Monday, November 23, 2015

Packers End Three Game Losing Streak With A 30-13 Win in Minnesota and Take First Place Back From Vikings

Well that's the Green Bay Packers I've been used to seeing. Though QB Aaron Rodgers still isn't on the same page as his receivers and he had a completion percentage of under 50% (though his receivers had a couple terrible drops) with a poor yards per attempt of 6.2, but there were three big changes from last week's home loss to the Lions.

His top two targets were WR James Jones and WR Randall Cobb. It wasn't a great game for Cobb outside of his touchdown reception but WR Davante Adams proved against the Lions that he's only a No. 3 WR right now. Adams still had a good game against the Vikings (4 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards) but he's only a complementary player right now and he appropriately had half as many targets as either Jones or Cobb. Right now the offense works when Rodgers leans on his best receivers and gives them a chance to make a play. Against the Lions, when Jones had zero receptions, that was a big reason why they lost that game. Also, Fear The Hoodie.
The return of RB Eddie Lacy. I had written off Lacy for the near future (I'm sure I wasn't alone) and he surprised me with a 100 yard game. The running game won't carry them but the offense works a lot better when they're getting something on the ground. It's also his 2nd consecutive 100 yard game in Minnesota, and he ran for 94 yards with a touchdown in the Metrodome during his rookie season, so there's something he likes about playing in Minneapolis.

The defense recorded 6 sacks. The Packers' defense is all about getting pressure on the quarterback, and when the pass rush isn't working, they end up with the bad defensive performances they had in Denver and Charlotte. The defense wasn't unstoppable, QB Teddy Bridgewater was very good when he wasn't running for his life, but they also did a very good job against RB Adrian Peterson (and forced a fumble). Bridgewater can't carry the offense by himself and the Packers did a very good job of taking away his pass protection and his running game.

The game was closer than the score in a lot of respects but the Vikings were flagged for 110 penalty yards and gave up a 70 yard return to WR Jeff Janis. That's a lot of extra yards to overcome.

There were a couple injuries to DB Micah Hyde and C Corey Linsley that weren't talked about after the game, hopefully they aren't serious, and they'll have to bounce back quickly because of the short week before their Thanksgiving game against the Bears.

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