With their 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers sit atop the NFC North at 2-0. It was the Packers’ first victory over the Vikings in two years.
The Packers took control of the game early, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions. Those three touchdowns, along with the accompanying three extra points, all came in the first quarter of the game but were the only points that the Packers would score. However, it was enough to eke out a win against the rival Vikings.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked good early on but faltered. Rodgers completed 22 of 34 passes for 209 yards and no interceptions. His QB rating for the day was 101.2.
Running back Aaron Jones registered another 100-plus-yard day for the second week in a row with 116 yards rushing on 23 carries and a touchdown. Jones added 34 yards with four passes hauled in.
Wide receiver Geronimo Allison handled a perfect, laser throw from Rodgers for a touchdown, too.
Packers running back, Jamaal Williams added a touchdown, also, as the recipient of a Rodgers bullet.
Packers fans should credit not only linebacker Preston Smith for an early interception but also Kevin King for a potentially game-saving end zone interception in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings struggled early and often.
Although he took the blame for the loss, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is not the sole reason for Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Packers. The absolute lack of defense by the Vikings on the Packers’ first three drives, the inability of the offensive line to protect Cousins (one sack and 28 pressures), and mental mistakes on both offense and defense all contributed to the loss.
Cousins finished the day with a passer rating of just 52.9, completing only 14 of 32 passes with just one touchdown and two picks.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was solid with 154 yards, as was wide receiver Stefon Diggs with a single reception for 49 yards and a score.
Despite the struggles, Vikings fan should take heart. Despite being down 21-0 in the first quarter, they never gave up, nor gave in.
The Vikings’ defense also deserves a great deal of credit for ensuring that the Packers were scoreless in the last three quarters of Sunday’s game. In a normal game, a shutdown defense like the Vikings displayed wins games.
“There’s no justification. It was unacceptable, it put my team in a terrible position. We had worked so hard to get down there, had a great chance to take the lead, potentially win the game. I just took it out of our hands by making that throw.” – Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (on his 4th quarter end zone interception by Packers cornerback Kevin King)
— IKE Packers Podcast (@IKE_Packers) September 15, 2019
"That is a great team win!"
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 16, 2019
Why you need to call a fair catch
Minnesota Vikings Ameer Abdullah TRUCKS Green Bay Packers Trevor Davis pic.twitter.com/a32tvbz3MV
— Adam Bowman (@imAdamBowman) September 15, 2019
— Ron Johnson (@3RonJohnson) September 15, 2019
The Packers hope to continue to stay atop the league this Sunday when they host the struggling, winless Denver Broncos (0-2), who’ve fallen short in their first two games against the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears.
The Vikings hope to rebound this Sunday in a home-field matchup against the Oakland Raiders (0-2). The Raiders are fresh off of an old-fashioned butt-kicking by Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs.