As originally posted here.
The Green Bay Packers are demonstrating again why they are the most complete team in the NFL in their quest for a perfect season as they embarrassed the Minnesota Vikings, 45-7 at Lambeau Monday night. The Packers defense showed it can be just as brutal and unrelenting as the offense.
The Packers jumped to a 17-0 lead at the half and never really looked back as Christian Ponder and the Viking offense looked inept all night. The Packers poured on 28 more points to the Vikings lone touchdown. As mismatched as the teams were, you can almost make the case that the turning point was when the Vikings punted the ball after their first possession.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers hardly needed to work at all. His “average” game produced 23 of 30 passes completed for 250 yards and four touchdowns. .
The Packers defense held the Vikings to 266 yards. Ponder was sacked three times–once by linebacker Desmond Bishop and twice by linebacker Clay Mathews. Ponder was harassed all day, being hit six times and forcing an interception. Ponder completed 47% of his passes (16 of 34) for 190 yards and an interception, while running back Adrian Peterson was held to 51 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. The Vikings lone score came off a shortened field after a botched punt by Packer receiver Randall Cobb at the Green Bay 17 and recovered by Viking fullback Ryan D’Imperio at the GB 14.
Most telling stat
Rodgers’ QB rating of 140.3 from the game is only 5.5 points worse this week than last week against the Chargers. Rodgers hasn’t dipped below 111.4 this season. Through his first nine games, Rodgers has thrown for three or more touchdowns seven times. Kurt Warner and Tom Brady are the only other quarterbacks who have done it. They both made the Super Bowl
The last time the Packers lost, including the playoffs, was December 19, 2010. They’ve won their last 16 games.
What it means for the Packers
With the Packers winning and the Detroit Lions losing, Green Bay is ahead by three games in the division and maintains a lead over the 49ers for home-field advantage through the playoffs.
The Packers will continue their homestand and face a desperate and flawed Buccaneer team that recently surrendered 37 points to the Houston Texans. The last time the Bucs faced the Packers, then-rookie quarterback Josh Freeman lead them to an upset victory, 38-28. The Packers are looking to return that favor at Lambeau.
What it means for the Vikings
Ponder is learning on the fly what it means to be a quarterback in the NFL. Since taking over for Donovan McNabb, Ponder has completed 51.9 percent of his passes for a modest 554 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. At 2-7, the Vikings are playing for next year and they will have to find out if the kid can develop or if they need a veteran to help rear him.
One thing the Vikings can hold their hat on, is the way the defense sacked Rodgers two times, hitting him three times and forcing a fumble. The Vikings will face the AFC West-leading Raiders as they come to Mall of America Field.