* What a breath of fresh air - Ted Icewater, that is. In all seriousness, the entire offense was on fire yesterday, and Ted was the catalyst that kept it burning. The offensive line looked tremendous, the receivers ran crisp routes, and the McKinnon/Asiata train was unstoppable. I have to give it up to Norval, he called a great game. I am so happy to see us incorporate the zone read the way we did - it truly opened up the offense. A huge number - ZERO. That is the number of times Ted was sacked. All in all, just a huge improvement offensively, as compared to the last two weeks.
* I try to look at the defensive performance positively, but it is hard to glean much positive from it prior to the 4th quarter. They were playing one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL, but the frustrating thing was that despite being in GREAT position at times, on critical plays (3rd down - ugh), they were more times than not, unable to capitalize and come up with the play they needed. There needs to be improvement on this side of the ball, because that team to the East has a pretty good offense themselves.
* Despite the defensive woes, I though Xavier Rhodes played like a champ. He had FOUR passes deflected! That's awesome. He is finally starting to walk the line being being physical and too physical. He is incredibly encouraging, and I can't wait to continue to see his progression.
* What a difference a year makes for a player. Josh Robinson is just so much better this season, back on the outside, playing with confidence. Two passes deflected for him.
* Captain Munnerlyn struggled, unfortunately. I was so upset at his missed tackles yesterday. It's even more disappointing, considering that is supposed to be his strength.
* Harrison Smith.
* I haven't had a chance to go back and look at the film yet, but from watching on TV, it seemed like Kalil (as well as the rest of the offensive line), played lights out.
* Jerrick McKinnon, ya'll!
* Jarius Wright! If there was one thing that Ted did that let me down, it was missing a WIDE OPEN Wright, just slightly, on the overthrow down the sideline. Oh well.
Stat Box: Offense
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344 Total Yards/Game (20th in NFL) 209.5 Passing Yards/Game (24th in NFL) 134.8 Rushing Yards/Game (7th in NFL) 22.8 Points/Game (18th in NFL)
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354.3 Total Yards/Game (17th in NFL) 241 Passing Yards/Game (17th in NFL) 113.3 Rushing Yards/Game (16th in NFL) 21.0 Points/Game (9th in NFL)
Short week. Packer week. BORDER BATTLE. Man, I really hope Ted plays, that would just make me so happy. I want to win this game so bad. The Packers have a great offense, for my money, #12 is the best QB in the NFL. Nelson and Cobb are dangerous, and even though Lacy has been awful so far this season, he's a big boy, and if we don't tackle, he could really hurt us. On the bright side, their offensive line is garbage. We should (should) be able to get a pass rush on Erin - that said, the defensive line has been disappointing in their ability to get a pass rush this season. I hope Barr gets a couple free runs at their boy. Defensively, Green Bay is so-so. Their run defense is about as bad as it gets, but they actually impress me with their defensive backs. They are pretty talented.
Here are the opposing fan forums for this week:
Packer Fan Forum
Pro Sports Daily: Green Bay Packers
http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/forumd ... ay-Packers
http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/v ... m.php?f=17
http://packerrats.com/forumdisplay.php? ... 3dfaf63ece
What they're saying:
On whether the Bears or Vikings are a bigger rival:
As far as rivalries go, I was surprised by some expressing the Vikings as a bigger rival. I know Raptor would fall into that category, but I was shocked that others feel that way. Maybe the proximity to MINN has something to with it. Being from the Chicago area originally, I never even thought of another rivalry being close.
I'm in all out rivalry mode already.
Zubas - check
Wedge - check
PBR jonesing - check
Yelling at the TV - check
From WI and live in the Twin Cities. I can understand why some feel Vikes are bigger. Such pompus fans/broadcasters. But the Bears are 100% more for me. Not even close.
Bears for me as well, not even close.
Vikes for me.
Vikes are not as classy as the Bears and they seem to be a somewhat stiffer rivalry, in recent years.
I don't dislike the Bears.......I do dislike the Vikes
Vikes for me as well even though I grew up in SE Wisconsin, lived in Chicago for 3 years in the 90s and have never resided anywhere near the land of 10,000 puddles.
They dominated the Pack while I was growing up in the 70s, have always seemed to have an inordinate number of punks on the team (lead the NFL in arrests since 2000 I believe), and their fans talk a lot of smack for a team with ZERO Lombardi's.
The Bears I can respect (tough Ds/great history) despite the general obnoxiousness of their fans.
I went to college (74'-77') where there were a ton of Vike fans, and had to put up with those twin city punks for 4 years. I live in the twin cities now and I love watching them twitch/twist when they start talking Packers (and Badgers). They have a full blown inferiority complex, and so for me, it's fun to watch them cannibalize themselves when they lose to the Packers.
The Bears rivalry has history behind it, and I still had vivid memories of the Nitschke/Butkus years. And because of that, I'll still take CHI over MN.
I feel the same way. The Bears are at least respectable in their own crummy way. There's nothing respectable about the Vikings. I can't stand them.
