Fast start fades fast for Vikings as Packers romp

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 28, 2013 - 6:00 AM

The Packers stuck it to the Vikings, adding to the wounds of a miserable month of frightening football.The Vikings didn’t have a quarterback who could match Aaron Rodgers or a defense that could stop him.

The Green Bay Packers brought their punter to Minnesota, but they didn’t need Tim Masthay on Sunday night.

That’s right, Masthay did not launch one single punt after warmups. He basically became a well-paid spectator.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever been a part of [something like] that,” Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said.

That singular development summed up how thoroughly outclassed the Vikings were in a 44-31 loss to their border rivals at Mall of America Field.

Christian Ponder’s second chance as starting quarterback didn’t look any better than his first go-round, and the Vikings defense had no answer for Aaron Rodgers’ brilliance as the Packers celebrated their final game at the Metrodome with a laugher.

The Vikings fell to 1-6 and suffered their third consecutive lopsided loss since returning from London. Their offense has scored only four touchdowns (three of those coming in garbage time) during this three-game losing streak, and their defense continues to look historically inept.

How bad was it? The Packers (5-2) scored on all eight possessions before taking a series of kneel-downs to run out the clock.

The statistical comparison was alarming. The Packers doubled the Vikings in time of possession (40:54 to 19:06) and nearly doubled them in total yards (464 to 243). They ran 30 more plays and converted 13 of 18 third-down opportunities and both fourth-down attempts.

“You can’t give these guys that many opportunities,” Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said. “I don’t think they had one punt. It’s just not good enough.”

The mismatch was highlighted at quarterback. The Vikings play musical chairs at that position. The Packers sit back and watch their maestro orchestrate masterpieces.

Ponder seemed self-assured last week as he welcomed his second chance, vowing to play relaxed and loose. If he wanted a lesson in how a calm, cool quarterback operates, he needed only to look across the field.

Rodgers put on a clinic that was so lethal and precise that it illuminated in neon lights the difference in quarterback play between the two teams.

Nothing seems to faze Rodgers, who was missing two starting wide receivers and a starting tight end. No problem. He kept the Vikings defense on its heels all game with his ability to spread the ball to his receivers and convert one third-down opportunity after another.

Rodgers completed 24 of 29 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns with a 130.6 passer rating.

The Packers also rushed for a season-high 182 yards and converted their first seven third-down opportunities, including four on the opening drive to answer Cordarrelle Patterson’s 109-yard kickoff return to open the game.

The Vikings entered the game ranked 31st in third-down defense and their inability to get off sucked the emotion out of the building.

“We couldn’t find a way to get off the field on third down, and it really came back to haunt us,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “A combination of not being able to get off the field on defense and not being able to sustain drives on offense against a group that can score points, just a disappointing night in that way.”

The Vikings’ inability to handle Rodgers put even more pressure on Ponder, who looked skittish in his first start since Sept. 22. Josh Freeman’s concussion opened the door for Ponder to get another chance, but he hardly seized the moment. Ponder completed 14 of 21 passes for 145 yards with three sacks.

Frazier said Ponder “had some moments where he did some good things,” but he said the coaching staff will discuss Monday which quarterback will start next week at Dallas.

With the scored tied 10-10 in the second quarter, Rodgers showed off his quick release and pinpoint accuracy with a bullet pass to Jordy Nelson that resulted on a 76-yard touchdown.

Lined up in the slot, Nelson found a sliver of daylight near linebacker Chad Greenway, who had him blanketed. Rodgers read the matchup and made a snap decision to get the ball to Nelson, who won a footrace to the end zone.

Despite being severely outplayed, the Vikings trailed only 24-17 at halftime after Adrian Peterson scored on an 8-yard run with four seconds left.

But Rodgers engineered a 15-play, 80-yard drive on the opening possession of the second half. The drive lasted 8 minutes, 10 seconds and concluded with Eddie Lacy’s 1-yard touchdown run.

That essentially ended the game.

“I don’t know what to say,” Allen said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this.”

 

Chip Scoggins • chip.scoggins@startribune.com





 

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 8 1st Qtr 2:39
Philadelphia 28
Portland 17 1st Qtr 2:57
Cleveland 20
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Atlanta
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
New York
Charlotte 7:30 PM
San Antonio
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Utah
Washington 9:30 PM
Phoenix
Toronto 6:30 PM
New Jersey
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Washington
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 20 1st Half 7:52
UCF 14
Winthrop 21 1st Half 8:13
Coastal Carolina 22
Lafayette 16 1st Half 7:58
Colgate 19
Northeastern 10 1st Half 9:59
Drexel 7
Wake Forest 19 1st Half 9:52
Florida State 8
Rhode Island 17 1st Half 8:47
Fordham 18
Delaware 24 1st Half 8:14
James Madison 19
South Carolina 15 1st Half 8:27
LSU 20
New Hampshire 19 1st Half 8:24
Maine 3
Seton Hall 20 1st Half 7:43
Marquette 20
Binghamton 17 1st Half 9:41
UMBC 10
American Univ 21 1st Half 8:26
Navy 20
Elon 8 1st Half 8:56
UNC-Wilmington 25
Wright State 24 1st Half 7:45
Oakland 15
Minnesota 18 1st Half 7:53
Penn State 22
Duquesne 15 1st Half 8:50
Richmond 33
SMU 13 1st Half 7:51
South Florida 16
Hartford 18 1st Half 7:51
Stony Brook 14
Albany 9 1st Half 7:30
Vermont 17
Hofstra 13 1st Half 8:09
William & Mary 32
UNC-Asheville 20 1st Half 7:45
Longwood 13
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 26 1st Half 9:21
Binghamton 10
Akron 16 1st Half 7:42
Ohio U 28
Ball State 21 1st Half 7:28
Miami-Ohio 11
Memphis 12 1st Half 9:23
Cincinnati 14
East Carolina 6 1st Half 12:31
(2) Connecticut 26
Murray State 19 1st Half 6:38
Eastern Illinois 21
Kent State 22 1st Half 7:52
Central Michigan 22
UT Martin 28 1st Half 6:29
Tennessee St 21
Eastern Michigan 18 1st Half 9:58
Western Mich 23
Bucknell 18 1st Half 7:21
Lehigh 20
Indiana 12 1st Half 7:39
Michigan State 21
Colgate 22 1st Half 9:08
Lafayette 12
Fordham 21 1st Half 5:53
Davidson 17
Duquesne 19 1st Half 6:39
St Bonaventure 15
George Mason 19 1st Half 8:08
VA Commonwealth 25
Detroit 11 1st Half 7:54
Youngstown St 20
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
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San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
UNLV
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
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Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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