Matt LaFleur has to be feeling really great right now starting his first season as Packers head coach with two wins against division rivals Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. While slightly less ugly than week 1, it was still an ugly win. But a win against a divisional rival is always a wonderful sight, I suppose.
It was a beautiful day at Lambeau as Favre was in the house and so was Bart Starr’s lovely widow, Cherry Starr. After a brief, yet awkward at times, hug and kiss between the two, it was officially kickoff time.
The opening drive of the game, which started with a case study in how to execute a play action pass in the very first play, led to a TD by Jamaal Williams with barely more than two minutes burned off the clock since the start of the game. In 2 minutes and 10 seconds, the Pack went 75-yards in four plays. It was the Aaron Rodgers of yore and Davante Adams was the superstar receiver we all know and love. In fact, Adams averaged 15.1 yards with 7 receptions for a total of 106 yards. Aaron Jones also reminded us why he is the man. Keep in mind this was against a pretty tough Vikings defense(at times). I also noticed TE Jimmy Graham with a few useful blocks so there is no doubt this team has improved since last season.
The first quarter of the game was the opposite of the first quarter of week 1 against the Bears — unfortunately, it went downhill from there, offensively.
What a start!
Packers MVP of the Game: Kirk Cousins
Thank you, Kirk, you magnificent overpaid and apparently colorblind prince. Bless your throwing into triple coverage heart. It was like late-career Favre all over again.
CB Kevin King with a critical late-game interception:
One vital turnover for the Packers early on was Geronimo Allison losing the ball after deciding slamming into three defenders was better than going out of bounds. Oops. He’s a young guy so I would like to think he learned his lesson. Earlier in the game, Allison also made a leaping catch in the end zone for the second Packers TD.
Also, once again, Punter JK Scott pulled his weight this week with 8 punts and the longest being 59 yards. We could easily be 1-1 or 0-2 if not for this guy.
Full game stats per NFL.com:
Vikings – Packers
First Down 15 20
By Rushing 8 7
By Passing 6 12
Total Yards 421 335
Avg Per Play 7.0 4.9
Rushing Yards 198 144
Rushing Plays 27 33
Avg Per Rush 7.3 4.4
Passing Yards 223 191
Sacked (Yards) 1 (7) 2 (18)
Pass Comp-Att-Int 14-32-2 22-34-0
Avg Per Pass 6.8 5.3
Penalty (Yards) 8 (100) 6 (35)
Pérdidas de balón 4 2
Punts (Avg) 6 (44.0) 8 (47.6)
Net Punting Avg 44.0 42.0
Time Of Possession 25:54 34:06
While the Packers defense did allow 421 yards and logged a single sack by Kenny Clark, they forced turnovers when it mattered the most and that’s how you win championships. The Smiths were at it again with Preston Smith intercepting Cousins on 3rd down after a pass was swatted by S Darnell Savage.
Once again, Dalvin Cook showed signs of being the next Adrian Peterson with a 75-yard TD run early in the game. If this guy can stay healthy, which I kind of doubt, he is going to be trouble for the Packers in the near future.
In site related news, starting next week, I’ll create a post just before the game to give everyone a convenient place to discuss it until I roll out of bed and put up a summary.