Bears game, for reasons of history and just the respectfulness in the rivalry that has developed since the ugly Ditka vs. Gregg years. The Vikings? If I hate the Bears with respect, I hate the Vikings with disregard/disrepute. Living in MN due to job transfer, a lot of their fans are fairweathered (usually the white collar fickle suburbanite Twin Cities people who deride Wisconsites as a bunch of rednecks for silly reasons that equally apply to small-town/rural Minnesotans). Its been that way ever since they moved inside with the Metrodome. They don't know how to act like they've been there and won it before (which they haven't of course). Hence, they don't handle either winning or losing very well, not gracious in victory or defeat. For them, the Packers is by far their biggest game--it's their Super Bowl.
As much as I hate the bares, I live in Minneapolis and I have always really hated the vikes. Had alot of fun over the years just being that smug Packers fan that knows our team is better than them. I used to go down and visit a bar near the humptydome after a Packers/Vikings game and just wait for drunken, angry vikes fans to try and talk sh*t. They had their day once in awhile, but not too often.
I. Literally. Can't. Stand. The. Vikings.
I find their fans to be the most detestable, lowest of life-forms. They chide "Sconnies" as red-neck hicks, but it's just a projection of their own self-loathing, I believe. Vikings fans are so jealous of GB and Wisconsin that it just eats them alive. They have no championships and are not even close to the storied franchises of GB or Chicago, and it just burns them up. What's funny, is the history they have is so painful that it must only cause heartburn, frustration, and disgust.
I couldn't care less if the moved to LA, or London, or back to Greenland!
Oh yes, they have a storied history alright. Nobody knows how to wreck a good - sometimes even great - team like Minny. Sure, they've had some great teams over the years, but they always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. Yep, storied franchise alright. And no, I will not respect them them just because YOU tell me I should
The Vikings have a history all right, I'm not sure how rich it is. True, they were decent in the 70s, but they were mostly known for being 0-4 in Super Bowls. They also have one NFL Championship, in 1970, the last year before the merger - but they lost the Super Bowl that year, so it isn't much of a bragging point for them. Look, nothing against the Vikings, but it is what it is.
Their jealousy makes them obnoxious to the max!
Hoping that Bridgewater has a bit of a gimpy ankle so he's more apt to hang in the pocket. He did take off for a running TD against ATL's defense. I don't think much of the Vikings offense yet, not when they ran up the score on a pretty bad Falcon defense. But, we shall see.
This should be a Packer blowout, but we need to play some defense in order for that to happen and Rodgers has to have another performance like Sunday. The Vikings secondary is better than the Bears and so is their pass rush. Anthony Barr seems like the real deal as a rookie. Their offensive line seems to be pretty good too.
Seriously though, is this the game Capers finally comes out in base personnel on defense to stop the run first? If we don't, they will run it as effective if not more effective than the Bears did. Count on it.
I watched much of the Vikings game against the Falcons, and I have to admit that I was impressed with the Vikings. They look like a solid team. I was especially impressed with Teddy Bridgewater. He did not look like a rookie. He was in total command of the offense. He was accurate with most of his throws, and he is also very mobile. If he plays on Thursday, at least the Packers will have some film on him and may be able to find some tendencies to exploit.
I think losing Adrian Peterson will be a blessing in disguise for the Vikings. Having a star veteran running back can impair a young team's growth. Now the QB is free to spread the ball around, and they do have a couple other guys who can run the ball. I wouldn't be surprised to see the middle of the Packer defense blown open again in this game.
The Vikings also have some good young players on defense, and it looks like their coach is the real deal. This should be a close game if they have Bridgewater available. If it's Ponder, he's likely to make a couple of turnovers and the Packers could win easily.
Agree that stopping the run and making them one-dimensional is key. The defense played well in the second half of the Jets game and did very well against the Lions. Of course, what the Packers did against the Bears was also interesting. They forced them to abandon the running game because the Packers offense was so effective, the felt they needed to respond ASAP, rather than play "grind it out" football, and then have to settle for a FG.
Disagree that this should be a blowout for the Packers. The Vikings always play their best games against te Packers, either home or away. Ponder had his best games against the Packers, and I'd expect Bridgewater to cause the Packers problems simply because he is an unknown. Also, notice that Cutler(!) ran for a first down, and nearly a TD after fumbling the snap near the Packers goal line Sunday. Beware unknown QBs against the Packers: Kaepernick and Webb in the playoffs two seasons ago (if Webb had run more option reads...). Josh Freeman a few years ago, even Geno Smith of the Jets. Expect the unexpected, and get ready for another roller coaster game of emotional highs and lows.
No Peterson, a gimpy rookie at QB, no Rudolph and maybe no Greenway. You have to like our chances. I think a short week gives us a slight advantage as well.
I'm going to say Packers 27, Vikings 17.
I watched the game as well.. they have some good young players on defense (Barr, Rhodes, Smith) and Bridgewater impressed for rookie QB. They also had success running ball vs Falcons, so I would expect the same vs Packers WORST rush defense in the league. Vikings return game even looked good on kick and punt returns.
If Bridgewater plays like he did vs Falcons, Vikings can win this game... it will be up to Rodgers to win it for the Packers.
If Adrian Peterson played in this game, I would pick Vikings to win.. he probably would have couple 200 yard games like he did 2 seasons ago against this Packers rush defense (I know Packers split those games 2 years ago.. but Vikings also had Ponder in those games).