The first half went sort of how you might have expected. The Vikings got on the board right off the bat thanks to a Cordarrelle Patterson TD return – his second kickoff return TD of the year – but the Packers took away any emotional lift the Vikes may have gotten from that huge play by methodically going down the field on their ensuing possession to tie the game.
The Vikings did nothing with the ball after getting it back, and when the Packers took over it was the same story all over again. Dinking and dunking their way down the field, converting third down after third down. The Vikes did manage to sack Aaron Rodgers in the red zone to prevent a TD, holding the Pack to a field goal.
And then things sort of fell apart for the Vikes. It quickly became 24-10 Packers after a pair of huge plays, a 76-yard TD pass to Jordy Nelson on a perfect blitz read and pass delivery by Aaron Rodgers, and then a 93 yard punt return TD by Micah Hyde.
Did the Vikings fold the tent after that? No they did not. Christian Ponder came out after a typically indecisive, ineffective first half and led the Vikes on a charge down the field, a charge that culminated in an Adrian Peterson touchdown scamper to make the score 24-17 going into the half.
Yes the Vikings have a glimmer of hope. But some things have to different in the second half if they want to steal this game. They need to get off the field on third down and Christian Ponder has to play better. Adrian Peterson looks like he’s primed for a big second half but Ponder still needs to do his part. The quarterback frankly looked uninspired until that late drive. Maybe he can parlay that taste of success into a good final two quarters.
Or maybe he knows Josh Freeman will be starting next week anyway so he’s already checked out? Who knows what’s in Ponder’s head.