Former Packer QB Favre threw three touchdown passes to lead the Vikings to a 30-23 win over the Packers. QB Rodgers threw 26 of 37 for 384 yards with two touchdowns, one fumble, one interception, and one safety. For the legendary NFL QB Favre, the sports headlines called it revenge and vindication against GM TT. The Vikings are 4-0. The Packers are 2-2 going into their bye week.
Game Ball: 1. LB Matthews.
3. QB Rodgers: “Below my expectations, definitely. To have three possessions where you’re in their territory and come away with zero points, two of them are directly related to mistakes by myself, that’s disappointing.”
4. Coach Philbin: “We have to a degree on our offense a little bit of a problem. It’s not that guys aren’t trying to do the right thing; I think they’re trying to do too much. I think I’m guilty of that as a coach. We have to trust one another a little bit more.”
Report Card Grades: Good, Bad, & Ugly [LA] [SE]
Pass Offense—C+. D. QB Rodgers threw 26 of 37 for 384 yards with two touchdowns, one fumble, one interception, one safety, and eight sacks. QB Rodgers had a rough evening having serious indecisions under pressure, especially holding the ball too long on good final options in the fumble and safety series . Leroy said: “He looked conflicted.”
He got awful pass protection, but remember these points: he deserves partial blame on no fewer than five of Vikings’ eight sacks; he held the ball too long on three of them; two of the eight sacks came on one-on-one losses; & LT Colledge and RT Barbre shared blame in two sacks. Thus, as another reviewer added: Rodgers was as much to do with the Vikings eight sacks as his injury-plagued offensive line. Of the eight sacks against the Vikings as many as five of them can be blamed at least in part on Rodgers.”
Looking at the offensive line, a reviewer added: The Vikings rushed only four men on six of their eight sacks. That should be a numbers mismatch & a five-sack night is a warning sign of either physical inferiority or a basic schematic flaw. Specifically, although issues in the blocking scheme were evident, C Wells and RG Sitton played well enough. LG Spitz was marginal. RT Barbre and LT Colledge had their ups and downs.
Meanwhile, the receivers had numerous dropped passes. TE Lee dropped a game changing hook pass in the end zone on 4 and 1. TE Finley has six catches for 128 yards. WR Driver had 4 catches for 55 yards. RB Grant had 4 catches for 50 yards. WR Nelson had 3 catches for 47 yards.
Rush Offense—C. D-. RB Grant ran okay, but he had only 11 carries for 51 yards averaging 4.6 yards.
Pass Defense—D. F. Favre was the difference in the game dismantling the 3-4 defense with ease. It did not help that the defense lacked an effective pass rush and had an ineffective blitz plan. As Leroy said: “Caper needs to figure it out by Nov. 1. The only thing he did was with the linebackers crossing in the middle. The timing just got so bad and it just got all distorted and all guys were doing was running into each other. To become an effective blitzing team, you have to do it a lot to become good at it.” Also, they suffered from zone coverage lapses. Newcomer S Martin had an awful game getting benched. Aging CB Woodson & CB Harris had bad days.
One reviewer said: QB Favre had a sharp performance that included completing five of six third-down passes with four of those converting first downs on touchdown drives. When the Packers sat back in coverage, he patiently waited for an opening. When they blitzed, he made them pay. Another reviewer added: Favre epitomized utmost control in the pocket. He pump-faked effectively. Favre riddled the Packers’ zone coverages using the entire field and throwing with stunning velocity and pin-point accuracy.
Rush defense—B+. A. The Packers did a great job holding RB Peterson to 55 yards on 25 carries. Linebackers Barnett and Chillar each had 10 tackles. NT Pickett had seven tackles.
Special teams—C-. D. The kickoff coverage were okay with K Crosby averaging 71 yards and 4 seconds hang time. Yet, the punt coverage was below average with missed tackles. The kick and punt returns were just average. K Crosby hit one field goal. P Kapinos had 2 punts averaging a solid 50 yards, but they need to be higher.
Coaching—D-. C-. The Packers came out with a patient, conservative game plan designed to slow the Vikings’ vaunted pass rush. However, by the third quarter, that game plan was too conservative and predictable shown in going 0 for two in the red zone. They had 7 penalties for 57 yards. Leroy said: “Vikings had a very good game plan, were very well-prepared, were very well-coached, had the enthusiasm, knew what was at stake. That’s why they won. The Packers are a little confused. There’s confusion on 2-minute offense, confusion on 2-minute defense, and the offensive line is what we thought it would be.”
Overall Game—D. The Packers showed overall regression suffering with the same old issues of turnovers, penalties, blown coverages, poor pass protection, and dropped passes. They have a long way to go to solve these serious problems. Leroy said: “They have a lot of work to do this bye week. It should almost be a training camp mentality. The personnel won’t change. They have their hands full.”
Rodgers vs. Favre series: week 4. Hmmm, “Silver Fox” Vikings 4-0. Bears at 3-1. Packers 2-2.
Commentary: No surprise! The Packers were overwhelmed in prime time. Looking back, the preseason Packer hype was created to set up this ratings showdown in the sports nation. The strengths and weaknesses of the Packers are evident to QB Favre, the fans, and the other teams. QB Favre outfoxed and outflanked the Packers to win the game. Encore: November 1st.