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Two teams advanced, one looked Super

Wild Card Playoffs - Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

Saturday’s start of the postseason went according to form, as the division champion No. 3 seeds in each conference advanced by winning at home, eliminating the wild card No. 6 seeds. But the similarities between the two games end there.

In Houston, the Texans won an ugly game over the Bengals but did nothing to suggest that they have much of a chance of winning next weekend at New England — let alone winning two more games to get to the Super Bowl. In Green Bay, however, the Packers looked like legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

Before I go on: Yes, the Vikings were hamstrung by losing starting quarterback Christian Ponder to an elbow injury, and the Packers may not have won so convincingly if they weren’t playing against the Vikings’ overmatched backup quarterback, Joe Webb, who hadn’t thrown a pass all season. The Packers’ defense won’t get that lucky again in the playoffs.

But what really struck me about the Packers on Sunday is that they were winning for the same reason that they won the Super Bowl two years ago, and the same reason that they were the NFL’s best team in the regular season one year ago. That reason is Aaron Rodgers, who has played the quarterback position as well as it has ever been played over the last three years. With Rodgers running the offense, there’s every reason to believe the Packers can win at San Francisco next weekend, and then win again (either at Atlanta or back at home in Green Bay) in the NFC Championship Game. These Packers have a Super Bowl feel to them.

The Texans are another story. Quarterback Matt Schaub had his first playoff start, and he did not impress. Schaub handed the Bengals a second-quarter lead with a terrible pass that was intercepted by Cincinnati’s Leon Hall and returned for a touchdown, and Schaub routinely fizzled in Bengals territory, which is why the Texans had to settle for four field goals. The Texans opened as 9.5-point underdogs against the Patriots, and it’s almost impossible to see them winning in New England.

But it’s not at all difficult to see the Packers winning in San Francisco. There’s a lot to like about this Green Bay team, starting with a great quarterback.

Here are my other thoughts on Saturday’s action:

Duane Brown was my favorite lineman of the day. Brown, the Texans’ Pro Bowl left tackle, did a great job protecting Matt Schaub on pass plays, did a great job opening holes for Arian Foster on run plays, and did a particularly excellent job springing Foster on a 17-yard run in the first quarter: On that play, Foster ran directly behind a Brown block on which Brown completely destroyed Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. In a defensive battle between the Bengals and Texans, Brown may have been the best offensive player on the field.

The Bengals’ linebackers had a long day. Burfict wasn’t the only Bengals linebacker who couldn’t get off his blocks. Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga was repeatedly pushed out fo the way as Texans running back Arian Foster gained 140 yards on 32 carries. A big part of the Texans’ game plan was running up the middle at Maualuga. It worked.

What was Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden thinking? It’s hard to imagine a worse offensive game plan than the Bengals came out with, in which they completely ignored their best player, receiver A.J. Green. Amazingly, it was midway through the third quarter before the Bengals threw a single pass in Green’s direction. Green is an excellent receiver, and when the Bengals finally started throwing to him, he caught three straight passes, picking up 57 yards and single-handedly giving Cincinnati its first scoring drive. How on earth did it take the Bengals so long to get Green the ball?

NFL coaches need to learn when to put away their challenge flags. After Lions coach Jim Schwartz made a fool of himself on Thanksgiving by throwing a challenge flag on a play on which the Texans had been wrongly awarded a touchdown, every NFL coach should have learned: Scoring plays and turnovers are always automatically reviewed, and if a coach throws his challenge flag after a scoring play or a turnover, he gets a 15-yard penalty and the play isn’t reviewed. But not every NFL coach has learned. Last week Packers coach Mike McCarthy wrongly challenged a scoring play, and on Saturday Bengals coach Marvin Lewis took out his flag and appeared to be considering throwing it after the Bengals were ruled on the field to have thrown an interception. As it turned out, another official came in and overruled the official who initially ruled it an interception, and so the whole thing was moot. But coaches have got to get it through their heads: If it’s a scoring play or a turnover, keep your flag buried in your pocket.

Too bad Adrian Peterson’s great season had to end like that. Peterson recovering from a torn ACL to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012 was one of the great accomplishments in NFL history. It’s a shame that the Vikings were reduced to running a neutered offense in a playoff loss, an offense that couldn’t get out of its own way enough to give Peterson room to operate. Unfortunately for Peterson, he was playing with a backup quarterback, on the road against a team that may be bound for the Super Bowl.

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130 Responses to “Two teams advanced, one looked Super”
  1. 123makarov says: Jan 5, 2013 11:10 PM

    My predictions for next week:

    GB over SF
    SEA over ATL
    NE over HOU
    DEN over BAL/IND (expect it to be BAL)

  2. jimw81 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:11 PM

    i’m sorry to say this but games today were awful.

  3. logicalvoicesays says: Jan 5, 2013 11:12 PM

    NFC Championship game will be Redskins vs Packers at Lambeau. Redskins win 35-21.

  4. straydogblues says: Jan 5, 2013 11:12 PM

    another Texans slight eh

  5. emperorzero says: Jan 5, 2013 11:12 PM

    4 hours ago it was all about how the Packers were screwed because no way would they be able to stop the read/option. Now, poor Vikings had to play with the back up.

    Two tears in a bucket.

