Friday, October 03, 2014

Packers Cruise In An Easy Win Over The Vikings, 42-10

There's an argument to be made that the Vikings had no chance with Christian Ponder at quarterback, but Ponder had no chance because of his offensive line. They were a disaster, especially the revolving door they employed on the right side (RG Vladimir Ducasse and RT Phil Loadholt).
The Packers' offensive line arguably deserves their own group game ball. The Vikings have had trouble getting to the quarterback with just their front four this season, but they had held up pretty well against the run while the Packers' O-line had done a terrible job of opening up running lanes for RB Eddie Lacy. But on Thursday night, the line opened up some giant running lanes and let Eddie Lacy finally do his Eddie Lacy things, such as badly abusing Vikings SS Robert Blanton twice in the open field. The Vikings also learned that Robert Blanton should not be considered their strong safety of the future.

The O-line also did the job against the pass rush and gave QB Aaron Rodgers plenty of time to throw on play action (66 yard TD bomb to WR Jordy Nelson). Nelson only had that single reception, but he kept the safety's focus to him on one side of the field while opening up single coverage for WR Randall Cobb and WR Davante Adams on the other side.

Finally, the defensive line was in Ponder's face all night. They weren't great against the run, but SS Morgan Burnett did force a fumble. I can't believe the speed of LB Julius Peppers; he outran RB Jerick McKinnon on his pick-six INT and McKinnon is supposed to be a burner. LB Clay Matthews had a quiet night as his groin injury still seems to be keeping him at less than 100%. CB Davon House fell down again in coverage on Thursday night; he's a nice player but how he's getting snaps ahead of CB Casey Hayward is a mystery.

It's hard to take away anything from a game when everything is working. That doesn't happen every week and it's a better sign of a great team when they win despite even when they haven't brought their A Game. The run defense will still be an issue when they play their next game in Miami, though the offensive line is looking better when they're not playing the Seahawks, Jets, or Lions.

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