Minnesota Vikings Vs. Green Bay Packers: 10 Instant Reactions

Philip LombardoCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 24: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers meets with Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings after the Packers defeated the Vikings 28-24 at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)
Jim Prisching/Getty Images

On Sunday Night Football, Brett Favre's ears were filled with boos as he made what is probably his last trip to Lambeau Field, home of his former team turned heated rivals, the Green Bay Packers.

The game featured five interceptions, some questionable decisions and plenty of animosity between the two teams, as the Packers came out victorious 28-24 in a relatively sloppy football game.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 295 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, which proved to be good enough, as his counterpart Brett Favre continued to struggle, tossing three interceptions and only one touchdown with 212 yards.

This was a good game to watch, but the Vikings came up just short once again, and at 2-4 they are looking up at the Bears and the Packers, who are both 4-3, tops in the NFC North.

Here are 10 things that caught my attention or should be talked about after Sunday night's matchup.

1. Chad Clifton owned Jared Allen

The decision to put Chad Clifton one on one with Jared Allen by Mike McCarthy was a big risk. But with that risk came a high reward, as Clifton dominated Allen the entire game, not letting him get any pressure on Aaron Rodgers. 

The Packers had a nonexistent running game, but yesterday Brandon Jackson had a solid 4.5 yards per carry, with two nice runs going right at Allen.

Yes, Allen did have an interception, but that was due mostly to the fact that he couldn't get any pressure and Rodgers threw it right into his chest.

2. Why didn't Brad Childress challenge the Andrew Quarless touchdown?

This one I think falls on not only Childress, but his men upstairs and his players on the field as well. 

One of the Vikings defenders—I can't recall who—was standing over Quarless as he was fumbling with the ball out of the end zone.  Why wouldn't you go up to your coach, who obviously couldn't see what had happened, and tell him to challenge the play? 

If you see any sign of less than 100 percent ball security, take a chance and tell your coach to have the officials take another look. Even without the bobble, he almost landed out of bounds, so why not take a chance on a big touchdown to take the air out of the stadium?

3. Brett Favre is trying to do way too much this year.

For how brilliant he was last year, Favre has been that bad this season. Not only is he throwing interceptions, but he is missing wide-open receivers and is throwing it right to defenders at times.

He threw two interceptions right to Packer defenders and pretty much handed the game to Green Bay. His passer rating of 68 is third worst for quarterbacks this year with more than 100 pass attempts.

In his comeback opportunities, he isn't finding open men and is too often trying to force balls in to Randy Moss. His lack of good decision-making is reflected directly in the Vikings' poor record.

4. Adrian Peterson is the best back in football.

I know the Packers have had some injuries on the defensive side of the ball and may not have been at full strength, but All Day showed why he is the top running back in the NFL last night.

His 28 carries for 131 yards and two catches for 41 yards amounted to most of Minnesota's offense, and he could have broken a couple of big ones if he had avoided a few great shoestring tackles.

A.P. just wears down defenses, and it was obvious towards the end of the game, when he was barreling over defenders and ripping off big chunks of yards. If I were Chilly, I would put the ball in his hands much more than I would put it in Favre's if I wanted to win some big games this season.

5. When defenders say Randy Moss gets easily frustrated, they are right.

Randy Moss is an elite talent, there is no doubt about that, but if things aren't going his way, he turns into a kid out there complaining about not getting the ball and rolling his eyes at any bad ball thrown his way.

Moss only had 30 yards on three catches with a touchdown, and he was held in check for the most part. At halftime he was upset with Brad Childress not lobbing one into the end zone to end the half and voiced his displeasure.

He was visibly distraught the entire game, and I think he had a lack of effort a few plays, including the interception for a touchdown by Desmond Bishop in the third quarter.

6. I like the way Minnesota used Percy Harvin.

Harvin is the Vikings' most versatile player. He has great hands, he is extremely fast, he can take handoffs and he is a deadly return man.

He was a foot (literally) away from winning the game, and he was a threat throughout, catching five passes for 65 yards and three rushes for 41 yards with a score. I think they need to start moving him around like that every game to get him touches.

All he needs is the ball in his hands and he is going to make plays, no matter what position he is slotted into.

7. I didn't like the call to give John Kuhn the ball on that second 4th-and-short attempt.

Don't go back to him after you barely made it the first time. He isn't particularly nimble on his feet, and he just hasn't done anything this year to make me think he is capable of getting that tough yard every time.

Especially when he was lucky enough to fall forward on his second effort, you have to expect the defense to clog the middle again on virtually the same situation. That call could have come back to bite the Packers in the butt.

Favre bailed them out, though.

8. That Visanthe Shiancoe "touchdown" should have been a score.

The rules clearly state that even if the ball touches the ground, as long as possession isn't lost, it is a clean catch. I watched the replay a million times, and I still can't find why they called that no catch.

The tip of the ball did hit the ground, but Shiancoe was holding on to it the entire time down to the ground, and I think that was a blown call by the officials.

The Packers really did steal one from the Vikings, considering the Quarless touchdown wasn't a catch and Shiancoe's was.

9. The facemask by Phil Loadholt was flat-out terrible.

Think of the situation. You are at 1st-and-15 at the 20-yard line because of a delay of game. How do you let Clay Matthews right around you, first of all? Second of all, why in the world do your hands end up around his facemask?

Because Loadholt couldn't make a block, he resorted to costing his team another 15 yards instead, putting them at a 1st-and-30 at the 35-yard line. That penalty ended up being the final dagger in a poor performance by the purple and gold.

10. Neither of these teams will make a playoff impact.

A few weeks ago I would have told you the Vikings would turn things around, but I was wrong. Favre is not the same player he was last year, and the ankle injury really looks like it's hindering him immensely.

Maybe when Sidney Rice comes back (if he comes back) they can go on a run and make the playoffs, but even then I don't know if they can win once they get there.

The Packers were a favorite preseason to make the Super Bowl, but after all of the devastating injuries, it is hard to consider them true contenders anymore. They have a solid defense, but without a sound rushing attack, great defenses can focus on that pass game and neutralize it.

These teams just don't match up well with teams like the Giants and the Falcons. Maybe they can make a big mark in a weaker NFC conference, but it seems more and more likely that an AFC team will be taking the crown come February.


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