Sunday night wrap-up: See how they (the Packers) run

AP

The Packers are, and will continue to be quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ team.

But their ability to grind away at the Vikings in the second half could be the thing that makes them more dangerous as the season progresses.

The Packers opened the second half of Sunday’s 44-31 indoors win over the Vikings with a cold-weather drive — a 15-play, 80-yard march that put the spotlight on rookie running back Eddie Lacy.

Lacy had eight of the nine runs on that counterintuitive Packers possession, including five runs of 7 yards or more. The final one of that set, a 1-yard touchdown, was almost anticlimactic.

It’s the latest in a month of performances that have shown the rookie running back is ready. He’s gone for at least 22 carries and at least 82 yards in every October game, and provides the perfect complement to a passing game that is among the best in the league when everyone’s well.

The Packers have needed the kind of ballast Lacy provides, even though Rodgers and the passing game should always be the foundation of the offense.

Having a back who can keep them in second-and-short — and an offensive line that can enable it — will help them now and as the weather worsens. Immediately, it keeps them from pushing inexperienced receivers into roles they’re not ready for.

But it also adds an element to the offense that might come in handy even after injured guys such as Randall Cobb and James Jones return.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1.  Josh Freeman solidified his grip on the Vikings quarterback job, without even putting on a uniform.

Former first-rounder Christian Ponder — who isn’t that far removed from playing the kind of inoffensive football that at least did not prevent a playoff berth — looked lost.

While he has a degree of talent, Ponder did something impressive: He looked tentative in the pocket, while also ready to check down or scramble at the first hint of pressure.

To be honest, Freeman might not be any better. His play in Tampa Bay was inconsistent enough to indicate that it’s entirely possible he’s a tease — a guy with enough talent to fool you into thinking he’s something other than what he appeared to be there.

But at the moment, the Vikings need to look elsewhere. Ponder’s response to getting the hook for Matt Cassel and then Freeman did nothing to make them think he’s going to push anyone as a backup, or justify a roster spot for very long.

2. Apparently Jared Allen isn’t going anywhere.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told NBC’s Michele Tafoya that suggestions the veteran defensive end being on the trade block prior to Tuesday deadline were “baloney.”

Wilf is in an uncomfortable spot of trying to sell tickets for a bad team for half a year, and moving such a popular and productive player would not help in that effort.

But to discount the possibility of considering getting something for a 31-year-old pending free agent is also irresponsible, considering where the Vikings are as a franchise.

3. The Packers have flaws, but they also have a personnel department that keeps them consistently competitive.

Giving defensive tackle Johnny Jolly a chance after jail time is one thing, he was one of their own. But finding productive players elsewhere is the sign of a team that understands what it wants to be, and conducts job searches accordingly.

A year and a half ago, wide receiver Jarrett Boykin was deemed not sufficiently talented to be a Jaguar.

Signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted rookie in 2012, he was cut in May. He ended up hanging around Green Bay, and made several significant catches Sunday night.

Granted, it’s easier to look good catching passes from Rodgers than it is from Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne. But sifting through the pile and finding a contributor who was cut by one of the worst teams in the league is the mark of a confident and intelligent group of evaluators.

4. The Vikings have missed with some high picks lately, but first-rounder Cordarrelle Patterson’s talent is obvious.

His 109-yard kickoff return was something, and he needs time to become a polished receiver.

If they’re patient, and find someone to throw it to him, he could become a special player.

5. The Packers have been decimated by injuries lately, particularly on defense. There have been times when it appeared assistant coach Kevin Greene might be a reasonable option at outside linebacker.

But with defensive end Mike Neal stepping up (2.0 sacks Sunday), and some creative patchwork, the Packers are getting by until players such as Clay Matthews can return.

100 responses to “Sunday night wrap-up: See how they (the Packers) run

  1. A good old-fashioned butt whipping by the depleted Packers over the obviously inferior Vikings (their two garbage time touchdowns notwithstanding).

    Co-MVP has to go to LT David Bakhtiari. I seriously thought Jared Allen would have him for lunch. Great job.

