The final score looks closer than it really was; there wasn't a moment when I thought the Vikings would beat the Green Bay Packers. But allowing 31 points (7 on special teams) against a one-dimensional offense is bad and it will give Mike McCarthy something to improve on next week in practice.
While the Packers' defense couldn't stop the Vikings from running in the red zone, the run defense had been great this season before this game, three Viking scoring drives were given a second life by penalties. A stupid personal foul on DE Datone Jones and a late pass interference flag on CB Tramon Williams after the earlier bogus interference call on him were three of six penalties for 120 yards. PackFaninFL expects Williams to move to the nickel, and it looks like it could happen sooner than later. The return of CB Casey Hayward moved Williams outside where he drew those two huge flags, while over the previous few weeks CB Davon House had been looking great outside. A shout out to DT Mike Daniels, who's becoming the inside pass rusher they haven't had since DE Cullen Jenkins in 2010.
As for the offense, there really should be nothing to criticize. I'll mention RT Don Barclay, who again struggled, and I would have liked to have seen QB Aaron Rodgers run less, he took a few shots in this game, especially on his goal line run, but otherwise the offense scored on their first eight possessions which is pretty amazing. They didn't score on their ninth possession, when they got the ball with 1:24 left in the game and took a knee. Also, all of those possessions, except the second to last one when they recovered an onside kick and ran a couple plays before kicking a field goal, went the length of the field. Rodgers was scary accurate (24 for 29) and the running game was humming along. The overall total on the ground (4.3 ypc) look average, but they didn't run the ball well early or late when the Vikings were expecting it. For most of the game, the line was opening up running lanes and RB Eddie Lacy and RB James Starks were making the most of them, when the defense had to respect the run and the pass.
The Lions pulled a win from the jaws of defeat so they'll keep hanging around at 5-3, but the Packers sit ahead of them at 5-2 and already have a 1-0 head-to-head advantage. They finished October 4-0 and look ahead to a winnable stretch of games in November (Bears and Eagles at home, then at Giants, home against the Vikings) before finishing the month on Thanksgiving in Detroit.