Week 7 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 20, Minnesota Vikings 23
What you need to know
Green Bay finds themselves at 1-5 and at the bottom of the NFC North after a stunning come from behind win by Minnesota. Green Bay squandered a 17-0 halftime lead to a Vikings’ team that seemed energized for the second half of play. With their playoff hopes just a glimmer at this point, Green Bay must focus on improving a mediocre defense, an offense decimated by injuries to attempt a run at the NFC North title.
Donald Driver had an excellent game for Green Bay hauling in eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota struggled to defend Driver and often left him in man to man coverage something Favre easily took advantage of in the game. Driver scored on a spectacular one handed catch even with the defender being called for pass interference. He has caught a pass in 54 consecutive games for the Packers.
The Packers’ offense may have lost two key players to injuries this week for extended periods. Robert Ferguson injured his left knee/ankle in the second quarter after making a leaping catch for a 44 yard gain. Running back Ahman Green re-aggravated his left knee in the fourth quarter and was unable to return and the latest news is that he has been lost for the season.
Ryan Longwell missed two of four field goal attempts in the game and remains at the bottom of the league in points for kickers.
Favre became only the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 51,000 yards in his career with his first completion of the game.
The Vikings played the first half as they have all season with a struggling passing game, disappointing rushing attack and untimely penalties. The second half the Vikings played with confidence from their leader, Daunte Culpepper, and a more aggressive defense. Minnesota rebounded from a 17 point deficit at halftime and stunned the Green Bay Packers with a field goal as time expired.
Daunte Culpepper may have turned his season around after his second half performance in this game. In the first half, he was sacked three times, fumbled and passed for just 52 yards. Culpepper came out in the second half and played with the confidence he has lacked all season and was deadly accurate with his passes as his offensive line provided him time in the pocket to find his receivers. Culpepper finished the game with 280 yards, 228 in the second half, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran the ball seven times for 41 yards, something we have not seen much of from Culpepper this season and could be a very positive sign for fantasy owners. Culpepper completed 23 of 31 passes for a 74% completion rate and a 123.1 passer rating.
Coach Mike Tice was livid on the sidelines during the first half and was screaming at the offensive line for poor blocking. Tice did not stop there; he also gave the defense and his coaching staff an ear full for the lack of intensity and execution. Apparently his screaming carried over to the locker room during his halftime speech because in the second half the Vikings were fantastic on both sides of the ball.
Mewelde Moore scored his first touchdown of his career on a 14 yard pass from Culpepper. Moore along with Culpepper provided the spark to Minnesota’s offense that helped swing the momentum in their favor. Moore finished with 105 total yards, including 60 receiving yards.
Paul Edinger’s 56 yard game winning field goal was the longest field goal in Minnesota Vikings’ history.
What you ought to know
|QB Brett Favre, Pass: 28 - 36 - 315 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
Favre looked unstoppable throughout the entire first half of the game completing his first 14 pass attempts and finishing the half 16 of 19 for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game going 28 of 36 for 315 yards but did not find the end zone in the second half. Favre had one of his best games in the Metrodome, a stadium he typically has struggled over his career. He orchestrated scoring drives of 96 yards and 60 yards that culminated with touchdown passes to Driver and Chatman, respectively. For the season, eight of Favre’s 14 touchdown passes have been for 20 yards or more. With the potential loss of two key offensive players, Favre will be left with the burden of carrying the team with his passing. During the game, Favre became just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 51,000 yards.
|RB Ahman Green, Rush: 16 - 49 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (3 targets)|
Green re-injured his left quadriceps tendon in the fourth quarter and the injury was serious enough to end his season. After a short gain, Green was left on the ground in obvious pain clutching his left knee and was carted off the field and taken to the locker room. Green was less than effective prior to the injury as he left the game with a total of 67 yards on 16 carries and two receptions.
|RB Tony Fisher, Pass: 1 - 1 - 14 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 2 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (2 targets)|
Fisher did not have a very good game for Green Bay and is going to need to improve his play now that he is forced into a starting role with the injuries to Green and Davenport. He carried the ball just five times for two yards and added 17 yards receiving on two catches. Fisher’s only real contribution was a 14 yard pass to Bubba Franks.
Henderson did not have a carry in the game but did have two receptions for eight yards.
Driver was the leading target for the Packers and improved his game after the Ferguson injury. He was frequently open as Favre found a favorable match up with Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield defending Driver in man to man coverage. Driver completed the game with eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. His 22 yard touchdown was a spectacular one handed grab in the right side of the end zone against Winfield who was called for pass interference on the play. Driver has caught a pass in 54 consecutive games for Green Bay.
Chatman saw his playing time increase with the injury to Robert Ferguson and made the most of his opportunity with five catches and a touchdown. Although he finished with just 31 yards receiving look for bigger things from Chatman if Ferguson is out for an extended period. Chatman’s touchdown was a beautiful diving grab in the back of the end zone where he managed to control the ball and come down in bounds. The touchdown was challenged by Minnesota but was not overturned.
Ferguson’s afternoon was cut short due to an injury that appeared to be his left knee but post game reports mentioned his left ankle. Either way the severity of the injury was not clear with more details expected on Monday. The injury came on a 44 yard reception when Ferguson leaped for the ball and came down awkwardly on his left leg. It appeared as if he had hyper-extended his left knee as he came down making the catch. He had two receptions for 52 yards in the game.
Jones was not a factor in the Packers’ passing game. He had one catch for four yards which was nullified by a holding penalty. He did gain 55 yards on kickoff returns.