  6. jhein23 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:13 PM

    I agree there are only 2 QBs in the NFL possibly better than Aaron Rodgers – Brady and Manning. Yet some unintelligent fans will say Drew Brees who averages close to 20 Ints a season with a way better Oline and running backs. A guy who throws the ball 150 more times than Rodgers and barely tosses more TDs.

  7. packerbackernj says: Jan 5, 2013 11:13 PM

    No surprise. Told you this was as good as a bye week as long as the bears didnt get in. Skolololololol. “Now you have to worry about Webb and AP running.” Smd bro

  8. gsr1191 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:15 PM

    pack were like 2-10 on third down. that wont get it done in the next rd.

  9. beastmode5150 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:15 PM

    The packers looked super? They were playing a team with Joe Webb @ QB. Hardly challenging.

  10. The Doctor says: Jan 5, 2013 11:16 PM

    Vikings defense looked pretty good. Need some quality linebackers and another safety. Also could use a Defensive Tackle. On offense, Vikings would look a whole lot better with Ponder and Percy back next year.

  11. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 5, 2013 11:17 PM

    It’s not too bad. I like seeing opponents who dominate in one aspect of the game over my own team that can’t get the job done because of serious weaknesses in other parts of the team. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside to know that his season is over and done and wasted because his team wasn’t prepared properly for a championship run. This is a good thing as they certainly didn’t deserve anything more or to get any further, and a team that did a better job at building the team and preparing for a run gets to move on. Now the Vikings can go home where they belong, and they should stay there until they can figure out how to make the most of one of the all-time greatest RBs.

    I’m a Detroit fan that had to watch Barry’s career wasted, so it’s refreshing to see Minnesota make all the same mistakes we made having learned NOTHING!!!

    Better luck next year Vikes, but I don’t think with your HC and GM you’ll get there, but we shall see won’t we? I think Frazier deserved to be fired well before Lovie did. What a joke.

  12. pauliepacker says: Jan 5, 2013 11:17 PM

    These Packers have a Super bowl feel to them.What do you know…I was thinking the same thing, then I read it here. Like Deja Vu all over again.

  13. stellarperformance says: Jan 5, 2013 11:18 PM

    Congratulations to the Vikings, Peterson, and the Viking fans. Their team performed way beyond expectations and have nothing to be ashamed of……particularly in light of the professional manner in which Peterson carried himself all year. I think they will remain to be a formidable foe next year.

    Go Pack!

  14. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:19 PM

    The Packers looked “Super”? That is one seriously flawed team. They looked like a division winner proving itself on WildCard weekend. They looked far from “Super”.

  15. dabearsk says: Jan 5, 2013 11:19 PM

    Joe Webb is a horrible quarterback! And Aaron Rodgers is money..and if not for AP I think should be MVP.

  16. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Jan 5, 2013 11:20 PM

    Come on schaub didnt fizzle his receivers dropped tds. Watch the tape

  17. jusford says: Jan 5, 2013 11:21 PM

    Vikings would have lost even with Ponder. the difference was the Packers defense not getting up field, but rather play the line to hold Peterson from gaining over100.

  18. htowntexan says: Jan 5, 2013 11:21 PM

    Whatever. Every one of you picked Green Bay. They won. So what. Nearly every one of you picked the bengals and texans whipped them. Now they didn’t do it good enough. Get out of here. See you in New Orleans.

  19. trapshoot says: Jan 5, 2013 11:22 PM

    Rodgers played his usual very good game, but the defense was the difference. Getting Woodson backed seemed to move the entire D up a notch.

  20. fijabbersman345 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:22 PM

    Packers smacked my Vikings, and I’m here to own up to it like all the Pack fans said none of us would do. Good game, Packers. That aside, Joe Webb has got to go. He should not be an NFL QB, athleticism or not. This season was miles ahead of what I expected for the Vikings, and I’m looking forward to the offseason/next year. SKOL

  21. derklempner says: Jan 5, 2013 11:23 PM

    Nowhere near as close of a game as most people were expecting. The score didn’t even reflect how one-sided the game was after the Vikings’ first possession.

    Good game all-around by the Packers, and icing on the cake as to why the Vikings might have been a playoff team but showed they need to get to that next level for any real playoff success in the future.

  22. 49ersandshivabowl says: Jan 5, 2013 11:24 PM

    Ships have sunk faster that how fast Webb was getting rid of the ball. Webb would have fit perfectly into the boring-as-watching-grass-grow-bowl of the Texans/Bengals. Out of all 3 teams only the Packers looked reasonably sharp enough to be a playoff team. Just some gross football to start out.

  23. jakec4 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:24 PM

    The Packers look all right. The enthusiastic gushing might be premature considering we’ve yet to see what four other NFC teams look like.

  24. conewalker says: Jan 5, 2013 11:25 PM

    Super Bowl worthy because they rolled a Joe Webb-led team? Um, no. That game was an exhibition, not an impressive win

  25. ducksk says: Jan 5, 2013 11:26 PM

    Sorry vikequeens. There’s always next century. Another year, another empty trophy case. Sucks to be you.

  26. wludford says: Jan 5, 2013 11:26 PM

    Both playoff games today were total duds.

    None of the four teams playing looked particularly impressive. Green Bay may have looked the best of the duds, if only because they were playing against a Vikings team that lost their starting QB at the last minute, and were forced to play an inexperienced back-up who hadn’t throw a pass all year- and it showed.

