The Green Bay Packers did just what you expected them to a team on their third quarterback and second running back on a short week at home. They obliterated them. The Packers dominated from start to finish in a 42-10 shellacking of the Minnesota Vikings.
Green Bay’s defense and running game were the stories in this one. The defense was flying all over the field and played the fastest it has looked in awhile.
The run defense was much improved and the pass rush was magnificent. Dom Capers played more looks to stop the run and to make Christian Ponder beat him. Ponder obliged and was absolutely egregious. However, if the Packers got that kind of pass rush on any quarterback they would have had problems.
The Packers had six sacks and 16 quarterback hits on Ponder. Clay Matthews did not have a sack, but he was very active rushing the passer and looked healthy. Nick Perry led the way with two sacks and he continues to make plays when he is on the field. Even Letroy Guion looked great against his former team with 1.5 sacks. Recently promoted Luther Robinson also got in on the act with a few pressures in place of the injured Datone Jones.
Three turnovers from Green Bay’s defense put the game away in the first half. Julius Peppers picked off a Ponder pass and returned it 49 yards to the end zone for the touchdown and his first Lambeau Leap. The return was amazing for a 33-year old ex-defensive end, as he out ran Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon.
Jamari Lattimore followed with a pick on the next possession and Morgan Burnett forced a fumble following that. Burnett played his best game in years with 12 tackles.
Eddie Lacy was the player of the game and got back on track in a much needed way. He ran for 105 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. You knew Lacy was too talented to be kept down much longer, and he took out all his frustration on the Vikings.
Lacy had huge holes to run through in the first half, but in the second half he was making a lot out of nothing and squeezing through some small holes like we remember him doing. Of course when he got into the open field he was a beast.
Both of his touchdowns were amazing plays. On the first touchdown Lacy took the handoff going to his left, but there was absolutely nothing there and the offensive lineman got driven back into him. Lacy shook that off, cut back, and made Brian Robison miss before easily getting into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.
The second touchdown was classic Lacy. He got around the edge and met Robert Blanton near the end zone. Lacy trucked him so hard that Blanton’s helmet flew off as Lacy fell into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown.
It’s pretty amazing that the Packers were able to score 42 points with Aaron Rodgers only completing 12 passes. The big one was a 66-yard throw to Jordy Nelson on the classic play action post play. The run helped set it up and Nelson made a very good safety in Harrison Smith look silly on a double move.
The Packers will have a nice mini bye week before traveling to Miami next Sunday looking to build off two blowout victories.