Packers XLV

Rodgers Celebrates Birthday With Return to First Place

Posted December 2nd, 2012 @ 09:12pm

All in all, it was a pretty good 29th birthday for Aaron Rodgers. He led the Pack to its tenth straight divisional win, saw the Bears (and 49ers) lose in overtime, unwrapped his favorite present, Greg Jennings, who returned after missing seven weeks and will go to sleep tonight in first place.

It wasn't all birthday cake and balloons, though. The Pack lost Jordy Nelson after a sideline catch in the first quarter, and then TJ Lang shortly thereafter with an ankle injury. Huge props to rookie free agent Don Barclay who stepped in at right tackle and held up very well. His run blocking was great and he kept Robison at bay. He may stick at right tackle, with Lang returning to his left guard spot when he's healthy. Mike McCarthy said after the game that the doctors didn't think Lang's injury was serious.

On a day when Adrian Peterson's greatness was on display for all to see, the Vikings couldn't take advantage. 210 yards, including his career long 82 yard TD run. You get a guy with 200 yards, you usually win. But Ponder was brutal, completing only nine passes all day until the last series of garbage time. His pick in the end zone by Morgan Burnett was the turning point of the game. The Pack took over and kept the ball for 11 minutes, running 18 plays. It ended with a Mason Crosby field goal, putting the Pack up by nine and putting the game on ice.

The defense pitched a shutout in the second half. I don't care who you are playing against. When you're playing without starters Matthews, Woodson, Wilson and Shields, that's an accomplishment. They got gouged by Peterson a few times, but harassed Ponder and kept the ball out of the hands of his suspect receivers.

Offensively, the line protected well--a huge improvement over last week. The Vikes didn't sack Rodgers till late in the fourth quarter, giving him time to convert some key third downs and helping the running game churn out 143 yards: exactly what this team will need in the last quarter of the season.

I'm sitting in a virtually empty Lambeau Field pressbox, getting set for the drive back home to Minnetonka. Pack beats the Vikes. Bears and Lions lose. 49ers lose. Vikes fans will be demanding a QB change on KFAN tomorrow. All in all, a good day at the office.


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Comments (10):

Can't wait for the local Viking fans to go crazy whining about their QB. And I think I wold agree-Ponder is NOT the guy. But as a Packer fan! I love his poor play.

on December 2nd, 2012 at 04:07pm

I am sitting here as I write this listening to Viking Fan(whine) line. There is more whine here than in Napa Valley. I have sat in Napa Valley and sipped fine wine....but I can tell you this is much more enjoyable. QB's win at this level and our # 12 is better than their #7 more than 5 times. Even though Ponder was brutal our young DB's were a highlight. Let's not get too high on Don Barclay...we will need Lang back for the future. Also nice production from the running game and Crosby probably saved his job as MM looked like he had enough after the out of bounds kickoff to start the second half. Get healthy and build momentum. Got to get back to Whine Line as this is like Sinatra to my ears. PS to Davy: Will there be another game get together at the Park Tavern this season?? GO PACK GO !!

on December 2nd, 2012 at 04:32pm

well the Queens brought their one trick pony show to Lambeau, and the result was predictable, AP runs wild, but the rest of the team is below average. Perfect remedy for the whuppin we got from the G-Men. Bring on the Kitties!! when was the last time they won in Wisconsin?? '91?? ain't happening next week, either.

on December 2nd, 2012 at 07:15pm

Beating the division opponents is what it is all about. It's not just that these games mean the most (especially with this years scheduling), it just that they also put the biggest grin on your face that you can get from a regular season victory. How this season shakes out is still a mystery, be it division title, NFC champion, Super Bowl victory, or nothing, but these are the victories that make our every day lives easier. I just hope that we can find some magic in that offensive line, and we'll take it one game at a time. :)

on December 2nd, 2012 at 09:08pm

It was so much fun the first time, we're going back to the Park Tavern for the Bears game on 12/16. Hope to see some of you there!

on December 2nd, 2012 at 10:11pm

Cane's got a point about sugar coating stats, and like I was dead wrong about how many yards we had to keep AP under to win. I thought 150 yards, apparently he could go for 25o and the Vikes couldn't have won that game. The stats that matter, the score: 23 to 14, the standings: 1st place, turn overs: 2 to 1 Pack. Yeah, we need to be more careful with our stats when we talk about our WINNING team. Let's Go!