    Vikings-Packers game was particularly anti-climatic, given the classic they played last week.

    Would not be surprised to see both Houston and Green Bay blown out next week.

  27. donreid1027 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:27 PM

    anybody would look “super” against that team, smfh is that the best you could come up with?

  28. drgreenstreak says: Jan 5, 2013 11:27 PM

    Please. The Packers did not look super.

    I will take a hit of what you’re smokin’, though.

  29. coltzfan166 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:28 PM

    I just have a bad feeling it’s gonna be the Patriots and Packers in the SB.

  30. profootballwalk says: Jan 5, 2013 11:29 PM

    Maualuga looked helpless out there. He watched guys run towards him and then just pass him by before he even made a move.

  31. lakermetskins says: Jan 5, 2013 11:29 PM

    Two Snoozers. Joe Webb didn’t help.

  32. packerpauly says: Jan 5, 2013 11:31 PM

    The Packers did win, but they didn’t look all that super to me. You can’t tell me that Super Bowl teams in this era can afford to have their offense take a powder with a quarter and a half to go. That being said, I like our chances against the 49ers next weekend. It will be a great challenge against a really good football team. Go Pack!

  33. dkrauss93 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:32 PM

    No teams looked super today… Joe Webb sucks but Rodgers looked good. Next week is going to be much tougher because the niners can pass and run. You can make an argument saying the Bengals should’ve won. Dalton looked like Sanchez and overthrew AJ Green at the end in the back of the endzone. At the end of the day any team can look good or bad on any given week. I’m hoping the Texans beat the Pats next week. Not too sure though.

  34. pebes21 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:33 PM

    Looked Super? GB offense was effective nothing more & Minnys offense was even more one dimensional with Joe Webb under center. Seemed more like a October mismatch than January WC game.

  35. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jan 5, 2013 11:34 PM

    Good effort. Thanks for coming to Green Bay.

  36. chuckyd317 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:35 PM

    Packer stopped playing at halftime out of respect

  37. malvaren18 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:37 PM

    Vikings are done no surprise there, Texans are done also New England should take care of them.

  38. dirtybird70 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:37 PM

    Seriously? Packer did NOT look “super” against a Vikings team that essentially tapped out after their replacement QB played in true pop warner form. Just painful to watch. Nevermind the home cooking they got from that officiating crew. Just brutal. Lets see how GREAT Rodgers looks while trying to throw from the ground next week.

  39. mcmeen0576 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:39 PM

    Nothing about Green Bay looked “Super” they beat a team without a qb. Unimpressive

  40. hurrayforyogapants says: Jan 5, 2013 11:40 PM

    I think the packers just gave the rest of the league the blueprint for stopping AD. OH well, it was a good run.

  41. cabby782 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:40 PM

    Vikings fans can go away for another year

  42. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 5, 2013 11:45 PM

    Oh lord.

    Picking on the packers because they were up 21 with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter and ran the ball 90% of the time?

    If they had kept the foot on the pedal and scored 45 you’d all be crying that they ran up the score.

    This is a Super Bowl Caliber team.

    Haters gonna hate.

  43. stairwayto7 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:45 PM

    If Packers let Webb run on them at home, what will Colin do next week at home? San Fran by 17 and I hate the forty whiners!

  44. therealstats says: Jan 5, 2013 11:46 PM

    49ers will stuff the Packer run game, making the Packers one dimensional. 49ers most balanced team in nfc offensively and defensively and last year’s playoff experience will help them next week. 49ers 24 Packers 14.

  45. rhusby28 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:49 PM

    Will the Ponder haters please shut up!

  46. jhein23 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:49 PM

    GB looked ‘Super’ for about 15 minutes in this game – 2nd quarter, 1st drive of the 3rd quarter. Thats it. Need to play waaaaaaay better next week.

  47. jt38 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:52 PM

    Hey Clay Mathews, try holding Kaepernick under 200 yds rushing…..ain’t gonna happen

  48. koenig61 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:52 PM

    Not sure I’d say the Packers looked super. They gave up 99 yards against a team with not passing threat and GB had 9-10 men in the box most of the game. Every time they showed the field GB had the box stacked against the run yet still gave up 99 yard to Peterson and 10 points. I wouldn’t call that super. Sure Aaron Rodgers looked his usual self, but that was about it.

  49. vikingshavefoursuperbowlappearancesandarethebest says: Jan 5, 2013 11:53 PM

    It’s ok, we won in week 17, i love beating the pack

  50. jt38 says: Jan 5, 2013 11:54 PM

    Harbaugh should start Alex to throw off Green Bays defense

  51. jusford says: Jan 5, 2013 11:55 PM

    the Vikings overachieving this year will only set up fans for disappointment next year.

  52. lambeauwest says: Jan 5, 2013 11:56 PM

    GB won this game going away and took their foot off the gas pedal after the 2nd half opening drive. No need to rub anybody’s nose in it.

    Hopefully objective fans can see GB would have won whether Ponder or Webb started. GB played much more inspired against AP at home. Last week was MN’s Superbowl. Congrats to Vikes on a good season.

  53. shlort says: Jan 6, 2013 12:00 AM

    Now Minnesota didnt have a QB? Before the game Vikings fans were all excited to get the best QB on the roster some playing time, finally.

