The Green Bay Packers certainly aren’t about to panic, but they dropped the biggest game on their schedule Sunday night, falling to the Minnesota Vikings 17-14 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Packers fumbled four times, losing one of them and quarterback Aaron Rodgers who picked on Trae Waynes several times, was picked off by Waynes on the Packers final possession which allowed the Vikings to run out the clock.
Rodgers completed just 20 of 36 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown and ran his string of games without a 100 passer rating to 14-straight games.
Two games into the season and the Packers are looking to find a rhythm for their offense. It would appear the improvements are across the board, both players and coaches.
On a night when points were hard to come by, Mike McCarthy passed on a chance to kick a field goal in the third quarter, which would have tied the game. James Starks rush on fourth and two wound up just inches short.
Even with the Vikings playing their two safety’s deep most of the night, McCarthy only found a way to give Eddie Lacy 12 rushes for 50 yards.
Aaron Rodgers, who normally spreads the ball around to his receivers, completed passes to only six receivers, with one of the six being running back James Starks. He seemed to be locked on Jordy Nelson early. Nelson caught five passes for 73 yards and a touchdown, but he was targeted 11 times.
Last week, Rodgers was able to move around in the pocket against Jacksonville, but his ability to find room to roam against the Vikings was tougher to find. The Vikings didn’t just try to sack Rodgers, they were going for the strip of the ball and it worked.
The Packers finished just 6 of 13 on third downs, which is a sign of an offense that isn’t in sync.
While Rodgers struggled, Minnesota’s Sam Bradford, with only two weeks in the Vikings system, threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns and finished with a quarterback rating of 121.2.
The Packers had issues in week one, but figured out a way to beat Jacksonville. Not correcting those issues, facing the Vikings defense in new U.S. Bank Stadium turned out to be a different story.
Mike McCarthy is confident they’ll iron out their problems and will have a very favorable scheduled to do so moving forward. They’ll host the Lions this Sunday in a noon kickoff at Lambeau Field, then get their bye week. Following time off, the Packers will play three more home games, against the Giants, Cowboys and Bears.