  2. I was really disturbed by Al and Chris talking about 50 Shades of Grey.

    Seriously, though, it’s incredible to watch this team continue to perform with all of the injuries. Incredible work. Chicago up next on Monday night. Go Pack Go.

  3. This is coming from a life long vikings fan…

    I wish I had things to say about our team, anything special whatsoever. I love this team and I always will, through the bad seasons, through the good seasons and anything between. It boils my blood when I hear people saying bad things about the Vikings, yet, I don’t think I’m angry at them. I think I’m angry with this organization.

    Every year I look forward to the fact that at least one part of our team will shine, whether it be the d-line, the running game, the interceptions, you name it, yet this season is gone. I look forward to having a new coach next year, a high draft pick for a QB (something that management needs to accept at this point, think of the future with a team full of rookies) and another season of hope. Skol Vikings, I’ll always be here, even if I can’t help but be disappointed.

  4. Easy on the praise for GB. They are beating one of the worst teams in the NFL. Let’s not get carried away here.

  5. …only 5 things you figured out??? How about 5 more….

    1) We SUCK
    2) FIRE the WHOLE coaching staff
    3) We need to HIRE Jon Gruden
    4) TRADE Ponder.
    5) Keep sucking to get a high draft pick, again.

  6. The Packers played very well, but the Vikings are also a horrible mess right now. If not for Jacksonville and Tampa, the Vikings might be in line for the #1 pick next year. They certainly look like they will be picking in the top 5.

  7. Every week….a little bit better. They’ll peak just about the time they get everyone back.

    And all Packers posters……please ignore the low-level personal insults that are coming from Viking “fans.” That’s all they have to fight with and it makes them feel good about themselves. Rise above it….like champions.

  8. If it wasn’t for the fact the announcers mentioned him as possible trade bait; would you even know Jarred Allen was on the field tonight?

    Looking at the box score on NFL.com – he’s not listed. Was he inactive?

    Seems odd that someone would trade for a guy who’s Casper, at home against the divisional leader.

  9. The game was nowhere as close as the score would suggest. I was sore Ponder got that last touchdown. Ponder was running for his life and job tonight.
    His saving grace and he must have an angel looking over him, is they don’t know what they have in Freeman so Ponder ain’t going anywhere yet.

  10. Hopefully the vikqueens are going to have that God awful horn moved to Target Field. It’s a perfectly appropriate representation of this entire organization, team and fans. They all BLOW!!!

    Most points (44) ever scored in the MetroDump by the 13 time NFL Champion Green Bay Packers and done in their final game in the Rat Hole. BEAUTIFUL!!!

  11. Our team is just so bad!!!
    It’s really hard to watch them. A complete housecleaning of the coaching staff is in order.
    And, of course, a new QB will be the top priority.

  12. Be curious what the viking trolls have to say about Lacy and the Packers running game now that they pounded it down their throats?

    What can you say about Rodgers the guy is juat awesome!

    Not that they are playing bad or anything but when healthy, look out.

  13. Aside from a couple of lucky plays (including a phantom call) the vikings did nothing until garbage time very late in the game.

    The vikings could not sustain a drive and could not keep that powerful Green Bay Packers Offense off the field.

    Lacy and Starks ran like crazy through a very soft viking defense that had no chance against a quality offense like the Packers.

    The vikings should not be on prime time. All those empty seats embarrasses the NFL.

  14. Pack looking tough, especially with a real running game after all these years. Vikes just tough to watch. Time to start cleaning house, starting with getting something of value in a trade before Jared Allen leaves as a FA. Coaching staff can stay to tank out the season (high pick for QB), but I will be surprised if they last that long.

  15. This Packers team surprises me more and more all the time. They are so beat up yet always find a way. Missing so many key players yet still dominating.

    Greg Jennings- 1 catch, 9 yards. You must feel like a small man.

  16. We love you Green Bay. Keep rolling!! You guys that are hurting, come back strong and add to the power that is the mighty Green Bay Packers. Go Packers Go!!!

