The Green Bay Packers didn’t look good for three weeks in a row, but they also weren’t ready to give up control of the NFC North.
The Packers aren’t through the woods because they beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-13 on Sunday evening, but they avoided falling into a big hole in the division. The Packers are again tied for first place in the NFC North at 7-3 with the Vikings with the head-to-head tiebreaker for the moment, and to use the well-worn joke, Packers fans have a few days to R-E-L-A-X.
The performance wasn’t beautiful — Aaron Rodgers didn’t light up the scoreboard, there were too many Mason Crosby field goals and not enough touchdowns, and again there wasn’t a ton from the Packers’ top receivers — but it was a huge win. And it was led by the defense.
Green Bay’s defense swarmed Teddy Bridgewater with six sacks, at one point briefly knocking him out of the game with a shoulder injury. The Packers also held Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher coming in, to 45 yards on 13 carries. Green Bay’s defense didn’t look great in losses to Denver or Carolina, but played fairly well last week against the Detroit Lions and carried that over to Sunday.
The offense was productive too. Eddie Lacy had his best game all season with 100 yards on 22 carries. Rodgers had a vintage throw on a touchdown to James Jones in the fourth quarter and then a fun backhand flip to Jones for the two-point conversion. That put the Packers ahead 27-13 and the game was all but done at that point.
The Packers have a tough assignment, with just three days off before coming back for a Thanksgiving night game against a Chicago Bears team that has played much better in recent weeks. And the Packers still need to keep winning, because before Sunday the Vikings showed they’re a formidable challenger for the division. The Packers and Vikings meet again in a Week 17 game that has “Sunday Night Football” flex game written all over it.
But those are worries for another day. After the past three weeks, the Packers and their fans should be able to briefly enjoy the win and … yeah, you know.
– – – – – – –