Packers earn home-field advantage with a beat down victory over the Vikings 37-10
After a dominant first half performance, Green Bay defeated their division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. At 7-8, heading into this week, a win would’ve been huge for Minnesota, in order to close their gap on the NFC Wild Card race. However, despite their need to win, and Green Bay’s solidified status as the number one seed in the NFC, the game didn’t exactly go in their favor.
For starters, Minnesota found themselves shorthanded by Friday this week, when Kirk Cousins was placed in COVID-19 protocol. On any team, it’s devastating losing a player like Kirk Cousins, who is the nucleus of their offense. He makes other people around him better simply by being there. Sean Mannion clearly wasn’t enough, and you could tell how much they missed Kirk tonight. Prior to this week, their offense scored nearly four more points (25) than Green Bay allowed (21). While those 25 may have still not been enough to win tonight, it was clear the offense wasn’t quite the same as it normally was. 10 points is certainly disappointing for Minnesota’s standards.
Aside from Kirk being out, the play-calling was another issue for Minnesota. They failed to run the ball effectively, with only 11 carries for 27 yards. With Kirk out, Minnesota should’ve given Dalvin the ball more, considering he’s one of their most efficient and talented players. He also would’ve allowed the passing offense to thrive more, by making their offense more unpredictable as a whole.
In the first half, Minnesota was absolutely dominated by Green Bay, on both sides of the ball. Green Bay didn’t allow a single touchdown all half, and only let up a single field goal in the first two quarters. On the opposite side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers was doing his thing. The two-time MVP found his favorite targets, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard for scores. This gap proved to be too large for Minnesota, as both sides of the ball failed to keep them in the game. K.J. Osbourne’s touchdown and circus catch near the end of the fourth were really the only bright spots for Minnesota tonight. Minnesota’s center also made an unforgettable play.
After targeting a receiver while being hit, Garrett Bradbury, snagged a ball that was soaring in the air. On what was originally a second down, and an incomplete pass, he actually caught the ball and ran all the way down inside the fifteen, for Minnesota’s longest play of the night. While this was an amazing play, you also know your team isn’t clicking when your center has the biggest offensive play of the night.
While Minnesota’s defense is usually solid, Green Bay showed the world why they were the number one team in the NFC. They did nearly anything they wanted to on offense, hitting nine separate players for a target. They continued to pile on in the second half, and showed multiple dimensions of their offense. Green Bay’s first-half offense was primarily pass-centric, and in the second half, they began to get their running game going. A.J. Dillon rumbled his way into two second half scores, while Aaron Jones chimed in for another 76 yards. Both running backs combined for almost 140 yards, and two scores. When they get going like that, and Adams also has the game he has (11-136-1), Green Bay becomes nearly impossible to stop.
Green Bay only let up a single touchdown, on a team that averages 0.1 more points than them a game. Obviously Kirk being out played a huge role, but Green Bay utterly dominated, as the better team tonight. With this win tonight, Green Bay controls their own destiny, as the number one team in the NFC. They’re now 13-3, while Minnesota is 7-9.