  17. Vikings need and enema and a thorough cleansing. Fire Frazier and let Singeltary finish out the year. Bench Ponder indefinitely, he is not the answer. Way to skiddish in the pocket, and cannot see the open man. Trade Allen for the best pick you can, and draft a DT. Bench Henderson and K. Williams, and let Floyd and Cole/Mauti get some reps. On offense, besides the obvious QB problem, the guard play has been horrible. Peterson cannot run if there are no holes. Interior O line needs to be a priority. Keep Patterson on the field at all times.

  18. Sayonara, Metro DUMP! The Packers may have evened things up there, but I won’t miss that place. 90s nightmares, the Favre 2009 game, etc. Best moments were the 87 and 91 World Series. Oh and the 98 NFC Championship Game, that was a classic…

  19. A couple gimme TDs at the end made this game look closer that it really was. Green Bay dominated the game on both sides of the ball, but especially so on Offense. Minnesota has a lot of problems.

  20. The Packers will make the playoffs easily, but the entire NFL should be on notice because if they get healthy near the end of the season I am not sure that any team has a chance against them. And that includes the Broncos!

  21. I will always love the vikes, but holy balls what an absolute dumpster fire. This is past the point of being embarrassing…. its too the point of being sad and pathetic… but on the bright side, its just a game, and I dont live in Wisconsin….

  22. the Vikings quarterback situation is basically like choosing which pinto you want to drive at the Indy 500.

    Ziggy is stupid if he doesn’t trade Jared Allen. Or many others players that I have named repeatedly.

    Good thing the Vikings are going to a stadium that only seats 50,000 next year because there is no way they fill up 65,000.

  23. My favorite bit from the broadcast was when Al Michaels said that 50 of the 53 players on the Packers roster had never played for another team, while no other team in the league could say that about more than 40 of their players. Ted Thompson is eating a lot of other GMs’ lunches.

  24. Don’t know if the glaring difference between these two organizations has ever been more apparent. As with ALL successful businesses, it starts at the top…

  25. 6. Greg Jennings made a devastating miscalculation. I wonder how his sister feels about Christian Ponder? He was too proud to go back to Green Bay after not finding the big money contract he thought he deserved. Now, he’ll fade away into mediocrity as a forgotten star. No more Old Spice endorsements. No more Super Bowls. No more Pro Bowls.

    7. Bears, Eagles, @Giants, Vikings. That’s the Packers next four games. You’re looking at what should be a 9-2 ball club when Thanksgiving arrives. And then… Randall Cobb, James Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry and a whole host of other players return.

    “Gulp” -NFC

  26. I have loved these Vikings for so many years. As frustrated as it has been at moments, I have never felt like the team gave up. Until now. It is painful to watch this team play. As far as Im concerned, the owners of this team have a responsibility to fire the coaching staff and others if needed to send the message that if you do not give your best play after play than you have no place in this league. If Green Ban can overcome as much as it has, players in jail, injuries, qb drama, and continue to be in contention than we have no excuses. Im ready for a house cleaning. I am ashamed of this team. They are not worthy of the colors or the name. Vikings they are not. Feel free to kick us when were down. Just know if the Packers were in this position, Id be rooting for them to get on track. This rivalry is much more fun when its a rivalry. Not practice for the Packers. Peace.

  27. What a great game The Vikings are superb
    Any people over there have some connections for The Vikings trip to the Superbowl this year
    Can you even Ponder that?
    Here is an Idea if you care for your players trade them to the Packers Allen would look great in the Green and Gold I mean you take all the Packer castoffs (Remember how you guys were gloating about Jennings ? LOL I think most of his Talent came from who was throwing the ball)
    Why not try to repay us some Allen for a 5th rounder
    Excuse While I go and Laugh

  28. 1) Non of the 3 qbs are the answer. Spielman should be held accountable for last season having Joe Webb as a back up qb. really rick? enough.
    2) Spielman should be held accountable for the lousy secondary. Especially keeping players like a.j. Jefferson on the team. Really? I know he’s bad and I am a total amateur. Robinson is fast but too short and doesn’t have the knack like Winfield(he got burned sometimes -so rick keeps josh)
    3) Trade Jared and get SOMETHING for him. It is tough to get sacks against many good tackles. Pay part of his huge salary or get squat when he leaves.

