The Vikings continued their slide toward absolute oblivion Sunday night, losing at home to the Green Bay Packers 44-31. And that score is not really indicative of what a butt-whupping the Packers put on the Vikings in Green Bay’s final visit to the soon-to-be-defunct Metrodome.
It was only a seven-point game at the half thanks to a late second quarter drive by the Vikings. You hoped that scoring drive would give the Vikes some emotional life but they came out in the second half flat as ever. Aaron Rodgers had no problem moving the Packers offense down the field, despite the lack of receiving weapons. When no one was open Rodgers just used his feet. It was a surgical performance by the Packers QB, especially on third down.
The Vikings were simply overmatched by the Packers offense. Yes the Vikes were able to get some pass rush coming off the edge, but again they lacked push up the middle, and their problems in the secondary really showed up especially in the first half. Jordy Nelson got pretty much whatever he wanted when lined up against Xavier Rhodes. The tackling for the Vikings got sloppier and sloppier as the evening progressed. Their third down defense was brutal.
Offensively the Vikings never got on-track. Christian Ponder looked the same as he did before his benching: inaccurate with his delivery, too quick to break the pocket, bad in his reads. For a guy who insisted he would play loose tonight, with nothing to lose, he sure looked uptight. Adrian Peterson had a couple decent runs here and there but, just like in the Giants game, the score got out-of-hand and the Vikes were finally forced to abandon the run.
Looking back on it, this is exactly the kind of game we probably should have expected. I don’t think it’s fair to say the Vikings just laid down for the Packers; most of the players seemed to still be fighting right up till the end. But the Vikes are simply not capable of fielding a competent defense at this time, and their offensive line is also having its problems. And we know what a disaster the quarterback position has become.
Nothing was really proven tonight that we didn’t already know. The Packers are a far superior team on both sides of the ball. The Vikes needed a superhuman effort from Adrian Peterson, but it didn’t materialize. He got little help from his defense and little help from the passing game. The Vikes have now lost three straight in embarrassing fashion. Where do they go from here? That is anybody’s guess.