Franks returned to the Packers’ line up after missing the last three games with a knee injury. He contributed with three catches for 38 yards as the Packers shuffled tight ends throughout the game. Franks had a nice grab for 24 yards that put Green Bay in the red zone and was on the receiving end of a 14 yard pass from running back Tony Fisher.
After scoring a touchdown in each of his two games with the Packers, Lee was kept out of the end zone this week. Lee caught two passes on the Packers’ opening possession and was pretty silent the remainder of the game. He finished with three catches for 21 yards.
Martin was shut out this week from the end zone after scoring in each of the last two games. He did not catch a pass until the fourth quarter of the game and ended with just two catches for 30 yards. Martin had a fantastic leaping grab for 21 yards late in the game that would lead to a field goal to tie the game.
Longwell struggled during the game missing two of his four field goal attempts. He was successful from 53 and 39 yards away but wide right from 53 and wide left from 42 yards out. Longwell did make both of his extra point attempts.
The Packers’ rush defense played solidly in the first half allowing Minnesota just 38 yards on the ground. In the second half the defense seemed to be fatigued as the Vikings’ offense dominated time of possession and effectively rushed the ball for 70 yards.
The Packers’ pass defense also struggled in the second half after a good performance in the first 30 minutes. They allowed 280 yards passing in the game as Culpepper came alive in the second half passing for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Green Bay did register five sacks in the game, one fumble recovery but no interceptions.
Culpepper struggled in the first half and found his team trailing by 17 as the teams went to the locker room. In the first half, he was under pressure from a blitzing Packers’ defense and had difficulty finding an open receiver. Culpepper was six of eight passing for just 52 yards at halftime and a fumble to his credit that was recovered by Minnesota. The second half was a different story for Culpepper and the Vikings as his offense line gave him time to pass the ball. Culpepper led the Vikings to three scores on the first three possession of the second half to pull Minnesota to within four points. He finished the game completing 23 of 31 passes for 280 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Culpepper also ran for 41 yards on seven carries, looking like the Culpepper from the last few seasons. Perhaps this is the game that gets Culpepper’s season turned around for fantasy owners.
Moore played a significant role for the Vikings’ offense leading them in rushing and equaling Marcus Robinson for the team lead in receiving yards. He ended the game with 105 total yards from scrimmage and scored the first touchdown of his career. Moore came out of the backfield for most of the receiving yardage in the second half including a 14 yard touchdown that gave Minnesota the lead. He was left wide open over the middle as the Packers elected to double cover Jermaine Wiggins and Moore scampered into the end zone virtually untouched. Moore had another end zone target earlier in the fourth quarter that was defended by Green Bay. He finished the game with 13 carries for 45 yards on the ground and four receptions for 60 yards receiving. Moore did have a lost fumble in the game that led to a Green Bay touchdown.
Bennett saw limited action in the game as Moore got most of the carries for Minnesota. He has just six carries for 22 yards and no targets.
Burleson return to the Vikings this week after missing the last three games with a sprained left knee. Although his numbers were not great, three catches for 37 yards, his return was did provide some spark to the Vikings’ pass game. Burleson had a key reception in the fourth quarter on a third down and eight which put the Vikings in the red zone on their way to the go ahead touchdown.
Taylor was primarily used as the third receiver with the return of Nate Burleson. He finished the game with three receptions for 36 yards including a 19 yard catch that put the Vikings into Green Bay territory as the Vikings continued their rally.
Robinson caught his first touchdown of the season and a perfectly thrown 27 yard pass from Culpepper. He beat Packers’ CB Ahmad Carroll in man to man coverage down the left sideline for the easy score. Robinson finished the game with three receptions for 60 yards with a touchdown. Robinson also received a couple of additional end zone targets in the game. His first was on a Hail Mary before halftime that Robinson managed to get his hands on but the ball was tipped in the air and almost caught by teammate Nate Burleson. His second was overthrown but the play was nullified because of offsetting penalties.
Robinson did not play a key role in the Vikings’ offense with two catches for nine yards. He did have an excellent day returning kicks with 147 total yards including a 72 yard return. Unfortunately, the big return was for not as the Vikings fumbled on the next play from scrimmage.
Williamson made his only catch in the third quarter for a 13 yard gain. It was a key reception on third and ten which kept the Vikings’ drive alive, which they would later score a touchdown. Williamson had a deep target in that same drive but was could not come up with the grab.
Wiggins was the favorite target for Culpepper in the game and finished with six receptions for 56 yards. The last two weeks he has 16 catches for over 120 yards but still has not managed to score a touchdown this season.
Kleinsasser had just one catch for nine yards in the game.
Edinger rebounded from a terrible game last week and was the hero for the Vikings in the victory. With plenty of distance on the attempt, Edinger made a 56 yard field goal as time expired for the Vikings win. He also made his two other field goal attempts from 27 and 22 yards away. Edinger also made his two extra point attempts.
The Vikings’ rush defense played an outstanding game holding the Packers to just 45 yards rushing on 23 attempts and no touchdowns. These numbers are slightly skewed because of the injury to Packers’ running back Ahman Green and the effective passing of Brett Favre. Even prior to Green’s injury the Vikings were able to shut him down for short gains.
The Minnesota pass defense was picked apart by Brett Favre and struggled to cover the Packers’ receivers. Minnesota allowed 329 yards passing and two touchdowns in the game. They were unable to put pressure on Favre and did not record a sack or interception.