Well this is new. The Packers out-rushed their opponents (winning yards per carry 3.4 to 4.7), out-passed their opponents, had more punt return yards, and more kickoff return yards, but still managed to get beat.
That is an incredible stat – I don’t know if that’s ever happened before.
The story may well have been the potential touchdown drives. The Vikings scored on a play where I am still not convinced that the receiver had full control before getting his first foot down (with the way they’re so touchy about that sh!t, I’m actually quite surprised at the call). The Packers on the other hand, threw a pick inside the 10 and then, with another shot at a TD drive later in the game, Hundley threw a 4th down dime in the end zone and Michael Clark watched it whiz by his hands (it’s possible that he was held, but I never saw the other angle… though McCarthy sure was upset up about it – I’m just not a good enough lip-reader to tell what he was mad about).
That’s the game. Like most games, it came down to a handful of plays. Here were the other things that stuck out:
- Trevor Davis fair catches a line drive punt at the 15 when there is no one within 10 yards of him. Why is he still out there?
- Kenny Clark was unstoppable
- David Bakhtiari was stopping everyone
- The Packers have the best Left Tackle in the league and may soon have the best Nose Tackle in the league – the game is won and lost in the trenches and these two young studs are huge building blocks (can’t fire Ted for those ones)
- The numbers make it look like a short-handed defense actually played pretty well, but I think the cold and poor turf did more to slow the Vikings than anyone on the Packers defense; yeah, my DPOG is the elements
- McCray is a more effective right tackle than Spriggs
- Hundley played better than his stats – sure the interception was brutal, but he was hampered by a lot of drops (most of which were by Lance Kendricks); he wasn’t a Pro Bowl QB, but given the circumstances (injuries, elements, etc), that may have been his finest performance (he even had great pocket awareness and movement)
- Michael Clark flashed when he laid out for a diving grab, but looked like he had never played football before when Hundley threw him a perfectly-placed, super-tight spiral on 4th in the end zone – he’s a guy you knew would take a couple years on the practice squad to find out what you had; maybe he will amount to something… the opposite is just as likely
- If Lance Kendricks caught all the balls that hit him in both hands, he would have won some fantasy championships
- Whining about the refs is loser talk, but since we lost, I’ll whine about the refs: the PI calls seemed very slanted, especially late when it seemed like the refs just wanted to get out of the cold – it was how I would expect Brett Favre to officiate the 2007 NFCCG
- The Vikings got their TD by a long PI call (which had contact that isn’t always called) and the Packers threw an interception inside their own 10 yet it was still a two score game – this was much closer than I expected, especially considering the starters that went down during the game… I give McCarthy some credit for keeping the team pushing