    I predicted what would happen in a post earlier. The Vikings dont have plays in their playbook to use the read-option system with Webb. I also said Webb would be rusty, and he was. I also said I’d rather have seen a healthy Ponder in the game so that the Vikings fans wouldnt have any excuses for getting beat.

    The reality is this. The Vikings werent winning that game regardless of who took the snaps. Score would have probably been about the same. Maybe GB would have scored another TD or two by not taking their foot off the gas halfway through the 3rd quarter.

    I dont se GB winning next week unless they play top notch football. Maybe Kaepernick struggles or something along those lines. If Green Bay does manage to win that game, I see them heading to the SB.

  54. shlort says: Jan 6, 2013 12:01 AM

    Oh, and MDS, you are 2-0 so far this weekend, while Mike is 0-2. Thats gotta feel good.

  55. threedeep1998 says: Jan 6, 2013 12:05 AM

    Nice to have refs not call anything against you either. That’s probably super

  56. derklempner says: Jan 6, 2013 12:06 AM

    @dirtybird70:
    “Seriously? Packer did NOT look “super” against a Vikings team that essentially tapped out after their replacement QB played in true pop warner form. Just painful to watch. Nevermind the home cooking they got from that officiating crew. Just brutal. Lets see how GREAT Rodgers looks while trying to throw from the ground next week.”

    ————

    Ah, there’s the complaints about the referees I was expecting. Of course the Packers only get GOOD officiating, right? I mean, that Fail Mary was good officiating, wasn’t it?

    I’ve heard enough about how the refs love the Packers. Maybe if the other teams showed up to play more often then it wouldn’t always the “the refs” who helped the Packers to a win.

    It’s a bigger excuse than hearing the Packers players saying they beat themselves.

  57. noring4youstill says: Jan 6, 2013 12:06 AM

    Well it’s obvious the Packers had a bounty. Otherwise the Vikings would be going to the Super Bowl. AmIRite?

  58. 15starr says: Jan 6, 2013 12:16 AM

    Vikings basically scored 3 points.. Ponder wasn’t the difference

  59. Vindickative says: Jan 6, 2013 12:40 AM

    Today’s were probably the worst two football games all season.

    One might expect as much of a Bengals v. Texans(!) wild-card tilt, but what of the solid week’s worth of pregame horn-gobbling of Adrian Peterson? Did the guy even play?

    Groan. And it’s still over a month before they can get the Super Bowl over with. One clings to the faint notion that someday, somehow, everyone will suddenly realize just how moronic this whole NFL business is, and stop watching.

  60. t16rich says: Jan 6, 2013 12:41 AM

    Green Bay vs Seattle round 2 just has to happen for a Super Bowl shot right?

  61. orenthalsimpson says: Jan 6, 2013 12:43 AM

    The Packers still cant protect Rodgers, still dont have a running game, and their defense is sub-par at best. Nothing about this team screams Super bowl.

  62. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jan 6, 2013 12:47 AM

    Wow. We all must have watched a different game tonight. Thought the Packers looked very, very average. Bowman, Willis, Whitner and Goldson under the lights at home with 11 days rest? Are you kidding me? They’re gonna lay the wood Niner style. #Stretchergame

  63. jhtobias says: Jan 6, 2013 12:51 AM

    Wiat a minute queens!! Just 4 and half hours ago you smucks were proclaiming how joe webb is better than ponder and this would be a good thing for the queens ? Suprised you haven’t pulled out the ref’s job us card yet …

  64. judsonjr says: Jan 6, 2013 12:56 AM

    I am a Packer fan and don’t think they really looked super. I mean if the Vikings played the Packers with Harrell starting and won by 14, I don’t think anyone would be giving them a pat on the back.

    Now to be fair, when you are up 3 scores against a team that the can’t pass the ball at all, you are probably going to play ultra conservative. Still it’s more like an “adequate” effort rather than a super one.

  65. dfouch70 says: Jan 6, 2013 12:56 AM

    Packers looked good but not super. Yes ponder was out so that did help GB. But the Vikings still had AP and the Pack did do a great job against him. Yes AP snuck some good carries in there because he is good. Green Bay’s true test will be against San Fran arguably one of the best defenses if not the best in the league. It will no doubt be a blood match. They are both good teams that kind of balance each other. They both have extremely good offenses and defenses that match up well against each other. If green bay can beat San Fran which I think they could, then they might look like a Super Bowl team. They have potential now to be one, but they need to prove by beating the 49rs next week. If they can do that they should be in good shape to go to new Orleans. It just looks like it will be a really good game and I’m excited to watch it! I just hope I don’t have to work haha

  66. sethroskull says: Jan 6, 2013 12:59 AM

    Skins vs. Atlanta
    Packers vs. SF
    Houston vs. NE
    Ravens vs. Denver

  67. dwhitehurst says: Jan 6, 2013 12:59 AM

    The Packers don’t look ‘super’, at least not yet. They do have a chance to make it to the Super Bowl, but I wouldn’t bet on them winning it if they get there. Granted, I didn’t think they’d win a Super Bowl in 2011, so anything can happen. But again, I wouldn’t bet on it. (Btw, I say this as a diehard, yet realistic, Packer fan.)

  68. Brinke says: Jan 6, 2013 1:07 AM

    Aaron Rodgers, we’re waiting for you in SF.

  69. daknight93 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:08 AM

    nothing super about the packers…vikings played good defense, but losing their starting quarterback was a back breaker and it was the difference in the game.

