Green Bay Packers Win Big Over Minnesota Vikings Thursday Night
The Green Bay offense kept rolling and relaxing Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as the Packers dominated the Minnesota Vikings, 42-10.
On average, the margin of victory for Thursday night contests this season was 28.3 points. The Packers covered that and won their second straight game over an NFC North opponent.
Aaron Rodgers and his offense punted their first possession, but a stop by their defense gave them the ball back and they didn't look back.
Rodgers found Randall Cobb in the end zone. Then, Rodgers hit his favorite target, Jordy Nelson, for 66 yards to go up 14-0. Afterwards, the Packers signal caller was all smiles.
Then, about midway through the second quarter, Julius Peppers picked off Christian Ponder, returned it 49 yards for a touchdown, and got to do his first Lambeau leap. Two minutes later, Rodgers threw his 200th career touchdown pass to rookie Davante Adams to go into halftime up 28-0.
The second half was all Eddie Lacy. Lacy rushed for two touchdowns in the third quarter, an 11-yard, and 10-yard score to give the Packers a 42-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Ponder rushed for a 6-yard score and Blair Walsh kicked a 26-yard field goal in the fourth to finally put the Vikings on the scoreboard.
Thursday wasn't Ponder's night. He was 22-of-44 for 222 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and was sacked six times. Ponder missed several receivers in the game, and the Packers defense were licking their chops when he was on the field. He started for Teddy Bridgewater, who sat with an ankle injury.
For the Packers, Rodgers was 12-of-17 for 158 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 138.7 passer rating.
Lacy was the biggest factor and Thursday night may of been just what he needs to get rolling. He was running with authority, breaking tackles and trucking over Vikings defenders. Lacy ran the ball 13 times for 105 yards and two scores. He picked up 8.1 yards per carry on the ground against Minnesota. His counterpart, James Starks also got more touches, and ran 12 times for 46 yards.
Defensively, the run defense looked solid. The Packers front seven held Matt Asiata to 72 yards on eight carries, and rookie Jerrick McKinnon only ran the ball seven times for 24 yards.
The biggest no-show for a second consecutive game was Vikings multipurpose threat, Cordarrelle Patterson. Ponder threw to him four times, and he caught the ball twice for eight yards. Last week, Bridgewater's main target was Jairus Wright, and only threw to Patterson four times as well. (He caught two receptions for 38 yards against Atlanta). Patterson told NFL.com this morning he wants, 'to be more involved,' in the offense.
The Vikings play at home against Detroit next weekend. Green Bay visits former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins.
Sam Tastad will have pre-and-post game report for the Packers all season long. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.