Game: Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Game Result: Minnesota Vikings 23, Green Bay Packers 10
Rodgers went to the ground, clutched his right shoulder and gave Packers fans everywhere flashbacks to 2013 when he broke his collarbone against the Bears. The news was confirmed later that he had broken his collarbone and could miss the rest of the season. Things didn’t get any better for the Packers, as they proceeded to lose at least 8 players to injury the rest of the game. The Vikings did well to take advantage of these injuries. They forced backup QB Brett Hundley to try to beat them, often dropping 6 or 7 in coverage. While he did make some nice throws, he had three interceptions on the day, which is something he needs to eliminate come next week after McCarthy announced that he will be the starter going forward.
After Ty Montgomery left the game, Aaron Jones stepped in, and was nowhere near as effective as he was last week against the Cowboys. The Vikings front held up very well in run defense only allowing 72 total yards on the ground. The Vikings also had 3 impressive interceptions off of Hundley frequently setting up the Vikings offense with great field position on multiple occasions. The defense of the Vikings had 4 sacks on the day, as they were frequently in the backfield when the Packers offensive line turned into a turnstile letting them run free. The Packers offensive line lost 3 starters over the course of the game, including frequently injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga, left tackle David Bakhtiari, and left guard Lane Taylor. The Packers better hope that these injuries get resolved, because Hundley is going need some help from his line and his running game.
Jerick McKinnon averaged an impressive 4.3 yards per carry to go along with a rushing and receiving touchdown, solidifying his case for the starting job. There was a near 50/50 split in carries between McKinnon and Latavius Murray, but Murray didn’t even average 2.0 yards per carry, and is just not running as effectively as McKinnon has the past two weeks. Case Keenum threw the first interception by a Vikings quarterback this season after he missed Blake Martinez in coverage and he tipped a ball up to Damarious Randall. Other than that he had an average day by most standards, finishing 24/38 with 239 yards. He picked apart the depleted Packers secondary and did what QBs with great defenses need to do, which is not lose the game. He didn’t win the game, but he made sure not to lose the game.
The Packers are now tied with the Vikings at the top of the division with both teams at 4-2, but the Vikings are trending up with rumors that former starter and first round pick Teddy Bridgewater nearing a possible return in the coming weeks. The Packers are trending in the opposite direction. Losing Rodgers and several other starters could spell disaster for a team with super bowl aspirations. They better hope that the injuries aren’t serious and they get these guys back next week.
The Vikings host the Ravens next week, who come in at 3-3 after a loss to the Chicago Bears in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score would have you believe. The Packers meanwhile host the Saints, coming in at 3-2 and riding high after the 52-point explosion they hung on the Detroit Lions.
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