The Green Bay Packers dropped a heart-breaker to the Minnesota Vikings 34-31 on Sunday afternoon. It was a game of missed opportunities as the Packers certainly had their chances to win. However, poor decision making and failure to execute, especially in the first half, led to the Packers third loss of the season. Additionally, Elgton Jenkins left the game with what appears to be a severe knee injury. The unfortunate breaks just keep piling up for this Packers team, but they need to find a way to overcome. Here, we present our three studs and duds from today’s loss to the Vikings.
The Green Bay Packers entered the game without their two top pass rushers. Za’Darius Smith has been on injured reserve for most of the season with a back injury. Rashan Gary hyperextended his elbow last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Even though he tried to go this week, it was determined before the game that he could not.
With those two out, it was Preston Smith’s time to shine. And shine he did! Smith recorded two sacks and three hits on the quarterback versus the Vikings. His second sack resulted in a Kirk Cousins fumble that killed a Vikings’ drive.
At one point in danger of being cut before the season, Tyler Lancaster proved to be a major factor in the pass rush against the Vikings. Additionally, he helped keep Delvin Cook in check for most of the day, registering two tackles for loss.
Josiah Deguara did not lead the team in receptions. He also did not lead the team in receiving yards. However, the second-year tight end did record his first NFL touchdown. Aaron Rodgers hit Deguara with a beautiful throw for a 25-yard score. After missing most of his rookie season due to a torn ACL, Deguara made his return earlier this season.
Do not let Kevin King’s placement here this week detract from the fact that he is having the best season of his career. Coming into this game, King was the highest graded cornerback in the NFL over the past five weeks. Today, however, he had the kind of performance that made him the target of criticism over the past four seasons.
Mason Crosby is a Packers’ legend. He is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and will one day be in the Packers’ Hall of Fame. Since starting the season 9/9 on field goal attempts, however, Crosby has been one of the worst, if not the worst, kickers in the NFL. Crosby made his first field goal attempt, but missed a chip-in 32-yard attempt later. Something is going to have to give with this kicking game soon. Green Bay will assuredly make the playoffs, but can they go far with Crosby attempting field goals?
Kingsley Keke has not been very consistent this season, but he has not been awful. Today, he was not terrible either. However, he had a key penalty in the first half that allowed the Vikings to score. Darnell Savage intercepted Kirk Cousins in the red zone. However, Keke hit Cousins with a helmet-to-helmet tackle that gave the Vikings possession again. The play ended up leading to Vikings touchdown.