Foolish mistakes doom Green Bay Packers against Minnesota Vikings, 37-34

By
Updated: December 30, 2012

Although the heroics of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson weren’t enough to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, they did help to eliminate the Chicago Bears from the playoffs.

Recap

It’s not everyday a team puts up 34 points and still deserves to lose. Today was one of those days. From start to finish, the Green Bay Packers (12-4) played without evincing the slightest shred of respect for the Minnesota Vikings (10-6). They must have thought they already had the first-round bye in the bag, because they were undisciplined in every phase of the game. No team plays perfectly in any game, but there is never an excuse for making stupid mistakes, of which the Packers made many.

Game Ball: Offense

He did it all today — everything except break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was his usual amazing self, rushing 34 times for 199 yards and a touchdown, averaging an incredible 5.8 yards per carry, catching a pass for another touchdown, and generally carrying the offense on his back. He finished with 2,097 rushing yards the second most all time and a mere nine short of the record. The fact that Peterson will not be in line for MVP consideration is a travesty, in my opinion.

Despite the loss, there are plenty of honorable mentions to go around on the Packers’ side.

Running back DuJuan Harris, recently promoted from the practice squad, who truly came to play today. Although he never had an opportunity to punch the ball into the end zone, he battled hard on every play, finishing with 70 yards on 14 carries, averaging a very respectable 5.0 yards per carry. Had the Packers been able to get that kind of production out of him earlier in the season, they might have won a couple extra games.

Wide receiver Greg Jennings had his best game of the season, catching eight passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Jordy Nelson and James Jones caught a touchdown apiece. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his sixth 300-yard game on the season and threw four touchdown passes.

Game Ball: Defense

It’s difficult to hand out defensive game balls on a day in which 71 total points were scored, so we’ll give them to the winning team.

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was in the Packers’ backfield all day, sacking quarterback Aaron Rodgers three times.

Honorable mention goes to defensive ends Brian Robison and Jared Allen, who collaborated force and recover a fumble on a sack of Rodgers.

Goats

There is plenty of blame to go around for this loss, which we’ll go into in more detail in the game wrap-up. For now we’ll be content to brand Packers cornerback Tramon Williams the Goat of the game for the inexcusable illegal use of hands penalties he incurred at the Green Bay 12-yard line on a third-and-12 play in which the defense had stopped running back Toby Gerhart for a five-yard gain. The unnecessary infraction extended the Vikings’ drive and set them up for a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Jenkins.

Injuries

Packers defensive end Jerel Worthy left the game late in the fourth quarter and did not return.

What’s next

It’s hard to know what conclusions to draw from this game. The Vikings were obviously motivated to get Adrian Peterson the rushing record, and they very nearly succeeded. For their part, the Packers also had a chance at history — becoming the first team to sweep their division two years in a row — not to mention an opportunity to secure a first-round playoff bye, but they didn’t seem particularly interested.

The upshot is that the stage has been set for a rematch at Lambeau Field next week. Will the Packers come out angry and take care of business against their division rival? Or will the Vikings be on fire and steamroll through the Green Bay defense en route to the divisional round?

Hopefully, the Packers go home embarrassed of their performance and fixes the problems in practice. Otherwise they’re going to find themselves one and done for the second season in a row. The Vikings are surely not going to be feeling intimidated coming into this game, particularly since Green Bay’s home playoff record has hardly been stellar in recent years.

There’s no reason for the Packers to give up on their season. They did a lot of great things today and put up 34 points. But they had better develop some respect for their divisional rival — and fast — if they want to have any chance of advancing to the next round.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

1502 comments
Houndog
Houndog

From the Gulag: "It seems likely that receiver Randall Cobb (ankle) will play, but the
status of fellow receiver Jordy Nelson (knee) appears very much in the
air. Nelson didn't practice Tuesday and McCarthy said he would provide
more information on his status Wednesday"

Damn, just can't seem to get em all on the field at the same time!

JVince11
JVince11

Woodson will return this weekend... Ponder's bestie... Woodson has 2 INTs from him in 2 games.


No more MD Jennings shitty tackling looking like a Pug trying to hump a christmas ornament.  


I will also bet that Woodson will be in man against Rudolph all game instead of fucking Jones, Hawk, or McMillian.

JVince11
JVince11

FACT:

The Minnesota Vikings have not won a game outdoors ALL  season.. including the preseason.