  70. enrifer says: Jan 6, 2013 1:12 AM

    No need for a blue print on how to stop Peterson when they play without a QB…..game plan is simple just stop the run.

  71. supermariojosh says: Jan 6, 2013 1:17 AM

    Packers did nothing but run the ball on first and second down after they got up 21. Maybe they didn’t look quite “super,” but they were just running clock most of the second half.

  72. vicvinegar1 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:24 AM

    I can’t believe the league is talking about expanding the playoffs. Did Cincy and Min even look like they belonged this year? Hey Roger, don’t water down the greatest sport in this country!

  73. barroomhero80 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:38 AM

    The fudgepackers will not beat the 49ers.

  74. aaronitout says: Jan 6, 2013 1:44 AM

    I think what stood out the most here is that Green Bay finally found a formula for beating the cover two. DuJuan Harris is turning into a legitimate back. Remember what happened in 2010? James Starks was a nobody that caught fire in the playoffs and the Pack was Superbowl bound. I’m not saying they will steamroll the Niners. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all if SF won but GB won’t be rolling over in this game. This is playoff football and this is when truly elite quarterbacks get the job done. Minnesota may not have playoff caliber QB or receivers but they definitely have a playoff caliber defense and Rodgers beat them.

  75. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 6, 2013 1:53 AM

    Packers were awarded the game before it started. Hard to win a playoff with a back up that hadn’t taken a snap all year long. Don’t see them winning in San Fran next week. Seahawks will beat Redskins and then ATL for an NFC West championship. These two defenses are still the cream of the crop.

  76. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 6, 2013 2:06 AM

    Football coaches aren’t the brightest bulbs on the tree, but McCarthy looks dim even by those standards.

  77. TheWizard says: Jan 6, 2013 2:20 AM

    Joe Webb hadn’t thrown a pass all season………or in practice apparently……..

  78. truthisbest says: Jan 6, 2013 2:26 AM

    A question for all the nitwits claiming GB didn’t look “super” tonight because of Webb’s play: Exactly which defensive position do you think Webb plays? After their first drive, GB sliced and diced MN’s defense at will until they went into “run out the clock” mode starting with their second drive of the second half. By that point everyone watching knew the game was pretty much already over.

  79. commoniwannalaya says: Jan 6, 2013 2:42 AM

    Where are all those Viking fans
    “Peterson will get 250″
    “Peterson will get 275″
    Shut up!!!!!!!!! You idiots welcome to a real mans game where you need a pair to move on………it’s called the playoffs
    Have a nice offseason

  80. ch8878 says: Jan 6, 2013 2:51 AM

    Joe Webb Yikes he just flat out sucks.

    With that said the Vikings clearly need WR’s badly.

  81. ripster65 says: Jan 6, 2013 3:29 AM

    The Pack needs to step it up a bit next week if they expect to advance. 49ers at home can be a tough out.

  82. hushbrother says: Jan 6, 2013 4:03 AM

    If Peterson is he obvious MVP, why wasn’t he able to carry his team to at least a respectable performance in the face of adversity? Is his performance so dependent on having a competent QB running the team’s offense that he cant be nearly as effective a running back without one? That doesn’t sound like an MVP to me.

  83. broncosfan29 says: Jan 6, 2013 4:23 AM

    How were they so impressive? Pack loses next week at SF

  84. blarry21 says: Jan 6, 2013 5:42 AM

    It is possible for a team to look “super” even if their opponent is by far inferior. It’s not Green Bay’s fault that Minnesota has no QB. It’s funny that even Tony Dungy picked the Vikings to win behind the leadership of Joe Webb. Now after the Packers dominated, everyone is trying to say the Viking weren’t that good anyway. Really? Even with AD the MVP?

  85. bla bla bla says: Jan 6, 2013 6:40 AM

    Packers could have put up 50+ had they kept after it. There was no reason to.

  86. allday296 says: Jan 6, 2013 6:45 AM

    Nice blueprint 508, that’s dominating defense. I am surprised Sabol didn’t come out the grave to chronicle how amazing that D is. Any team with a person playing QB Will have success.

  87. commoniwannalaya says: Jan 6, 2013 6:59 AM

    Go pack go
    All the way to the Super Bowl

  88. tim2200 says: Jan 6, 2013 7:46 AM

    Love San Fran next weekend. Rodgers may not survive ’til the end of the game. That O line is less than mediocre in pass protection.

  89. acmepacker says: Jan 6, 2013 7:48 AM

    Last night’s game against Minn was s snoozer but it was a win. I actually felt bad for the Vikes fans that they made it to the playoffs and then got to watch Webb, although I don’t think Ponder would have won the game. Once GB realized Minn had trouble scoring, they started playing conservative football and that made the game a little dull. AP continues to amaze me though. We felt our defense jelled because we “contained” him for 99 yards! I just wonder how long his body is going to last through the pounding he’s given it and what is post football years will be like. He’s a one man offense.

  90. maddbearfan says: Jan 6, 2013 7:56 AM

    Yep, the Pack laid down last week cuz they didn’t want the pissed off Bears in there. But it’s just as much the Bears fault too.

  91. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jan 6, 2013 8:07 AM

    Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.

  92. blazertop says: Jan 6, 2013 8:37 AM

    The Bengals put on one of the worst offensive games I have ever seen and it was still a close game. The Colts have got to be loving that Kubiak is staying in Houston to keep choking ever year like this.

