through of the divisions brings to mind only Miami, Buffalo, AZ, and NE as playing consistently good D. Detroit’s secondary is horrible. SEA has been inconsistent. It’s hard to believe this is 100% attributable to the rules changes, but perhaps that’s it.

  8. Vikes were first team to show up in a while and even they had no problem playing GB fairly even. This week our defense will get to see a real offense for maybe the first time this year. Yes, NOR shellacked us but they have lost 3 straight at home since, proving that we haven’t faced a real offense yet. Anything can happen in football, we all know that, but barring a 4 std deviation game, I see the Pats putting a whoopin on our boys this week. MMM’s play calling and challenges and declinining penalties he should take should be worth 14 points alone for the Pats.

    1. So I expect with that kind of pessimism you are going to skip watching the game. Expecting a drilling can’t be much fun. You have set yourself up for a great “I told you so” though.

      1. Oh, he’s going to watch while praying for a drilling. Remember, he’s part of the group that last year was saying how much better MN’s roster was than GB’s, Speileman was so much smarter than TT, Kaepernick was going to revolutionize the game, Trestman was such a better coach than MM, etc., etc. Now MN has a depleted roster, Kaepernick can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and Trestman’s about to get fired. 0 for 4 and counting.

Comments are closed.