A strong second half offensive performance, lacking against St. Louis a week ago, was the story Sunday in Minnesota.
The Packers scored 20 unanswered points in the third quarter after trailing 17-13 at the half, to win the game 33-27.
The Vikings were able to put pressure on Aaron Rodgers, but he is who he is was able to complete all but six passes in the entire game, despite the fact Jared Allen was lurking around the corner at a majority of plays. He finished 24-for-30 with 335 yards. Packers receivers dropped at least two if not three passes.
Rodgers passed to nine receivers (Greg Jennings 7 rec, 147 yards 1 TD, 10 targets, James Jones 4 rec 63 yards 4 targets, Jordy Nelson 4 rec 52 yards 4 targets, James Starks 3 rec 24 yards 4 targets, Andrew Quarless 1 rec 21 yards 1 target, Jermichael Finley 2 rec 13 yards 1 TD 2 targets, Randall Cobb 1 Rec 7 yards 2 targets, Donald Driver 1 rec 6 yards 1 target, John Kuhn 1 rec 2 yards 1 TD 1 target.)
Rodgers is the first player in NFL history with a 110+ passer rating in each of his first seven games to start a season. Rodgers passer rating was 146.5 on Sunday.
The Packer running game totaled 114 yards. James Starks ran for 75 yards on 13 carries and was able to eat up the clock late and thwart the Vikings comeback. Starks ran the ball six straight times on the Packers' final drive to end the game.
Charles Woodson was able to read rookie quarterback Christian Ponder like a book grabbing two key interceptions in the third quarter.
Woodson actually said after the game it had nothing to do with reading Ponder but that he is able to get a feel for a receiver who is also making a play on the ball and beat him to the spot.
All things considered, Ponder looked tremendous in his first career NFL start, completing 13 of 32 passes for 219 yards yards with 2 TDs.
Desmond Bishop led the Packers in tackles with 8 total and six solo.
Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji each recorded a sack.
Mason Crosby made four field goals, including a 58-yarder in the third quarter.
Jared Allen recorded two sacks on Rodgers. He created chaos and hurried up Rodgers' decision making at times, but he was not a game changer as the Packer offense was able to put up 33 points.
The Packers struggled stopping Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who ran for 175 yards on 24 carries with a second quarter touchdown. Raji said after the game that Peterson is the best back in the league.
T.J. Lang took a shot to groin from the foot of Brian Robison, cleats and all. Robison was penalized 15 yards but was not ejected.
Lang tweeted after the game, "Glad to report my genitalia are in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery!"
The Packers know that Sunday's win was not without error, but have to be happy about a divisional win on the road and a 7-0 record headed into the bye.
"We’re not going to swing with the rope from one extreme to the other around here," said McCarthy.
"We know we can play better.”
"It's never easy coming into the Metrodome and it's never easy playing the Minnesota Vikings. We're appreciative that we won the game. We had to earn it, which is the way it is every week. They had a great surge of energy starting with their opening offensive play. I though we responded very well. Had some opportunities there in the second half we were able to get field goals off the turnovers. They fought back but at the end of the day our offense stepped up and finished it there in the four minutes. It's an excellent victory. It always means more when it's as hard as it was today."
About going undefeated....
Jermichael Finley said after the game, "We’re trying to do something that’s never been done before, be undefeated and win the Super Bowl." Somewhere members of the undefeated Super Bowl winning '72 Dolphins are cringing.
The quest continues as the Packers have a bye next week and then return to play in San Diego against the Chargers in two weeks.
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