on December 3rd, 2012 at 03:27pm

I don't recall whether it was Gerbschmidt or Confucius who said it,"Great quarterback trump great runningback in NFL. And bad quarterback sklew own great running back in NFL." If BF hadn't lied and double-crossed on his retirement and Mason Crosby hadn't missed that 50 yd. field goal at the gun in the Metrodome in 2008 the Packers would have a 13 game win streak going over the Yikes as of now. But 5 in a row is still sweet. Just something else to ponder. If the Packers win the next 3 on the schedule they will have the NFC North title sewed up before the regular finale at Minnesota. Then they can sit Rodgers and some other regulars and maybe the purple poople odors will finally get one before their long, cold off season begins. Peterson's rushing number? A nice stat but only a stat. The Packers rushing game was actually the one more effective in winning the game.

on December 3rd, 2012 at 05:21am

Hey THC--you know if you take away AP's 82 and 50 yard runs--your great run D held him under 100 yards yesterday (barely). Thought I cherry pick a stat for you......

on December 3rd, 2012 at 09:43am

Davy....just got done listening to you on KFAN( Knockout For Another Night) radio. It was a no contest event between you and the Master Whinemaster (PA). Showing more counter punches than Sugar Ray Leonard in his prime you scored on his every attempted punch. You could have went for the quick knockout but effortlessly played with your opponent with class and style at every move. You can save that Knockout for another night (KFAN) You were the best !! Leave the sour whine for PA and his buddy Kane. Great to see it's the Park Tavern for the Bear game. Let's get a big croud !1 GO PACK GO !!

on December 3rd, 2012 at 10:13am

This is an open letter to Vikings fans. As it stands, the Vikings for the most part really aren’t that bad off. Everyone seems to be calling for putting in Webb, firing Fraizer and Spielman, and probably the rest of the coaching staff as well. Let me ask this…what good do you think that would do? They’ve already doubled their win total from last year’s total, and the draft class thus far has proven to be much better than advertised. I’ll ask another question…what were you expecting for this year, a Lombardi trophy? Seriously? Just a playoff bid was considered a long shot back in September, and it appears they’re going to fall short. Does that make this year a failure? Maybe for a handful of fans would say so, but let’s be realistic. A Super Bowl victory is not the expectation for any team – it’s the goal. Getting to the playoffs should be the benchmark for success for any team, but its measured success. If they don’t get to the playoffs, a team’s success level should be based on significant improvement from the previous year’s result. So by that criteria, the Vikings’ season should be considered successful. Ponder has shown flashes of “getting it”, but his supporting cast has let him down on numerous occasions, so the blame for his shortcomings can be spread around. So is he a bona fide starter, or nothing more than a backup quality QB? Only time will tell. That’s a concept a high percentage of fans of any team have a difficult time grasping – taking the time to do it right. You may disagree with Spielman’s approach, but for the first time since Jim Finks, the Vikings have a GM that “gets it”. He understands that you can’t overhaul a team in just one off season, something that Ted Thompson already understands. As difficult as it is for the average fan to grasp, Spielman has figured out that what’s important for the team is addressing the needs of the future, not necessarily the present. Because if the needs of the future are taken care of, the present will take care of itself. If Ziggy decides to clean house, the Vikings are in big trouble for years to come. Fraizer needs the players, Spielman can provide them, and another off season should still see continued improvement. You already have a first ballot hall of famer in Peterson, who is easily the greatest running back the league has seen since Jim Brown (and that includes Barry Sanders and Walter Payton). For your sake, you should hope his window of opportunity stays open for a few more years. As far as the next draft goes, should the Vikings look for another QB? I think the next 4 games should answer that question, but at this point, it should probably be in the back of Spielman’s mind. IMHO, the Vikings have more upside right now than the Bears do, and a lot more than the Lions. Having a strong franchise in the Vikings helps the entire division. But for now, go ahead and continue complaining about Ponder – after all, it’s your right to do so. And good luck catching the Pack! ;-)

on December 4th, 2012 at 09:54pm

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