Tuesday Recap: We. Didn’t. Punt.

AJ Hawk

The Green Bay Packers didn’t punt.  In fact, after Tim Masthay hammered the opening kickoff 9 yards deep and the (terrifying) Cordarelle Patterson took it the full 109 yards to the house, Masthay was relieved of his kickoff duties.  He had to swing his leg once,  chase after Patterson, dive at his ankles, watch the rest of the game, and grab his check.  I’m not even sure if he showered.  If you are trying to find a negative in the Packers performance outside of the coverage on on that opening pickup, you are picking nits.  It was a dominant offensive performance.  The Packers ran the ball down the Vikings throats, out gaining the NFC North bottom feeders on the ground 182-111.  Go back and re-read that sentence.  Those are rushing yards.  This was a dominant performance, and a perfect way to say goodbye to that shithole place.

I completely understand that the Vikings had 31 points on the scoreboard.  This is definitely an embarrassing number, especially considering that they had only mustered 17 points in their previous two games combined.  If you look at it more closely, it was a very empty 31 points.  The Vikings only mustered 243 yards of offense.  Special teams and (questionable) penalties were the best form of moving the ball for Minnesota.  When you consider that James Starks equaled 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson’s output in half the carries you start to realize that this was a good, old-fashioned country ass whipping.  In 2010, the Vikings were in an almost identical situation.  They had just come off of a playoff season, they had unrealistic expectations, and were off to a slow start.  Aaron Rodgers came in a beat them to a pulp and the coach was fired the next day.  It’s a least a little bit interesting that Leslie Frazier is still standing whereas Brad Childress was not.

Quote of the Week:

“I wasn’t going to let this team beat us, I wanted to make sure that I put myself and our team in a position to be successful here. A lot was on my shoulders. I wanted to make sure I got us in good runs and our team responded really well.” -Aaron Rodgers

(NEW) My interpretation of the Quote of the Week:

“I really don’t like how arrogant and generally douchey Greg Jennings has become, and I was going to embarrass him and all three of his quarterbacks.  That hug he gave me after the game was really awkward and he talked a lot.” – Aaron Rodgers

3 up:

1.  Jordy Nelson- If I’m Jordy Nelson I am insulted by the way that the Minnesota Vikings covered me.  Considering what Nelson has done in this league, not least of which was his 1,200 yard 15 TD season of 2011, I don’t understand how the Vikings didn’t have Nelson in bracket double coverage all game.  No Randall Cobb, no Jermichael Finley, no James Jones.  Why are you not taking Jordy away and making Myles White, Andrew Quarless, and Jarrett Boykin beat you?  At this point I’m not even sure it’s possible to cover Nelson.  He doesn’t correlate to other “white” wide receivers so stop even trying.  He is 6’3″ 217 pounds and has 4.5 speed.  He has the strongest hands on the team.  The Packers are literally moving him around and running a top 5 passing offense through him and him alone.

2.  Aaron Rodgers- What else is there to say? He was 24 of 29 on Sunday Night.  He had 3 throw-aways to avoid sacks and one drop.  That means that of his 26 throws that were intended to be catchable, 25 were catchable.  He missed one throw.  One.  He’s to the point in his career where he calls the offense at the line of scrimmage, and right now, despite missing 3 of his 4 top receiving targets, his left tackle, and his preseason starting running back DuJuan Harris, he is the undisputed architect of the league’s #2 offense.

3.  David Bakhtiari- the Metrodome is a scary place for young left tackles.  Chad Clifton always had a pretty good handle on Jared Allen.  I do, however, remember two games in the Metrodome where TJ Lang and Daryn Colledge had to face him, respectively.  Those were not fun games.  Bakhtiari has faced the following pass rushers this season: Aldon Smith, Brian Orakpo, Michael Johnson, Ezekiel Ansah, Terrell Suggs, Jabaal Sheard and Jared Allen.  He is a rookie.  He held Jared Allen, the heart and soul of the Vikings defense, off the ledger.  He did not record a sack, he did not record a tackle.  He was invisible.  Mark Chmura said very early on in the season that David Bakhtiari would be the Packers’ left tackle for the next decade and I’m starting to really agree.

3 down:

1.  Greg Jennings- this couldn’t have gone any better for Packers fans.  Every Packer fan and everyone in the national media understood that Jennings was leaving Green Bay for money and mediocrity.  He did a good job of selling the move, and the people in purple bought in hook, line, and sinker.  He had one catch for 9 yards and has watched 3 different quarterbacks fail repeatedly to get him the ball in good situations.  It is unreal how fortunate the Packers are that he did not accept their $11 million offer early last season.  I’m happy he didn’t accept the $7 million offer they sent him in the off season.  Because I like the old Greg, and will never forget his true and honest joy during and after Super Bowl XLV, I’m a little bit sad that he didn’t just take the $6 million New England offered him.  We have other problems, like paying Sam Shields, BJ Raji, James Jones and eventually Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.  having multi-millions invested in a declining Greg Jennings is not a luxury Ted Thompson could have afforded.

2.  Don Barclay- Barclay is just not impressive.  I still believe he can be an average starting right tackle in the NFL, but it just isn’t happening right now.  If David Bakhtiari is truly the left tackle of the future for the Packers, then Bryan Bulaga is the right tackle of the future.  Barclay may be more effective as guard, but at least for this season, I think it will be interesting to see if he continues to struggle if the Packers don’t consider Marshall Newhouse, or (my personal favorite idea) the newly healthy Derek Sherrod.

3.  Garbage Points- I really would have preferred if the Vikings had stayed down 41-17.  Everyone knows that the game wasn’t competitve, but 44-31 could be misconstrued as a close-ish contest.  The 45-7 game and the 31-3 game in the Metrodome were more satisfying.

Bottom Line:

The Packers never have to play in the Metrodome again.  Aaron Rodgers was able to even his ledger there at 3-3, and send an obvious message to Greg Jennings that not only does Green Bay not need him, but he is currently aboard a sinking ship.  The Vikings season is over, and considering how much smack their fans were talking after the week 17 win in Minnesota and the Jennings signing that’s a beautiful thing.  At the job hat I held before this one, I worked with a Chicago native, and a Twin Valley, Minnesota native.   They were the biggest Bear and Viking fan, respectively, that I’ve ever met.  There was an Italian place in town called Grazie’s that had a phenomenal dish called the Rajin’ Cajun.  The standard bet between the three of us was that when a combination of two of our teams played, the winner would buy the loser Grazie’s.  The girl I was dating at the time once asked me “why do your friends at work always have to buy you lunch?”  I said “Dear, I’m the Packers fan. I don’t have to buy the lunch. Buying lunch is for losers.”  It’s Bears week. Let’s go.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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  • Lance Hinek

    One correction to your first story. ” The Packers ran the ball down the Vikings throats, out gaining the NFC North bottom feeders on the ground 182-11″. The rushing yardage is 182 to 111.

    • Ross Uglem

      Yup that was a typo, should be fixed now, thanks!