Game Review: at Vikings – 2018 Week 12

Well, this was the seaon in a nutshell. Exciting open, a lot of head scratching, and then a disappointing end.

 

Offense

The offense shot itself in the foot when Adams stepped out on what should have been a third and long conversion (but blame the playcalling) on the opening drive. That would have been a nice way to grab early momentum after the defense forced a three and out, but nope.

Then things picked up. They had an up-tempo offense grooving. They finished the first quarter with back to back touchdown drives.

Then…

Ugh.

They had 7 plays for 20 yards in the second quarter

The third quarter was a little better with 15 plays for 36 yards

Then the fourth quarter… they got 6 yards to kill a drive that started at the end of the 3rd, punted it away, and didn’t get the ball back until there was less than five minutes left and they were down two scores. They moved the ball in hurry-up garbage time and finished the drive with QB1 missing WR1 in the end zone with 4 yards of separation.

Now, Rodgers looked like his old self in the first quarter. His leg didn’t seem to be holding him back and they were running an uptemp offense with over 10 or even 15 seconds left on the play clock at the snap.

After that, it was just like the rest of the season. Utter futility. Play-calling was uncreative, execution was garbage, it just wasn’t the standard we’ve come to expect from a Packers offense since 1992.

 

Defense

Give this squad some credit. Missing a bunch of starters and even more backups, they battled. Jaire Alexander is a such a star. That play where he blew up 6’2″ Adam Thielen so hard that he knocked him right through Steffon Diggs was just not something that 5’10” corners are supposed to be able to do, especially as rookies.

The guy is a rare talent.

Speaking of rare talent, Kenny Clark is a blue chip stud. He was held regularly, double-teamed, and still couldn’t be stopped. I don’t think he is appreciated as much as he should be, but he is every bit as impactful as Alexander.

The rest of the squad is just a bunch of scrappers and they really came through as a unit. I mean, Ibraheim Campbell played 76% of the defensive snaps. Tyler Lancaster and Antonio Morrison were leaned on heavily. This isn’t a star-studded cast. In today’s NFL, holding a home dome team with serious weapons to 24 points is an accomplishment. Sure, there were some missed field goals in there, but there were a lot of big stops (even if they came up one stop short).

I’m still very happy with the defense as a whole.

 

Notes

  • I really can’t say enough about Jaire Alexader’s play
  • Tramon has been a solid player all year, but that punt fiasco was ridiculous
  • Dean Lowry is tragically unappreciated
  • Aaron Rodgers needs an offseason to gather himself and re-evaluate where his skills are at age 35
  • We don’t have to worry about tanking so McCarthy gets fired any more
  • This is a sad, sad year

Question of the Week

A lot had been made of Jake Kumerow’s return from IR this week and our Question of the Week delved into that.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t activated so, welp.

 

Self Grading

A look back at how we did in our preview column:

J’Mon Moore doubles his output for the season He was 1 catch short

Rodgers makes a lot of frustrated motions at receivers when a play doesn’t go right Not as much as I though – he actually seemed to realize a lot of the fault was his tonight

Aaron Jones is kept in relative check, similar to what Seattle did against him Yup, he’s not surprising anyone anymore and the passing game isn’t taking heat off of him

 

Montravius Adams shows that he’s not ready for prime time He actually had some nice plays

Kyler Fackrell comes up with another sack No, nothing was going according to plan

Jaire Alexander comes up with a pick of Kirk Cousins, like the two he should have had the last time he faced him Deep sigh

 

Special Teams does something bone-headed, in alignment with the rest of the season Nailed it

 

Well, it’s not quite 1991, but this was the last time a season felt this hopeless. There have been injuries, but not as many as 2005 (or even 2010 for that matter) and the down cycle in 2008 still felt like a positive move in the QB transition.

This year just feels sad.

I’m a fan ’til the end and I’l be watching every game, but I probably won’t truly have hope until Mike gets fired and  we get to draft season.

But hey, maybe next week we can beat the Cardinals at home

Maybe.

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