The Minnesota Vikings put on a dominant performance at Lambeau Field Sunday night handing the Green Bay Packers a decisive 24-10 defeat. The Vikings' defense shined throughout the game keeping the Packers out of the endzone for nearly the entire first half. Anders Carlson hit a 30-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to put the Packers on the scoreboard.
"Well, that was obviously tough to watch. Just way too many mistakes. Penalties, drops, not being able to convert on third down. Conversely, not getting off the grass on third down. Struggles in the red zone. Starting the game out, I want to say four three-and-outs. It's hard to get into a rhythm offensively, and then when we needed a stop or whatever, we weren't able to do that."
The Vikings (4-4) had 24 first downs to the Packers' 16. Green Bay's woes continued. The Vikings converted on third down ten times in eighteen tries to Green Bay's five times in fourteen tries. The Packers also failed on three of their four fourth-down attempts. The Packers wide receivers dropped at least six catchable passes that caused QB Jordan Love to barely complete over 50% of his passes (24-of-41, 229 yards, one TD, one INT, 72.1 rating).
Additional statistics highlight Green Bay's abysmal night. The Vikings' time of possession was nearly 13 minutes longer (36:22 to 23:38) which is almost an entire quarter. Then Green Bay began piling up penalties to add to their woes. They had 11 penalties which cost them 99 yards. Three of these penalties were self-inflicted personal fouls that cost them 45 yards. This game was hard for a Packers fan to watch.
"Certainly the lack of disciplined play, that's paramount," LaFleur said. "Because it doesn't matter what you're doing if we're getting called for things. We've got to clean it up."
Second Half Woes Continue for Green Bay
The Vikings came out strong after the half, going 75 yards in 13 plays. They converted three third downs and a fourth down, which resulted in a touchdown. The Packers' defense missed a great opportunity to get off the field on 3rd and 9, but QB Kirk Cousins hit receiver K.J. Osborn for 32 yards to set up TE T.J. Hockenson for the touchdown. This further Minnesota's lead to 17-3.
Hoping to get the Packers back in the game, Love launched a deep ball down the middle for rookie receiver Jayden Reed. Love's pass hit Reed square in the hands, but safety Josh Metellus was able to snatch it from him as they collided. Another opportunity ripped away from the Packers that the Vikings were able to capitalize on.
Following Love's eighth interception on the year, Cousins found rookie receiver Jordan Addison for a 20-yard TD. Packers' All-Pro Cornerback Jaire Alexander is again trailing behind, and it was suddenly 24-3 with back-to-back scores by Minnesota. With two minutes left in the third quarter, Love hits Romeo Doubs on a one-yard pass to increase the Packers' score to 10. Unfortunately, that would be it for the Packers as far as the endzone goes. Minnesota crushed the Packers' hopes of a comeback stopping them on 4th down twice. The first fourth down red zone stop really stuck with me, Love dropped back on a 4th and 16, and no one was open. Unsuprisingly, he takes off running and dove for a first down but ultimately ended up a yard short. This play alone sums up the Packers' season. Let's hope LeFleur and Love can muster something up for this lackluster offense.
Kirk Cousins' Injury
Kurt Cousins was having a sensational game until he tore his Achilles in the fourth quarter. With about 10 minutes left, Cousins went down with a non-contact injury. Even though Rookie Jaren Hall finished the game for Cousins, the Vikings don't have an answer as to who will replace their starting QB. Entering Week 8, leading the NFL in completions, pass attempts, and touchdown passes, ranked second in passing yards and fourth in passer rating. Before this devastating injury to Cousins, the Vikings were starting to look like one of the NFC's top teams. This is what Kevin O'Connell had to say about the situation, " I do know one thing, it's going to have to be an injury that makes him not capable physically of playing because if it has anything to do with pain tolerance or a choice to go out on the football field"
Where is Aaron Jones?
Unlike 'Where is Waldo?', we know that running back Aaron Jones is at the game, in uniform, and on the sidelines. So, with the Packers season tanking quickly, why are they not using their elusive playmaker? Jones injured his hamstring in Week 1 and thought he would be at 100% for the Vikings SNF game. Before Green Bay's bye week, Jones' share of the backfield touches (two games) was 44.9%. After the bye week (also two games), his share was 42.1%.
Aaron's twin brother Alvin also had questions for Packers Coach Matt LaFleur. "Can someone ask Coach LaFleur why he never gives Aaron the ball it's getting criminal at this point!! Is he not trying to win??" A great question that we are all wanting an answer to. RB2 AJ Dillon is struggling behind the line of scrimmage and trying hard to prove that he can handle the load while Jones heals. If Green Bay is going to make a showing this season, then Jones needs to see more than 10 carries a game. Football 101.
Final Score: Minnesota Vikings 24, Green Bay Packers 10
Week 9 Matchups
Rams vs Packers @1:00 pm EST
Vikings vs Falcons @ 1:00 pm EST
Main Image via