Minnesota Vikings running back Joe Banyard (23) is tackled by Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) during the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports photograph
RUN DEFENSE: Though it is much-maligned, the run defense has improved … much credit given to the switch from OLB to ILB for Clay Matthews.
The Packers needed some extra bulk inside – and Matthews gives it to them.
Holding an opponent to under 60 yards rushing is an accomplishment any way you look at it. The talent behind rookie Jerick McKinnon is there, as he and fellow running back Matt Asiata have seen some success in Adrian Peterson‘s absence.
McKinnon is a viable backup running back and has made good use of his touches. The Packers were able to hold him to a 3-yard average on 15 carries and under 60 yards. Even in a tight race, the Vikings never felt comfortable relying on their running game, preferring to put the ball in their young QB’s hands at the end of the game.
This kind of approach is key – making the opposing offense one-dimensional is what every strong team strives to do. The Packers were able to do that Sunday and it felt like a big win.
Now on to the “Let’s be Honest” … turn the page …