The Green Bay Packers kept Adrian Peterson in check and regained first place in the NFC North on Sunday with a 30-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week Eleven of the NFL action, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process. Mason Crosby, whose miss last week in the final seconds was pivotal in a loss to Detroit, went five for five on attempts at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.The Pack improves to 7-3 and now owns the tiebreaker. The Vikings drop to the same 7-3.
The Packer defense, which failed to register a sack the last three weeks, took down Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater six times in the crisp, cold air providing a huge key to the victory. Datone Jones took Bridgewater down twice in the effort. Linebackers Julius Peppers and Nate Palmer and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix registered sacks couple of times in the first stanza and forced him to the sidelines for a bit with a swarming hit.
The struggles of the offense continued for the majority of the first half. The Pack had to settle for three Crosby field goals as drives were stalled on third down regardless of distance. The Viking defense had success of its own forcing Green Bay to punt thwarting five straight third down conversions.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers finally had something to smile about. A-Rod registered two TD passes, but only managed to connect on 16 of 34 for 212 yards. It was a so-so effort from the reigning MVP. The Packers had success running the ball Eddie Lacy had 22 carries for an even 100 yards. He seemed to be running like his old self.
A-Rod and his receivers, despite one on one meetings all week, still looked to be more than a tad off. James Jones, who was about to be put on a milk carton, caught 6 of the 11 passes sent his way for 109 yards to lead both teams. Randall Cobb did catch the first touchdown, but only grabbed one more of his nine missives.
A pass interference call on an aerial to Jeff Janis went for 50 yards and Green Bay was set to add to its 9-6 lead. When David Bakhtiari held on a TD pass to Richard Rodgers, it looked like Crosby would be called on yet again. But the Vikes roughed up Rodgers and the offsetting penalties gave them new life. Another Minnesota miscue gave Green Bay a first and goal and Rodgers found Randall Cobb on a skinny post play for a 16-6 lead with six seconds left in the half.
The Vikings showed the might you expect from a division leader, scoring a touch on a pass from Bridgewater to Kyle Rudolph covering 47 yards. But Blair Walsh’s third missed extra point made it 6-3 Vikes with 3:01 to play in the first.
Not even Peterson could get anything going against Green Bay. AP did register his 92nd rushing touchdown, but his 13 carries for 45 yards didn’t faze Dom Capers defense. The Pack had been under fire since Philip Rivers passed for more than 500 yards in a losing effort. This clearly provided redemption for the practitioners on that side of the ball.
The Packers took the second half kickoff and, with a mix of runs and passes, moved into the red zone. A drop and some miscommunication led to Crosby’s fourth triple of the evening. That made it 19-6, Packers, with 10:13 left in the third.
It’s a short week as the Packers play in prime time on Thanksgiving night. Not only are the rival Chicago Bears making the trek to Lambeau Field, future hall of fame QB Brett Favre is being added to the Ring of Honor. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., CST. The Bears (4-6) lost at home to Denver, 17-15.