Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
MINNEAPOLIS -- We’re calling the NFC North the “Air and Space” division for a reason. Minnesota and Green Bay combined for 305 net passing yards in the first half of a game the Vikings lead 21-14 at halftime.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has a 143.6 passer rating, having completed 14 of 17 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been under duress for much of the first half, but he has thrown for 174 gross yards. Rodgers, however, has two turnovers and has been sacked three times.
A few halftime observations:
I know this has been said before, but the Packers just aren’t getting NFL-caliber play from their tackles. How many times are we going to watch Jared Allen run around left tackle Daryn Colledge before the Packers try something different? I know Allen is an elite pass rusher, but you can’t allow anyone to get continuous backside shots at your quarterback. Colledge needs help on every play. Allen Barbre has been a little better on the right side. But not much.
I couldn’t figure out who Allen was jawing with after the final play of the first half. But Vikings receivers coach George Stewart and defensive tackle Kevin Williams had to drag Allen away from the Packers’ bench. That could have gotten ugly.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson has often said he is more prone to fumbles because he keeps plays alive longer than most tailbacks. I’ve always been dubious about that. Why is it any harder to hold on to the ball at the end of a play than the beginning? But in the case of his fumble Monday night, I would tend to agree. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews made a great play to snatch the ball from Peterson, but most tailbacks would already have been on the ground by the time Matthews shook the ball loose.
Overall, Peterson has fumbled 15 times since the start of the 2007 season, the most for an NFL running back in that span.
It’s hard to find much to pick on when you look at Favre’s first-half performance. He’s kept his emotions in check, thrown accurately on almost every pass, and mixed the ball among seven different receivers.
We’re seeing some good open-field running, or poor tackling, on both sides. Vikings receiver Percy Harvin made several Packers miss on a 43-yard reception to set up the Vikings’ third touchdown. And Packers tight end Jermichael Finley rumbled through the Vikings’ secondary during his 62-yard touchdown reception.