1. Locke muffs complementary role

A team built around defense, Adrian Peterson and favorable field position needed a better performance from their punter than Jeff Locke provided. Locke punted twice from Packers territory and failed badly both times. He capped the opening drive with a touchback from the 41-yard line. “I hit the ball I wanted to but I just misjudged the wind,” Locke said. “There was no wind. I was thinking there was a little bit of wind in the face, but there wasn’t.” The Packers turned the comfortable field position into a 3-0 lead. Late in the second quarter, Locke had a 27-yarder to the Green Bay 20. With breathing room, the Packers drove 80 yards for a touchdown. “That was more with the wind,” Locke said. “But I was almost trying to overcompensate for the touchback and hit it short.”

2. Peterson: They got me wired up

Peterson typically doesn’t jaw as much at defenders as he did Sunday. He went face-to-face with defensive tackle Mike Daniels midway through the second quarter when Daniels was slow to get off him. A couple plays later, he jawed with cornerback Casey Hayward and even took his helmet off briefly to say something while leaving the field. “Those guys were playing aggressive,” Peterson said. “They play good. There were a couple of small things that irritated me a little bit. But, you know, nothing dirty or anything like that. It just got me wired up a little bit.”

3. Adrian the … pass protector??!

– linebacker Nate Palmer – up the middle. Peterson also picked up linebacker Clay Matthews on Bridgewater’s 17-yard strike to Stefon Diggs during a touchdown drive. “I don’t think it was my best [pass protection],” Peterson said. “But when those opportunities present themselves, I just do my job and try to get it done. I was able to do that on my opportunities.”.

4. Rodgers was beatable, but …

This wasn’t the typical hopeless loss to Aaron Rodgers. In his 16th game against the Vikings, the Packers’ quarterback had his worst completion percentage (.470) and his second-worst passer rating (86.9). Twice in the first half, Rodgers had to call time out on third-and-long because he didn’t recognize the defense. Both times, he came out of the timeout and failed to convert. On third-and-10 in the first quarter, he checked down into a 1-yard completion. On third-and-13 in the second quarter, he was sacked for a 9-yard loss by cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. The Vikings showed an eight-man front with Munnerlyn on the right edge, safety Harrison Smith on the left edge and linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks in the two A-gaps. The linebackers and Smith dropped, while Munnerlyn ran down his first sack as a Viking. “I don’t think he [saw] me at all,” Munnerlyn said. “I think he thought Harrison was coming and Harrison did a great job of showing [blitz]. But [Rodgers] also made plays when he had to.”

5. Walsh miss and then a mess

Kicker Blair Walsh missed his third PAT of the season, giving him more misses from that 33-yard distance than he has from 40 yards or farther (two). “There was a side wind and it went exactly where the wind was,” Walsh said. “But that doesn’t matter. From 33 yards, you should put that through regardless.” The miss was compounded when the normally solid kick coverage unit allowed Jeff Janis to return the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the Vikings’ 36-yard line. From there, the Packers only had to drive the ball five yards to kick a 47-yard field goal to tie the game 6-6. Walsh hit a good kick 4 yard deep in the end zone, but the coverage unit lost its lanes. “We have to cover better, but those guys also made a nice stop when I hit a bad kickoff to the 3-yard line another time,” Walsh said. “We have so many guys who are good at covering and they care. So we’ll get it right.”