Green Bay Packers

Packers 43 Vikings 34: How It Happened

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The Green Bay Packers opened the season against the Minnesota Vikings with a win at U.S. Bank Stadium and are 1-0 on the young 2020 season.

The Packers jumped out to a fast start this season with a big road win in Minnesota by a final score of 43-34.  Here’s a breakdown of the day that was.

Slow Start

The Packers marched down the field after taking the opening kick off, reaching the Minnesota 10-yard line before sputtering and settling for a Mason Crosby field goal.

Minnesota marched down the field and answered with a Dalvin Cook touchdown to put Minnesota up early.

On Green Bay’s next possession, they again had no trouble getting inside the 10-yard line but failed to punch it in from the 1-yard line, turning the ball over on downs.

We know that Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander would end up with a sack for a safety a few plays later, but those first two Packers possessions were not what you want to see, especially to start a tough, divisional road match up.

Offense Finds its Rhythm

The Packers went on to score on three-straight possessions to end the first half, including two Aaron Rodgers touchdown throws, his first of the young season.

The first, an incredible strike to Davante Adams, was a vintage Rodgers-Adams hook up.  Aaron rolled right and threw gave Adams a chance to make a play.  Adams caught it standing still near the sideline, keeping both feet in for the score.

The second was a 45-yard bomb to Marquez Valdes-Scantling to put the Packers up 22-7.  The Packers inexplicably allowed the Vikings to get in field goal range despite there only being :14 on the clock when the drive started.  An ill-advised penalty on Packers safety Darnell Savage gave Minnesota the yards it needed for kicker Dan Bailey to add three points on the board.

Trading Blows to the End

After each team punted on their first second-half possession and the Vikings turned it over on downs on their second, each team would score a touchdown on their next three drives.

Fortunately, with the Packers ahead 29-10 when the trade off’s began, Green Bay secured the win when the clock read 0:00.

Standouts

  • Aaron Rodgers couldn’t have asked for a much better start to his season.  32/44 passing for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Rodgers wasn’t sacked all day
  • Jaire Alexander – a huge sack for a safety after the offense left the ball at the 1-yard line and an interception, both in the first half
  • Davante Adams – On 17 targets, Adams had 14 catches for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The Vikings, much like most opposing teams, had no answer for Adams all day long
  • Offensive line – despite losing both starting guards, they allowed zero sacks on the day.  Rick Wagner filled in at right tackle with Elgton Jenkins moving back to left guard and Jon Runyan, Jr at right guard after Lane Taylor left with a knee injury.  Hoping the return of Billy Wagner helps the interior of the line next week and beyond
  • Time of possession – 42 minutes of hanging onto the ball will definitely help you win some games and keep your defense fresh

Needs Some Work

  • MVS with a couple of brutal drops, something that has plagued him in the past.  He had a few long catches as well, but the dropsies always catch up with a player and a team eventually.  Hopefully just some early-season rust
  • Savage with the bad penalty before the half and jawing at opposing players after a tackle in the second half, which led to some shoving and a stoppage in play.  Those are both a matter of discipline and Savage has to do better in both situations
  • Prevent defense – dump it or dump whoever is running it.  In this case, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.  This game was out of reach and got back INTO reach on two occasions because the Packers defense was content to keep everything in front of them and leave a lot of grass uncovered.  When Kirk Cousins averages 8.5 yards per carry, that’s bad.  This Packers defense showed that they have playmakers – there’s no reason not to turn them loose all day against an average offense

 

 

 

 

 

 

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