  93. dougy1970 says: Jan 6, 2013 8:37 AM

    When Webb tripped over Mathews for the sack, it was clear in the replay that the blocked Mathews deliberately did a diving, blind roll in the general direction of the QB and hoped for the a strike.

    Classic Duke Basketball tactics from Packers.

  94. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 6, 2013 9:07 AM

    None of the 4 teams yesterday showed any of the intensity a playoff game should have. The only thing in either game that made me think it could be the playoffs was the crowd in Texas which was quite loud throughout the game.

    Other than that, 4 flat teams playing uninspired ball. Not the slightest bit impressive.

  95. Patriot42 says: Jan 6, 2013 9:22 AM

    That sucking sound you are hearing is those that love Peterson running away from him as the Vikings lost to the Packers.

  96. thetokyosandblaster says: Jan 6, 2013 9:25 AM

    dougy1970 says:
    Jan 6, 2013 8:37 AM
    When Webb tripped over Mathews for the sack, it was clear in the replay that the blocked Mathews deliberately did a diving, blind roll in the general direction of the QB and hoped for the a strike.

    Classic Duke Basketball tactics from Packers.
    —-

    Your tears taste so good!

  97. billh1947 says: Jan 6, 2013 9:39 AM

    logicalvoicesays says:Jan 5, 2013 11:12 PM

    “NFC Championship game will be Redskins vs Packers at Lambeau. Redskins win 35-21.”
    And you were so logical until your score prediction.hope we have the chance to find out.

  98. teal379 says: Jan 6, 2013 10:00 AM

    How does Ponder not being in the game make AP less effective? For 2 weeks were heard nothing but “AP’s going to destroy GB in the playoffs, GB has no answer, GB is one and done.”

    I thought it was all about AP/AD Viking fans. He was going to destroy Green Bay – remember? Oh but lose and now it’s because Ponder, a career mid 80’s passer rated QB being out is the reason you couldn’t beat Aaron Rodgers/Green Bay?

    Here’s a tip sports fan – according to NFL historian Jon Zimmer: Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (105.5) and Hall of Famer Bart Starr (104.8) rank No. 1 and No. 2 in all-time postseason passer rating. Not Brady, not Manning, not Christian Ponder.

    No – I don’t see Ponder making the difference last night, AP may have had 99 but he got some of, a lot of, those yards down by 21 while Fraiser was inexplicably running the ball with 5 minutes left in the game.

    Think about that. Seriously when you’re trying to decide if you want to extend Fraiser. Webb may have been bad and inaccurate but down by 3 TDs and only a few minutes left you still decided to run the ball. You weren’t even trying to win.

  99. filthymcnasty1 says: Jan 6, 2013 10:07 AM

    Ponder couldn’t throw the ball more than 10 yards in pregame warmups.

    And suddenly that’s a problem????

  100. johnnyb216 says: Jan 6, 2013 10:15 AM

    So far I’ve only seen one Viking fan come back here to take his lumps. Just as I predicted. Oh well. Maybe this means we won’t have to listen to them for another 8 months although I suspect that when the packers finally do end up losing the Queenie fans will be talking so much trash you’d think they’d just won the super bowl. Seriously, I think Viking fans savor a packers loss more than a Vikings win. Pathetic…

  101. chattanola says: Jan 6, 2013 10:18 AM

    During pre-game warm-ups and interviews, Rodgers and Matthews had “that look” on their faces, lingering doubt as they had just come off a tough fought loss to the Vikes.

    Then it was announced that Ponder was out and even though Webb came out of the gate with a flash, the Pack soon had his number and easily handled the Vikes–a cakewalk.

    But, I don’t know if the Pack can prevail against Harbaugh’s tough team in SF.

    For the NFC contests, I’d be happy to see GB win out but like the Pats, their team’s been off and on tepid.

  102. pats1977 says: Jan 6, 2013 10:19 AM

    Skins vs. Atlanta
    Packers vs. SF
    Houston vs. NE
    Ravens vs. Denver
    **********************************************
    SF vs. Atlanta
    NE vs. Denver
    ***********************************************
    SF vs. NE

    NE SB champs

  103. chattanola says: Jan 6, 2013 10:29 AM

    @
    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jan 6, 2013 8:07 AM

    Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.

    _______________

    I agree with you. But Peterson’s performance this year needs to be recognized for his superhuman recovery from that knee blowout as well as for carrying his team into the playoffs. Is there actually a “Comeback Player of the Year Award”?

    Also, I say shame on that GB bar that put that taunting banner up about “this is what 9 yards looks like”. Lots of comments I’ve read about it think it’s funny but to mock a man coming so close to a goal and doing it with so much positive energy suggests to me that people prefer the small and petty approach to sportsmanship.

  104. jimmysee says: Jan 6, 2013 10:32 AM

    “Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.”

    My understanding is all those votes are in *before* the start of the play-offs.

  105. thetokyosandblaster says: Jan 6, 2013 10:33 AM

    Oh look. Veeeence is here.

    Hey, your team might have been able to make a game of it if your QB wasn’t so SOFT. like HARVIN.

  106. 8man says: Jan 6, 2013 10:35 AM

    It’s a week-to-week league. And the Packers are playing next week. Which means they are still in the mix and capable of getting it done.