Welcome to January Lambeau..... bitches.

Childerz...
Childerz...

Rough turn over on a new article the last few days eh??

G & G
G & G moderator

Happy New Year Guys!!!!

niemerg1
niemerg1

when is a new article going up...its been 4 days...

Joedirte
Joedirte

If  Ponder gets taken in the 1st round EJ Manuel is a heck of a lot better he will be a solid player

Doctor ϟ Professor ☧
Doctor ϟ Professor ☧ moderator

2001 'Canes
Davenport
Portis
Shockey
Andre Johnson
Bryant McKinnie
William Joseph
Jerome McDougle
DJ Williams
Vilma
Mike Rumph
Ed Reed
Phillip Buchanon
McGahee
Antrel Rolle
Sean Taylor
Gore
Rocky McIntosh
Wilfork
Chris Meyers
Kellen Winslow
Parrish
Vernon Carey

JVince11
JVince11

 Nelson and Matthews sat out of practice yesterday... Matthews injury was not listed but is considered to be his back.

andylet445
andylet445

woodson was fucking jones, hawk, and mcmillian?  gross.

JVince11
JVince11

7 wins in Minny.. and a wins on the road of @ STL, @ HOU, and @ DET.

JVince11
JVince11

 they showed up as frequently as Green Bay's tackling abilities.

JVince11
JVince11

 i can't tell if serious... or being a smartass.


Either way....


fuck off dick leaf.

Joedirte
Joedirte

 Greatest College Football team ever and would have beaten some NFL teams

JVince11
JVince11

  .................... well played.

andylet445
andylet445

so you're saying lambeau isn't a dome?

G & G
G & G moderator

  You can't say Green Bay and Tackling in the same sentence...

Childerz...
Childerz...

they show up as often as Marcus Scherels in pass coverage.... so never. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

  Even the most staked College team would never have a chance against an NFL team... even the crappy ones.. lol

JVince11
JVince11

  that is the plan!!!!  Limit his carries.. last weekend was a career high in carries by AP by about 8 carries I think.

andylet445
andylet445

  ap will still get his yards.  there is no stopping that right now. we just need the offense to do enough to get up multiple scores and force the vikings to abandon the run and make ponder win it. 

JVince11
JVince11

  Slow down the pass rush?? it will do a lot more than that... it will limit the amount of horizontal cutting ability of AP.  AP killed GB when he was able to hit a congested hole and bounce it outside.  He won't be able to do that at Lambeau as easily.

andylet445
andylet445

  the main thing is lambeau's turf will slow down the vikings pass rush and that will help tremendously. 

JVince11
JVince11

   Woodson and Cobb will both play this weekend too... getting the band back together!

G & G
G & G moderator

   NICEEEE!!!!!

JVince11
JVince11

  not with a broken hand? 

JVince11
JVince11

  I would have a qualm about coverage on Greg Jennings and the inability to limit GB's WRs to YAC and big plays.

G & G
G & G moderator

  Winfield will be back for Saturday's game?

Childerz...
Childerz...

 I really have 0 qualms about the Vikings last week... except when Winfield and Smith went down and Rodgers lit us up. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

They show up as often as Christian Ponder in clutch moments...

JVince11
JVince11

 They show up as often as Graham Harrell in league MVP talks.

Joedirte
Joedirte

  He was pretty good and finished 2nd in the Heisman 1 year. He didnt have the arm of Carson Palmer but was a solid system QB

Doctor ϟ Professor ☧
Doctor ϟ Professor ☧ moderator

  eh. i feel he was more just along for the ride. but i didnt see much of him.

Joedirte
Joedirte

  I liked Ken Dorsey and I thought he could have been a solid back-up/semi-starter. Like Kyle Orton is but he never had a chance.

Joedirte
Joedirte

  Whats amazing is they won with a pretty mediocre HC if they had Butch Davis they would have never lost to OSU and probably would still be a national powerhouse......Butch Davis was perhaps the best recruiting HC ever.

Joedirte
Joedirte

   The Canes got robbed by a crooked Ref

Doctor ϟ Professor ☧
Doctor ϟ Professor ☧ moderator

  they are considered the best team in NCAA history lol.


and yes..they won like 34 straight or something like that before my Buckeyes beat them in the NC Game in 2002 in 2OT. (or maybe it was 3OT)