Wk 7 – MN at GB: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Tonight the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Green Bay Packers in Brett Favre’s second return to Lambeau Field.  For the fourth time this season, the Vikings had a chance to tie or win the ballgame in the final minutes and failed.  With Sunday night’s 24-28 loss, the Vikings move to 2-4 on the season.  Next week Minnesota travels to New England to play the co-AFC East leader Patriots at 3:15.  The Patriots are coming off a 23-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers, and are 3-0 at home on the year.

The Good:

The running game.  Adrian Peterson toted the rock to a tune of 131 yards on 28 carries and 1 touchdown.  All-Day added 2 catches for 41 yards.  Adrian was relentless and aggressive for the entire game.  Toby Gerhart had the most productive game of his young career (5 carries, 24 yards).  The running backs are not the only productive unit contributing to a great night on the ground.  The offensive line had possibly their best game of the season, creating holes all night long.  John Sullivan’s return sparked the unit, and Anthony Herrera made numerous in-play adjustments that paid dividends.

Percy Harvin is turning into one of the most dynamic offensive players in the game.  Although his position says WR, Harvin can found all over the field.  Tonight, Percy had 3 carries for 41 yards and 1 touchdown.  Add in 5 receptions for 65 yards and a near game winning touchdown, the former Florida Gator is an explosive Jack-of-all-trades.  Harvin also provides a much-needed threat on kickoff returns.

Finally, the Vikings offensive was palatable and moved the ball for the majority of the night.  This could not be said for the pervious 5 games, as sometimes this talented offensive roster seemed anemic.  402 yards of offense is nothing to hang your head by.  Unfortunately the 3 interceptions – one returned for a touchdown – proved enormous, leading to The Bad of tonight’s game.

The Bad:

Not all blame can be placed on one man, however Brett Favre has had to many flaws and mistakes thus far this season.  First the flaws:  not feeding Moss who plays harder the more targets he receives; Favre’s unwillingness to value not turning the ball over.  Brett does not want to throw picks or hold the ball too long, but the fact is he is.  Second the mistakes: 3 interceptions of which 2 were entirely his fault (Nick Collins INT resulted from a poor route by Harvin), held the ball far too long leading to unnecessary sacks, interceptions, and possible injuries.  Brad Childress understand Brett Favre is had the greatest upside of any QB on the roster, but is Favre really giving the Vikings the best chance to win?  The Vikings fans are growing restless, and the call for Tarvaris Jackson is growing louder.

The defense played sub par to their standards.  Chris Cook got burned numerous times early in his first game back from his second knee injury of the season.  Cook looked uncomfortable, and it appeared he may not be fully healthy from that injury.  More importantly though, the front four created no pressure all night.  Aaron Rodgers in a clean pocket will slice a defense apart.

And The Ugly:

The referees outrageous penalties and decisions for the majority of the night.  There are human mistakes and then there are complete disregard for rules.  The Shiancoe catch was a complete travesty.  The ruling on the field was a touchdown, which means there has to be conclusive video evidence showing the contrary to the original ruling on the field.  The ball never moved, shifted, or bobbled in Shiancoe’s possession.  Brad Childress said following the game this was the worst officiated game he has seen in years.  Other ridiculous calls included the offensive pass interference call on Randy Moss (did not shove or extend his arms, Moss’s hands were simply feeling where the defender was as his eyes were focused on the ball), holding call on Frank Walker, numerous missed holding calls on the Packers offensive line, the unchallenged Packer touchdown by TE Quarless, and more.  All games have poor calls, and on occasion the cumulation of poor calls influences if not decides the game’s result.

Game Ball:

No game balls will given out for this game, although a couple popped balls could be given to each side and officials.

Thanks for reading, and check back throughout the week for news, notes, and opinions.

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