  29. It all starts with Ted Thompson and the culture of the personnel department established years ago now by Ron Wolf.

    Ron maybe as important a person in Packers history as Vince Lombardi.

  30. Is there something wrong health-wise with Adrian Peterson?

    Or is the Vikings passing game so putrid that teams are stacking 9(+) in the box?

  31. First off they should trade JA. He’s in final year of a deal and they aren’t resigning him anyway.

    Second, Ponder shud save every dime in his paycheck. He will never start another NFL game. I used to think T-Jack was bad. I’d take him back in a heartbeat. He probably will be a backup in the league for a while but no way he starts again….

    Finally, how bad is the Vikings defense? This bad: Green Bay didn’t even punt in this game…

  32. They start getting their injured guys back starting with James Jones next week. Then Perry, then Matthews, then Cobb.

    Could be another SB run.

  33. There is nothing at all irresponsible about a failure to trade Jared Allen. You know as well as I do that the Vikings wouldn’t get anything close to what he’s worth. It’s not worth trading him if no team is going to give up more than a 7th round pick for a guy that’s gonna retire in 2 years.

  34. It must really suck to be Greg Jennings(2 catches for 9 yards) and watch the team you were a star on pound the team you left them for all in the name of a few more bucks.if the Vikings were smart they would see what GB would give to get him back if anything.that little chat he had with Rodgers after the game must have been very interesting as it took quite awhile,he was probably telling AR he would give his right nut to be back catching passes from him and winning football games and that life on the other side of the hill isnt greener in any way, shape or form and he made an enormous career mistake in leaving Green Bay and their offer of ten million a year and stardom,is his sister who told him to do it also his dumbassed agent.

  35. Since 2009 the vikings 1st and 2nd round picks are:
    09- harvin, loadholt
    10-no first round, Cook, gerhart
    11-ponder, Rudolph
    12-Kalil, H.Smith
    13-Flloyd, Rhoads, Patterson,

    So im curious who besides Ponder have the Vikings missed on?

  36. So, I guess all of Rodgers’ detractors here will now argue he is just an average quarterback because any quarterback would have success with that great running game to back him up.

  37. Packers are so overrated. The Vikings were on the receeving ends of some horrible calls. Wait for the next matchup, Packers fans…it’s going to be totally different. Bank on it!

  38. ma5terbla5t3r says:
    Oct 28, 2013 9:07 AM
    Packers are so overrated. The Vikings were on the receeving ends of some horrible calls. Wait for the next matchup, Packers fans…it’s going to be totally different. Bank on it!

    ______________________
    Stay off the crack… It Kills!!!

  39. Is it coaching that makes you go from 10-6 to 1-15? If they had lost that meaningless game against Washington in 2011 Luck would be their QB and they’d be in the hunt irrespective of their terrible coaching.

  40. if anything green bay overcame some joke of calls by the refs. the PI and then phantom holding on the offense. if I didn’t know better. I’d say they wanted the game closer.

  41. TBaySlim says:Oct 28, 2013 8:47 AM

    Since 2009 the vikings 1st and 2nd round picks are:
    09- harvin, loadholt
    10-no first round, Cook, gerhart
    11-ponder, Rudolph
    12-Kalil, H.Smith
    13-Flloyd, Rhoads, Patterson,

    So im curious who besides Ponder have the Vikings missed on?
    _________

    Chris Cook has zero career interceptions. He plays for the worst secondary in the league and he won’t even be on the team next year. Gerhart is a good player but he was a wasted pick. They didn’t need a backup running back with that high a pick.

  42. Packer fan here, and proud of the Packer team. Sure the Packers dominated. But was anybody surprised? It’s not like they beat the Broncos, Chiefs, 49ers, or Patriots. Everybody knew the Vikings don’t have much of a defense, nor a QB. So, while I’m still very proud of the Packers, keep it in perspective. Packers beat a team that needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

  43. The Vikings really need to spend less in free agency. They kept K Williams one year too long. Jennings really wasnt a need with the current QB situation. A corner and a linebacker would have been a logical way to go.

  44. Jennings didn’t make a mistake in going to the Vikings. GB offered $8, the Vikes $10. I’d even move to Detroit if I was a professional athlete and offered $2 more annually.

  45. Congratulations on the win Packers fans. I jusf musf say settle down on the super bowl talk because Vikings just got beat by winless Giants last week.
    NFC is not scared because Saints, Hawks, 49ers all have real QB. Didn’t 49ers already put a beat down on your healthy roster to start the year?

  46. lsuzilla says:
    Oct 27, 2013 11:35 PM
    Easy on the praise for GB. They are beating one of the worst teams in the NFL. Let’s not get carried away here. ————————————————————————————————————————————————— because the packers make their schedule?? they also beat the reigning superbowl champs is their house. oh and i think we can all agree the vikings are a bad football team, but the vikes scored first and the packers never punted in that game, not once! that hasn’t happened in like 20 years…. beatdown

  47. For all those defending Spielman’s draft choices, its more than that, its having a master plan to build a full team.

    Look at his free agency spending, $14 million for a DE that completely disappeared last night. Another $15 million for a WR with one catch for 9 yards. And we would even bring up Berriman from a few years ago. That’s all wasted money for a team that is going to win less than 4 games this year.

  48. fearadmiral says: Oct 28, 2013 1:11 AM
    Feel free to kick us when were down. Just know if the Packers were in this position, Id be rooting for them to get on track. This rivalry is much more fun when its a rivalry. Not practice for the Packers. Peace.
    ——————————————————

    fearadmiral, Sometimes pointing fingers is the only way to illustrate a wrong. Up until PA became the play-by-play man and had his 9 to noon program, I to felt much like you. When the vikes got in the playoffs and the Pack didn’t I rooted for the vikes. It was a divisional thing for me. But I live close to the Cities and listen to espn and kfan generally a little everyday. PA’s insolence heard in his demining attacks especially against the Pack fans has soured me to the point where now I’m more than happy to join in the war of insults. PA has taken the once proud viking fan base and turned into a bunch of ranting, hate filled toads. If you’ve ever listened to a Packer radio show you didn’t hear the kind of blustering silly screeds you hear from PA. He has hurt you as far as respectability. He needs to go.

  49. Packer fan here – Green Bay fans have had a lot of lousy seasons too, in the distant past thank goodness. Vikings fans – your team will get there! It was a good game, but glad the Pack won!

  50. fearadmiral, Sometimes pointing fingers is the only way to illustrate a wrong. Up until PA became the play-by-play man and had his 9 to noon program, I to felt much like you. When the vikes got in the playoffs and the Pack didn’t I rooted for the vikes. It was a divisional thing for me. But I live close to the Cities and listen to espn and kfan generally a little everyday. PA’s insolence heard in his demining attacks especially against the Pack fans has soured me to the point where now I’m more than happy to join in the war of insults. PA has taken the once proud viking fan base and turned into a bunch of ranting, hate filled toads. If you’ve ever listened to a Packer radio show you didn’t hear the kind of blustering silly screeds you hear from PA. He has hurt you as far as respectability. He needs to go.
    …you nailed it buddy..Bear fan here and never thought I d be sticking up for Pack fans until I got relocated to Minn and had to listen to “sports” talk with PA. He turned me off to everything Minnesota . I have a lake home in Wis and I fail to see the entertainment in calling people fat and retired just because they live in Wisconsin and cheer for the Pack. The big shocker was people screaming for UW to lose in the Rose Bowl,one lady said..”sorry I love the Big 10 but can t cheer for those “Hillbillies???” Really lady ? Ever been to Wisconsin..even better have you ever been to rural Minnesota? Honestly these people here have big time inferiority issues.

  51. And another one who takes pleasure in bashing the Packers is Mike Morris..WTF did HE ever do? Long snapper??For the Vkings?? Big f…ing deal..and you rip fans?

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