During the Week Two contest between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings we saw some of the improvement we were expecting. Today the Packers sit atop the NFL’s North Division with a 2-0 record. I must admit I didn’t see this coming at all. According to Coach Matt LaFleur, he wanted a faster start by the Offense, and that he got, to the tune of 21 straight points. Most Packer fans were salivating at this point, with the Packers taking a 21-10 lead into half time. Coach Zimmer of the Vikings made the appropriate adjustments and the Vikings shut out the Packers in the second half. One would consider this a learning point for both the Packer players and coaches alike.
Some definite high points for the Offense were RB Aaron Jones, who rushed for 116 yards on 23 carries for 1 TD with a 5.0 yard average. Another, though expected WR Davante Adams had 7 receptions for 106 yards. The Offense had two one hundred yard producers, that’s quite an accomplishment for only week two. The Defense, much to the delight of Coach Mike Pettine, produced 4 turnovers, 2 INT’s and two fumble recoveries. MLB Blake Martinez followed his strong Week 1 showing with another great performance in Week 2, logging 13 combined tackles. LB Za’Darius Smith and rookie S Darnell Savage had 6 tackles each. The Defense came up big again and shut down two 4th quarter drives by the Vikings during crunch time. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst must be feeling pretty good about the additions to his team this off season and draft.
The Defense had their backs up against the Goal Line, with the Vikings at the Packer’s 8 yard line. The Packers flushed Kirk Cousins to his right, he lofted a prayer into the corner of the end zone and was picked by CB Kevin King. Packers Offense took over with 3:14 left on the clock, even though they gained two first downs, they still had to punt with six seconds remaining. The Vikings had no time outs and basically tried a hook and ladder play which failed miserably.
I believe the difference maker in this game was first and foremost, the Vikings had 8 penalties for 100 yards, to the Packer’s 6 for 35. The Packers ran 69 Offensive plays to the Vikings 60, with Packers holding the TOP edge 34.06 to 25.54. The Vikings did generate more total yards than the Packers, 421-335, much closer if you factor in the penalties, 321-300. With all that being said the game statistically was very even.
Bottom line, the one statistic that counts is the score, 21-16 Packers. I’ve many fans are upset with the Packers performance. Yes, there still remains much to improve upon with the Offense (which we saw glimpses of greatness), and some improvement with the Defense, such as wrapping up when tackling and securing potential turnovers. How can you seriously complain about your First Place Green Bay Packers, now 2-0. Expect more, sure, but no team will achieve perfection. Just look for steady improvement each week, minimize injuries and strive for 1-0 each week.
I will be in attendance this week versus the Denver Broncos and their vaunted Defense.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter