Week 8 Recap: Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Week 8 Recap: Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

by November 1, 2020 0 comments

Dalvin Cook exposed the Packers defense that was ranked 13th in the league coming into Sunday. Cook ran for three touchdowns and caught one. The Packers had absolutely no answer for any combination the Vikings drew up. 

Shootout Brewing

The game was tabbed as a potential shootout between Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins. Aaron Jones and Cook were facing injuries, but the running game ended up being the deciding factor. 

The first half was fairly even. The Packers scored two touchdowns on two drives and the Vikings scored a couple of their own. Cook had two rushing touchdowns and Davante Adams caught two as well. 

Rodgers spoke to how odd the game was in the first half and throughout the hard-fought divisional matchup. 

“It was just a strange game overall. Two possessions in the first half, nine penalties for 85 yards, the wind, and all of that. Ultimately we had a chance at the end and didn’t come away with the win,” said Rodgers. 

Slipping Away

Coming out of halftime, the Vikings and Dalvin Cook returned with two more touchdowns in the third quarter that put Minnesota up 28-14. The game seemed to get away from the Packers and the Vikings attack left Mike Pettine and the Green Bay defense confused and defeated. 

“I don’t think it ever got away from us, but there are certain things that happen which you can’t control. We just have to worry about what we can control and improve as a football team,” said Packers tight end Robert Tonyan

Moving into the 4th quarter, the Packers defense came up with two key stops with eight minutes and again with five minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, after the first stop, Aaron Rodgers and the offense stalled and turned the ball over on downs after a pass interference call on Minnesota was taken back, a call that left Dean Blandino puzzled. 

With 3:05 left in the 4th quarter, Rodgers connected with Adams again for their third touchdown of the game. LaFleur decided to go for a two-point conversion and running back Jamaal Williams punched it in to give the Packers a chance, down 28-22. 

Comeback Stalled

After a third straight stop, Rodgers and Green Bay got the ball back with :47 left in the game and no timeouts. Rodgers moved the Packers into position for a final shot, avoided a mental error by Williams, and was eventually strip-sacked by D.J. Wonnum to seal the game for Minnesota. 

Ultimately, the lack of Jones and the fear of a banged-up Mason Crosby kicking in the wind created offense issues for the Packers. Two drops by Equanimeous St. Brown stalled an important drive in the third quarter and a poor defensive effort early put the Packers in a consistent deficit they could not overcome. 

“I definitely think the elements (wind and cold) and the mental aspect of that had something to do with our lack of production, but that’s something we just need to overcome,” said Rodgers. 

Rodgers outperformed Cousins in the passing game, with Rodgers posting 291 yards in the air and three touchdowns to Adams. Cousins only attempted 14 passes for 160 yards, with the one touchdown on a screen pass that Cook easily took all the way, 

Highlights: 

Adams’ third touchdown of the afternoon was absolutely his most impressive. 

Wonnum with the game-clinching strip-sack. 

Cook’s fourth and final touchdown which would also be the game-winner. 

What’s Next

Minnesota improves to 2-5, but with injuries plaguing their defensive backs and their two star edge rushers gone for the season, there is little hope moving forward for their team. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson did little to contribute to the offense on Sunday which was partially because of Cook, and partially because Jaire Alexander had a lockdown presence on the passing game. 

Green Bay falls to 5-2 but is still in the thick of the NFC North and NFC playoff race. Rodgers and the Packers have a short week and will travel to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football. Matt LaFleur and Mike Pettine will have plenty of work to do if they want to avoid a repeat of the multiple blowouts from the 49ers in 2019. 

Facing a quick turnaround and a tough opponent, Tonyan summarized the Packers mentality well. “We have to get our mind and bodies right, and we will be ready for another battle on Thursday.” 

Hopefully, the Packers will get running back Jones and receiver Allen Lazard back next week, but either way, make sure to tune into the Packers and 49ers on Thursday Night Football this week. 

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

MJ is the host of "Next Man Up w/MJ Hurley" and "eXamining the XFL" MJ is also a reporter at Fansided for Oakland A's and at XFL Board.

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