Monday, November 14, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Packers 45, Vikings 7
By Kevin Seifert
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' 45-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings:
What it means: The Packers are more than halfway through an undefeated season at 9-0 after a laugher that carried none of the drama of a typical NFC North game in November. The outcome was never in doubt, and the Vikings need to take a hard look at how and why they arrived at Lambeau Field with so little energy.
RodgersWatch: Ho hum. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished with a 140.3 passer rating, courtesy of four touchdown passes, a 76.7 completion percentage and no interceptions. The game got so out of hand that Rodgers departed after throwing his final score with 10:59 remaining.
Questioning: There is no doubt the Vikings were outmatched in this game. The only time their offense made it to the red zone came after Packers punt returner Randall Cobb lost a fumble at his own 14-yard line. But I didn't see a lot of fight from a team that seemed to know it would lose this game before it even started. That's too bad. The Vikings seemed to want this game to be over as quickly as possible. It's rare that you'll see a prime-time division game so poorly competed, regardless of the teams' records.
No question: After a week of discussion about their performance against the pass this season, the Packers defense found plenty of ways to pressure quarterback Christian Ponder. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers blitzed often, but linebacker Clay Matthews took advantage of a pair of 1-on-1 matchups to record his first two-sack game of the season. The Vikings finished with 266 yards and 14 first downs.
CobbWatch: Cobb essentially put the game away less than two minutes into the game by returning Chris Kluwe's first-quarter punt 80 yards for a score. Cobb seems to save his best games for prime time. In the Week 1 kickoff game, Cobb had a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The fumble represented the risk-reward of a flashy but young punt returner.
What's next: The Packers will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Lambeau Field and the Vikings host the Raiders.