Sunday, November 21, 2010
Halftime: Packers 17, Vikings 3
By Kevin Seifert
MINNEAPOLIS -- Some thoughts from an eventful first half at the Metrodome, where the Green Bay Packers weathered an early run from the Minnesota Vikings to take a hefty halftime lead:
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed on six of his first nine throws, looking awfully tentative and uncertain against an active Vikings pass rush and taking two first-quarter sacks. But Rodgers completed 11 of his next 13, including touchdown passes to Greg Jennings and James Jones. The pass to Jennings didn't happen until Rodgers spun away from Vikings defensive end Jared Allen to buy himself more time. Overall, Rodgers has completed 14 of 22 passes for 188 yards.
- The Packers are clearly targeting rookie Vikings cornerback Chris Cook, much like they did in the teams' first meeting this season. Jennings beat him for a 47-yard pass down the right sideline, setting up Mason Crosby's 42-yard field goal. Jones beat him on almost the exact same play for 39 yards, setting up Jennings' touchdown. Finally, Jones beat Cook for a 3-yard touchdown reception just before halftime.
- It should be noted that Jennings' touchdown wouldn't have happened if Vikings safety Husain Abdullah had hung on to an errant pass in the end zone for what would have been a huge interception.
- The Vikings offense committed two more turnovers, both in Packers territory. The second, an interception of Brett Favre by Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, led to an animated sideline conversation between Favre and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Favre appeared angry at something Bevell said as he came off the field. But the play was huge; instead of perhaps tying the game at halftime, the Vikings instead watched as the Packers took possession and walked off the field with a two-touchdown lead.
- Give Packers cornerback Charles Woodson credit for causing the other turnover, a fumble by rookie tailback Toby Gerhart.
- The Vikings have been playing without right guard Anthony Herrera for most of the game because of a knee injury. Linebacker Chad Greenway left briefly after being poked in the eye but returned in the second quarter.
- Favre slid at the end of a first-quarter run, coming up one yard short of the line of scrimmage. For now, at least, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was credited with the sack, giving him 11.5 for the season.