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The Green Bay Packers stay perfect on the season as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 33-27, spoiling rookie Christian Ponder’s hope for his first win as the starting quarterback.
Aaron Rodgers once again played like the leading candidate for NFL MVP should by throwing 300+ yards, making three touchdowns and no interceptions. There were some early offensive issues for the Packers as they were only able to muster two Mason Crosby field goals in the second quarter. This allowed the Vikings to jump out to a 17-13 lead behind the play of Ponder and star running back Adrian Peterson.
The Packer offense then came to life, scoring 20 points in the second half and quelling any notion that there may be issues in the offensive unit. Rodgers was never worried about being down at the half, stating, “There’s not a lot of panic in this team. We’ve been down a couple times at halftime, just a lot of focus.”
The Packers came out firing, scoring touchdown on their first two offensive possessions of the half. A blown defensive coverage allowed Greg Jennings to jog into the end zone for a 79 yard reception from Rodgers. The second drive ended in a 2 yard touchdown reception to Jermichael Finley, and put the Packers up 27-17.
For as well as the Packers played, the Vikings would not go down with a fight, making a 4th quarter comeback that eventually fell short. Peterson was a huge part of the Viking offense rushing for almost 200 yards on the day. Even with his big day Peterson was obviously upset stating, “It’s frustrating to come out against the defending champs and be that close and not to come up with the win.”
Peterson’s huge rushing numbers did help ease the scoring burden on rookie quarterback Ponder. Ponder played much better than expected against the defending champions, throwing for 200+ yards and two touchdowns.
However there were glaring flashes of his inexperience, throwing two interceptions in the second half that both resulted in Packer field goals, which ended up being the difference in the game. The Vikings may have lost the game but the future looks bright for them on the legs of Peterson and on the arm of Ponder.
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