    Someone already said it, lets see how the Hawks and Skins play today.

  107. urcrap says: Jan 6, 2013 10:42 AM

    Packers won a playoff game they should have won. Not a big deal. Vikes made the playoffs when everyone said they wouldn’t win more than 6 games. That’s the story and it’s a big deal! Congrats to Les Fraizer and his team. Looking forward to taking back the NFC North next season and winning enough games to get the 1st round bye. Speaking of bye. 49er’s will beat the Packers. Bye bye!

  108. lambeauandlombardi says: Jan 6, 2013 10:49 AM

    johnnyb216 says:Jan 6, 2013 10:15 AM

    So far I’ve only seen one Viking fan come back here to take his lumps. Just as I predicted. Oh well. Maybe this means we won’t have to listen to them for another 8 months although I suspect that when the packers finally do end up losing the Queenie fans will be talking so much trash you’d think they’d just won the super bowl. Seriously, I think Viking fans savor a packers loss more than a Vikings win. Pathetic…
    …………………………………………………………………….

    Of course they do, johnnyb216. Jealousy is all those fans have to hang on to. I guess 50 plus years of futility and an empty trophy case will do that to you. Oh, but they do have all of those Division Championships……….

  109. 7ransponder says: Jan 6, 2013 10:56 AM

    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says:
    Jan 6, 2013 8:07 AM
    Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.

    ———————

    It may surprise you to learn this, but the MVP award is based on the REGULAR SEASON performances. Stop trying to tear every other team down because yours was terrible this year.

  110. 49ersandshivabowl says: Jan 6, 2013 10:57 AM

    The packers looked to me to be a good team but it’s hard to evaluate just how good they are/were when they’re playing a team they played the week before with a 2nd string QB who looked every bit as a QB who hadn’t played in a year. The Pack played well but I’m certainly looking forward to next week’s game where the Rogers will be coming home and a classic playoff battle will ensue.

  111. vikingshavefoursuperbowlappearancesandarethebest says: Jan 6, 2013 10:59 AM

    For those who think the Packers got lucky with Joe Webb starting, if you watched the previous week’s game, Ponder was injured by a hit by Packers S Burnett. In essence they knocked him out of yesterday’s game. They weren’t lucky, they just played well.

  112. vikingshavefoursuperbowlappearancesandarethebest says: Jan 6, 2013 11:03 AM

    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jan 6, 2013 8:07 AM

    Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.

    _______

    If 99 yards without a ghost of a passing game is a bad day for Peterson, he’s still the MVP. END OF STORY.

  113. acmepacker says: Jan 6, 2013 11:16 AM

    agree with you. But Peterson’s performance this year needs to be recognized for his superhuman recovery from that knee blowout as well as for carrying his team into the playoffs. Is there actually a “Comeback Player of the Year Award”?

    Also, I say shame on that GB bar that put that taunting banner up about “this is what 9 yards looks like”. Lots of comments I’ve read about it think it’s funny but to mock a man coming so close to a goal and doing it with so much positive energy suggests to me that people prefer the small and petty approach to sportsmanship.
    —————–
    Completely agree with you, and I’ve been a Packer fan for life. That didn’t show much class.

  114. shlort says: Jan 6, 2013 11:16 AM

    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says:Jan 6, 2013 8:07 AM

    Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.
    ____________________________

    The MVP award is already engraved with whoever won it. It is voted on between week 16 and week 17 I believe. If Peterson got the votes, he won the MVP before the playoffs even started. The Just dont award it until SB week.

  115. tatum064 says: Jan 6, 2013 11:25 AM

    thetokyosandblaster says:
    Jan 6, 2013 9:25 AM
    dougy1970 says:
    Jan 6, 2013 8:37 AM
    When Webb tripped over Mathews for the sack, it was clear in the replay that the blocked Mathews deliberately did a diving, blind roll in the general direction of the QB and hoped for the a strike.

    Classic Duke Basketball tactics from Packers.
    —-

    Your tears taste so good!

    ——–

    Dont worry…Niners and Aldon Smith, Justin , and Goldson are waiting to light up the Pack

  116. tatum064 says: Jan 6, 2013 11:27 AM

    steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says:
    Jan 6, 2013 8:07 AM
    Peterson lost the MVP award with this loss.

    =======

    You better worry about some draft picks to replace that aging defense, or you may actually be LOOKING UP at the Browns in 2013

    FOR REAL. Richardson ran right through you earlier this season. That division is no longer a wrap Steeler fan.

  117. wludford says: Jan 6, 2013 11:35 AM

    I’m sure the Vikings would have looked “super” against the Packers backup QB too. Enough said.

  118. jprcox says: Jan 6, 2013 12:02 PM

    Those playoff games today where not even close. I thought the Bengals looked like they were in the preseason, not post-season.

    No energy and a complete lack of effort. It almost appeared they were seeking to end the season and go home.

    Wish granted.

  119. Andre's Johnson says: Jan 6, 2013 12:05 PM

    Lots of Texans hate on this site these days. Partly warranted, I suppose. But this is, after all, a 12-4 team that just shut down its opponent in a playoff game. The Bengals could not do anything on offense. And their defense couldn’t stop Houston from running up and down the field all afternoon.

    Am I predicting a Texans victory in New England? No, but I don’t think we’ll see another 42-14 beatdown. The Texans must continue to play great defense anda find a way to turn field goals to touchdowns.

