Grades: Packers vs. Vikings

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Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers go into their bye week undefeated and they rained on the grand opening of the Christian Ponder Era in Minnesota with a 33-27 win over the Vikings. It was looking like a trap game for the Packers, but they stuck it out and kept their win streak alive. I saw great things, good things, and not so good things in the game. Here are the grades.

QB: It’s Aaron Rodgers. There really isn’t much you can say about his play. Rodgers is playing the position at a level I’ve seen only once, maybe twice, in my lifetime. Halfway through the third quarter he had only three incomplete passes — two were drops and the other was a spike to stop the clock at the end of the second half. Rodgers finished 24-of-30 for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Grant it, the Vikings secondary is, well, shitty, but those numbers are still impressive. At this point, Rodgers is the frontrunner for the MVP.
Grade: A+

RB: Running against Minnesota is never easy and for the Packers only need to run when their receivers are tired. James Starks showed burst and had some really nice runs at the end of the game. Starks also caught three passes for 24 yrds. Ryan Grant also had a good burst and hit holes, when there, with aggression. He still doesn’t look like the Grant of the past, though. Fullback John Kuhn caught a two-yard touchdown pass and provided adequate blocking for the two tailbacks. As a whole, the thing that stood out was how great the backs were at blitz pick-ups. Not much to really grade, when collectively the group had 26 carries.
Grade: B

Offensive line: This is by far still the weakest link on the team. The loss of Chad Clifton was huge, forcing Marshall Newhouse to face Jared Allen in his second start. On running plays the group, as a whole, was solid. They pushed the defense and moved the ball on the ground when needed. Pass blocking, on the other hand, wasn’t so good. Rodgers was hit way too often. Newhouse looked lost against Allen and when the line didn’t get help from backs or tight ends they seemed like they didn’t have any cohesiveness. This group will improve over the second half of the season, but better sooner than later
Grade: C

Receivers: There’s a reason they’re collectively the best receiver group in the business today. They caught pretty much everything that was thrown in their direction. Greg Jennings had a outstanding day with 147 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown. James Jones, Jermichael Finley, and Jordy Nelson did what they always do — got open and caught balls. Finley had a great back of the end zone touchdown catch and even Andrew Quarless — God’s Gifts, himself — got involved with a 21-yard catch. The one knock I have is with rookie Randall Cobb. His second quarter drop could have given The Packers a first down before the half ended. Overall, routes were run well and, as usual, not much miscommunication between A-Rod and company.
Grade: A

Defensive line: The defensive line was, for the most part, a non-factor in the game. Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji and company did nothing to pose a problem to Adrian Peterson. They totaled five tackles and one sack — Pickett had three of the tackles and Raji had the sack, which was his only tackle. Meanwhile, Peterson ran up and down the field for 175 yards and was barely touched by the front line. They couldn’t get off blocks or even get off the line quicker than the Vikings. The linebackers won’t be able to bail them out everytime.
Grade: D+

Linebackers: Once Adrian Peterson ran past the defensive line, he ran past the linebackers. This group had the same problems as the front line. They couldn’t shed blocks and had a tough time filling the gaps. Pass rushing was and has been their specialty and they did a solid job putting pressure on Christian Ponder. Clay Matthews had a great hustle, ankle-grabbing sack. The linebackers pass coverage was descent, but they did nothing to get anyone overly excited.
Grade: C+

Secondary: Other than the first play of the game, where they allowed a 78-yard pass, the secondary played well. You could see there was going to be a few picks coming for the defense. Pat Lee and Jarrett Bush played as well as I’ve seen them play. They broke on a few passes that could’ve been picked and made solid tackles. Charles Woodson played as great as he is and had back-to-back picks. Morgan Burnett seemed to be the weakest part of the secondary. He allowed the first TD and seemed slow getting into coverage. Meanwhile, Charlie Peprah lead the team in tackles with seven.
Grade: A

Special teams: Mason Crosby made a team record 58-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter. After a shaky couple years, Crosby has really come through and been as good as any kicker in the league thus far. Punter Tim Masthay didn’t put the defense in a bad position. Kick and punt coverage was very good and as soon as you thought there would be a big return, the coverage units closed the hole and made the tackle. Return man Randall Cobb is a threat, but made a costly mistake when he fumbled early in the game on a punt he should have let bounce. Overall, the Packers didn’t let the Vikings win the game on special teams.
Grade: A

Overall: The Packers remain undefeated. They went into a hostile stadium against a QB they’ve never seen and took control of the game in the second half. The adjustments made by the coaching staff at the half were excellent. They came, they saw, they kicked some ass.
Grade: B+

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19 Comments on "Grades: Packers vs. Vikings"

  1. Just have to get better every week… We keep winning and we have a long ways to go, so I’m not complaining one bit. GO PACK GO.

  2. DevilDon

    I think we can throw out the “trap” game bs for the Packers. These guys may not play their best football each game but they DO play like champions. You don’t honestly for one second think this is the defense that we’ll see through the rest of the season do you?

  3. Shawn iltarion

    I think the defense can keep playing just like it is as long as the offense keeps playing just like it is.

