The Green Bay Packers pulled off such an impressive win against the Minnesota Vikings, Jordan Love got playing time with over five minutes to go. With the win tonight, and the Dallas Cowboys loss, the Packers locked up the top seed in the NFC. Next week in Detroit, Green Bay may likely rest their starters, setting up a battle between Jordan Love and Tim Boyle. Let us focus on tonight, though, and take a look at our studs and duds against the Vikings.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon
Okay, so we’re cheating a little here with two instead of one. But the fact that they play the same position and both played well tonight. They both earn a spot on the studs list in part of what they have done all season. With their rushing and receiving yards tonight, both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon have surpassed 1,000 yards from scrimmage this year. Additionally, both have gone over 700 rushing yards on the season. With the road to the Super Bowl going through Lambeau this year, having two running backs to carry the team in the cold will be a major benefit.
AJ Dillon bulldozed in for two touchdowns tonight, giving him seven total touchdowns on the season. Five have been rushing scores while two have come as a receiver. Aaron Jones did not score, but had over 100 all-purpose yards.
When the Green Bay Packers drafted Rashan Gary, many fans were not happy. However, Gary has improved his craft in each season. This year, he emerged as the Packers’ leader in sacks. With his sack against the Vikings, Gary brought his total on the year to 9.5. On the night, Gary had two tackles, the sack and another tackle for loss.
What more can be said about how good Davante Adams is? He is a human cheat code, head and shoulders better than any wide receiver in the NFL. The connection he shares with Aaron Rodgers has never been and will never be duplicated. Tonight, he became just the sixth player in NFL history with 600+ receptions, 8,000+ yards, and 70+ touchdowns in his first eight seasons.
In this game, possibly his last at Lambeau Field as a Green Bay Packer, Adams had 11 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. He has set a career high in receiving yards with 1,498 yards. He also broke his own team record for receptions in a single season. He had 115 last year. His game tonight gave him 117.
The Red Zone Offense
I don’t know what it is about this offense in the red zone, or in the first quarter. For whatever reason, the Green Bay Packers really struggle to turn red zone trips into touchdowns. Early in the game, they had three trips to the end zone that ended in just six points. One thing is for sure, come playoff time, the offense needs to be able to score touchdowns early and often.
Darnell Savage has been struggling a great deal this season. Despite an interception last week, he is giving up a passer rating of 115.6 when targeted this season. This is, by far, the worst of his career. In 2019, he gave up a rating of 71.1. Last year, 67.3. He has also given up seven touchdowns this season, compared to two in each of his past two seasons. He gave up one tonight on the Vikings lone touchdown drive of the game.
No Third Dud
To be completely honest, this may have been the most complete game the Packers played all season. Sure, Corey Bojorquez shanked a punt in the first half. However, it was cold and he just came off of the COVID list. Otherwise, even the Packers’ special teams had a solid game. If not for a miraculous catch by the Vikings’ center, the defense may have kept Minnesota out of the end zone. The offense got off to a slow start, but we already covered that.