    And the Patriots have been underwhelming in the playoffs (at home) at times.

    Let’s at least let them play the game.

  120. themackstrong says: Jan 6, 2013 12:09 PM

    We can’t judge what the Packers look like versus back up Joe Webb. lets be honest. If they beat the 49ers in Candlestick then you can make that hyperbole.

  121. kcbuds says: Jan 6, 2013 12:23 PM

    For everyone who is saying the Packers didn’t look super, watch the game. Yes they played against Joe Webb who was awful. Does that mean they are disqualified from looking Super because they played against a crappy QB? After the Vikings came down to score a field goal on the first drive where we saw Webb throw all of one pass (which was awful), the Pack adjusted to the way the Vikings were running their offense under Webb and shut them down. After the Packers punted on their first possession they scored 4 of their next 5 possessions, and went into waste the clock mode as Webb clearly displayed he couldn’t drive the Vikings down the field to score TDs against the Packers D. Rodgers threw something like 7 more passes the rest of the game after the score to open the second half and take the lead 24 – 3, and they were all safe conservative passes. If they wanted to it could have been 45 – 10, but what is the point? They already saw Nelson limp off the field, they are more concerned with being healthy next week against a solid 49er team then looking impressive for 4 quarters.

  122. wludford says: Jan 6, 2013 12:54 PM

    If you would have told me that Aaron Rodgers would finish the game with 274 yards passing and 1 TD, and the Packers would end the game with 24 points, I would’ve said the Vikings win that game.

    The truth is that the Packers played a much better game last week in the loss to the Vikings than they did in their win over the Vikings with their 2nd string QB.

  123. rikker12 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:05 PM

    I like the way a lot of fans where saying how the Vikings are going to take care of the Packers and beat them….. NOW they are saying how the Packers ONLY beat them because of Joe Webb… How many excuses can you possible come up with? Just get over it and admit that the Packers are the better team and Organization … You played above your heads last week, and this week you played Viking football..

  124. 7ransponder says: Jan 6, 2013 1:52 PM

    kcbuds says:
    Jan 6, 2013 12:23 PM
    After the Vikings came down to score a field goal on the first drive where we saw Webb throw all of one pass (which was awful), the Pack adjusted to the way the Vikings were running their offense under Webb and shut them down.

    —————–

    This is wrong – actually Musgrave adjusted before the defense adjusted and decided passing was more important than ground and pound. When has stacking the box mattered for the Vikings game plan in the past? It hasn’t, yet AP only got 22 carries versus 34 the week before. Yes, the Pack changed up the run defense and that worked, but the Vikings still deviated from the gameplan they used all season.

    San Fran is much more balanced, so whatever adjustments you think were made in that game by the Packers aren’t applicable next week, you don’t have the benefit of having played them just a week before.

  125. pack13queens0 says: Jan 6, 2013 2:05 PM

    Packers can’t be stopped. 49ers don’t have a prayer next Saturday. America’s Team will be bringing the Lombardi back home to Titletown once again.

  126. vikesfansteve says: Jan 6, 2013 3:26 PM

    Bad play calling by Musgrave. Instead of AD when he started heating up, Musgrave starts trying to have Webb throw accurate timing passes which isn’t Webb’s strong suit. It reminded me of the Seahawks and Redskins games where running the ball was working well the Musgrave tried to get cute with the pass and stalled drive after drive. That’s why no Vikings OL made the pro bowl because they do not pass block well. The Bears showed if you keep Webb in the pocket and force him to throw he isn’t accurate. The only way Webb passes well is on roll outs or on the move and Musgrave didn’t call that or use AD enough. He tried to get too fancy with his wildcat plays instead of giving a heavy dose of running. Ugh. It was ugly. Btw the Packers only had 2 penalties, yeah right.

  127. iamlanekiffin says: Jan 6, 2013 3:45 PM

    Pretty sure most playoff teams would’ve looked “Super” against Joe Webb.

  128. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 6, 2013 4:30 PM

    Lord.

    You overconfident niner fans sure are dimwitted.

    “The niners already beat the packers”

    Yes, well the Niners already beat the seahawks, too. The last time they played, the niners looked like a D2 college squad.

    Also, didn’t you guys tie and lose to the rams? That’s all the tape capers needs in those three games.

    The Packers have just as good a chance to win next week as the niners do. Week 1 is almost like last season. Expecting a niners blowout is like expecting frodo to come out of your closet and tell you that taking the ring is now your quest.

  129. kcbuds says: Jan 6, 2013 10:55 PM

    7ransponder, stacking the box may not change the Vikings game plan if they are within a score or two, but when they start to fall behind time is of the essence and they can’t afford to run the ball as much as they would like. Last week the Vikings were not playing from behind most of the game, hence 34 carries. Not to mention when you say the Vikings deviated from the game plan they used all season, uh no not really. Musgrave sucks, go watch the Seahawks game where AD was running all over them, they go down one score in the second half and they stop going to AD. That is just one example of when they stopped feeding their best player the rock, even though he was dominating that game. Win a game outdoors and then talk to me.

  130. contraisloosebuthole says: Jan 7, 2013 9:49 AM

    Glad I am not a Vikings fan they are awful. Ifeelbad for AD. He needs to go somewhere he can win a playoff game. The Vikings ineptitude is embarrassing.

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