Packers (24) Complete Season Sweep of Vikings (21) in Minneapolis

The Green Bay Packers
The Packers have struggled a bit on the road, only averaging 22.5 ppg when compared to their 43.8 ppg at home.

The Packers have struggled a bit on the road, only averaging 22.5 ppg when compared to their 43.8 ppg at home.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – 11/24/2014 – For the first time in over 30 years the Packers played a road game in Minneapolis against the division rival Vikings.  After decimating the Vikings at Lambeau Field earlier this season, the Vikings were hoping to play spoiler for Green Bay’s division title hopes.  While it was closer than most analysts predicted, the Packers were still able to come out on top in this one.

The game started off slowly for both teams, as neither scored until Eddie Lacy rumbled in from one-yard out with 1:34 left in the first quarter.  The Vikings would respond on their next drive, as receiver Charles Johnson would beat the Packers secondary for a 22-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.  The Packers were able to win the field-position battle all day long, as they started from 54 yards or less on three of their four scoring drives on the day.  The second scoring drive only took two minutes and four plays, but ended on a bizarre touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to tight end Richard Rodgers.  It will only go down as a one-yard touchdown pass in the stat sheet, but the ball traveled nearly 40 yards in the air.  Rodgers took the snap at the one-yard line, rolled to his right and was under heavy pressure.  That’s when it looked like he was just going to throw the ball away, but instead found an absolutely wide open Rodgers in the back corner of the end zone to give the green & gold a 14-7 lead.  The Vikings would respond on their next drive once again, as Blair Walsh was able to put a 39-yard field goal through the uprights to cut the lead to four going into halftime.

The Vikings would be the first to strike in the second half as Blair Walsh knocked down another field goal for the Vikings, this one from 51-yards out.  Playing on par with their opponent, the Packers responded on their next drive with a Mason Crosby 48-yard field goal of his own, putting the Packers up 17-13.  The Packers would score once again with 8:34 left in the game on a 10-yard shovel pass from Rodgers to running back Eddie Lacy a la Brett Favre.  Lacy would weave and break his way into the end zone to give the Packers an 11 point lead down the stretch.  The Vikings would give Green Bay a little more trouble, as former Packer receiver Greg Jennings hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass with 3:23 left to go in the game, his first against his former team.  It was a moot point though, as Eddie Lacy and the ground game were able to run out the clock and give the Packers their third straight win, and seventh in their last eight!

Aaron Rodgers had a relatively quiet day, throwing for 209 yards and going 19 of 29 in the game with two touchdowns.  The star of the day offensively for Green Bay was second-year running back Eddie Lacy.    Lacy carried the ball 25 times for 125 yards (5.0 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns (one rushing & one receiving).  Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb hauled in 12 of Rodgers’ completions for a combined 126 yards, while tight end Richard Rodgers turned his one reception for one yard  into one touchdown.  Defensively, the Packers were led by their secondary in tackles as safeties Morgan Burnett (10) and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (9) led the team in tackles.  Micah Hyde forced the game’s only turnover on an interception of Teddy Bridgewater.

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For Minnesota, Teddy Bridgewater actually threw for more yards then Aaron Rodgers (by one yard), but only completed 21 of his 37 passes for two touchdowns and an interception, and was erratic for much of the day.  The Vikings were able to run the ball well, toting the ball 25 times for 112 yards as a team, but lead back Jerick McKinnon only gained 54 yards on his 15 carries.  Charles Johnson led the way for the Vikings’ ball-catchers, netting 52 yards and a touchdown with his three receptions, while tight end Kyle Rudolph came back from injury fully to haul in three passes for 50 yards.

With this win, head coach Mike McCarthy passed the legendary Vince Lombardi on the Packers all-time wins list with his 90th victory of his career at the helm of the Cheesehead Nation.  He’ll have to stick around for quite a bit to catch Curly Lambeau, who has 209 wins.  During the McCarthy regime, the Packers have owned the Vikings, as yesterday’s victory improved his overall mark against the NFC North foe to 14-4-1.  Per the Milwaukee, WI Journal Sentinel, when McCarthy took over in 2006, the Vikings led the overall series with Greeb Bay 45-44-1.  Since 2006, the Packers are now well ahead to the tune of 58-49-2.

The Packers will have a true test next Sunday as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are coming to Lambeau Field for an inter-conference tilt.  Pregame will begin at 2:30pm with a 4:30pm kickoff.  Join Wayne Larrivee & Larry McCarren for all of the action you won’t want to miss on 98.3 WRUP!  GO PACK GO!

-Carl Leander Johnson

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