    Amazingly, I think the offense could be even better. Sure, it is nearly impossible for A-Rodge to play any better, but we could run better. We could do more to get Cobb involved, and we should be doing more to get Finley involved.

    We struggled on 3rd downs. What happened to throwing Finley the ball on 3rd down?

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  5. Pack27

    Nice game. Injuries as always are tough to deal with.

    Has anyone else notice how many late hits Rodgers takes and there is never a flag. And then Matthews gets flag on what was definitely not a late hit. Really unbelievable.

    Defense will get better. Seems like it just takes them some time to get into game speed.

  6. Buddymobile

    PJD thinks:
    They technically won, even though they lost by 6.
    If Cook and Winfield played they WOULD have won.
    Rodgers is gay even though he always has a hot girlfriend.
    Ponder is the second coming with 219 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT pretty amazing compared to Rodgers 300 + yards, 3 TD.
    They day MN gives anybody credit is the day hell freezes over.
    The Pack did awesome in a hostile stadium, a win is a win.

  7. peter

    Dom is the best at making 2nd half adjustments in the business. That being said real worried about our d-line which is why the lbs are looking so much worse. Not sure what is up with Neil but the pack need a beast in the middle to help out these guys. Raji has regressed a little from last year hasn’t figured out how to dominate while being doubled. corners looking better surprised to see bush playing the ball, Williams playing more bump and sammy with be back after the bye. If the Def can step it up I don’t see any team they cannot beat with their o.

  8. Randy R

    The Packers give up 435 yards, And you give them a B+….What the f are you smokin?…The secondaty an A?…T Williams was 10 yards away on Jenkins TD, 1st play of the flippin game, picking his nose…lol…that alone takes you down a grade. ….And NO..iltarion..the defense cant keep playing like they are, i’ll vote that the Moronic statement of the week. Give up 435 yards to the 1-6 Vikings….. gee iltarion….what should we do when we play good teams?…Our defense is 27th, last year we were 5th…..iltarion….Please go get your GED…T Y

  9. Randy R

    Eric, I see where you wrote, we kicked some ass, although we love all your high school trailer park f bombs. You think winning by 6 and giving up 435 yards is kicking ass?…really?…Son?..Listen close…N O Saints kicked ass..Houston kicked ass……learn the difference between getting by with a 6 point win, and kicking ass.

  10. Randy R

    Randy R Is a Packerfan, and a realist, and knows bad defense when he see’s it, and isnt afraid to point it out. Go to Packer news, and take the poll: What concerns you most about the Packers? Ask the Patrots last year how easy it is to get to the Super Bowl with a 24th ranked defense……..idiots

  11. Shawn iltarion

    Randy R, we are going to be patient here and start from the beginning. We are miles away from a GED here. No, we need to start with elementary football.

    Football is about points. The team with the highest amount of points at the end of 60 minutes or OT wins. Are we good so far?

    The sole purpose of offense is to score points. The sole purpose of defense is to prevent points.

    Yards don’t matter. An offense that gains yards but scores no points is useless. A defense that gives up few yards but gives up points is useless. No game has ever been decided by who had the most yards.

    A one yard drive for a TD counts for 6 points. A 99 yard drive for a TD counts for 6 points.

    The Packers score 33 points per game. The Packers allow 20.1 points per game. Logic would suggest that INDEED if the Packers continue these two trends exactly as they are, they will continue to win games.

    Just a few more facts that might help you:

    The 2009 Packers ranked 2nd in yards allowed. They lost in the 1st round of the playoffs after giving up over 500 yards and 51 points to the Cardinals.

    The 2009 Saints WON the Super Bowl. They were ranked 25th in yards allowed.

    The 2006 Colts WON the Super Bowl. They were ranked 21st in yards allowed.

    The 2008 Cardinals made the Super Bowl. They ranked 19th in yards allowed.

    None of those 3 teams scored as many points per game as the Packers have scored in 2011.

    I really hope this helps.

  12. Buddymobile

    Iltrion, well said. We should all be happy, 7-0 into the bye week. Savor these days, not every fan is as fortunate as we are.

  13. Randy R

    Your right iltarion…the poor defense is a non factor. Those 82% that voted defense giving up yards is the biggest issue with the Packers. I guess your right, and those 82% are wrong, but then again iltarion..your “always” right aren’t you? Can you think of any reason why we lost the playoff game to the cards in 2009 iltarion?…”Could it be?” because we gave up 531 yards and 51 points? Or was it, in your line of thinking…because the offense couldnt score more than 45 points? In your analogy, blame the offense. That shows your wrong…Defense does matter, your a moron.

  14. Jeff

    Randy,

    What’s the problem with being the last undefeated team in the NFL? I’m sure you’ll call me a ‘moron’,’idiot’, or some other highly creative term but lighten up a bit and enjoy the success this team is having, no matter how they are reaching it.

  15. Randy R

    Jeff, There are tens of thousands of us fans enjoying being 7-0, and all of us also concerned about the defense. Because your 7-0, doesnt mean your team is perfect. Or does it? Read any writers (incuding here) There are issues.

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