Border battle brings out the worst in columnists
November 15, 2007
On Nov. 11 the sad, sad, Minnesota Vikings (3-6) were pulverized by the Green Bay Packers (8-1). The victory helped the Packers reach 8-1 for the first time since 2002. Watching this game you might have wondered, “Oh, am I watching a practice? Where is the other team?”
I know, this is a bit harsh, I mean that one purple team got all dressed up in their cute little uniforms and were “ready” to play football, at least they showed up.
But let’s be honest, why bother even showing up if you don’t plan on scoring any points? It’s as if the Vikings came, they saw, and they ran away, like they do from the police.
What led the Pack to this beautiful win over the disturbingly ever-hopeful Vikes?
It could have been the four touchdowns and two field goals, or possibly the equally effective passing and running games, maybe it was the help of good ol’ number four, or potentially the defense that didn’t let the star running back through.
First we can start with the running game. Ryan Grant did a superb job as the only player to run the ball over 100 yards against the Vikes this season, and this is only his first season.
After opening the game with a 30-yard touchdown run, Grant had 25 carries and 119 yards on the ground. Clearly the Pack has a new man to rely on in the backfield. The offense moved the ball 488 yards and 351 of those yards were accounted for by wonderful passes by the one and only Brett Favre.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, this man is amazing. Many enemies would disagree and say that the “old-timer” needs to retire ... he really isn’t all that special, but come on!
He is so close to beating Dan Marino’s record for most yards in a career, and now is only the second quarterback in history with over 60,000 career yards.
Even after the elder 38-year-old got slammed in the head, he stood up like a champ and played the rest of the game.
Of course, even if he didn’t the Packers still would have won. It just goes to show that a good team doesn’t give up.
It was apparent that the offense controlled the ball Sunday, but the defense did its job by holding starting running back for the Vikings, Adrian Peterson, to only 45 yards.
With the help of linebacker Brady Poppinga and safety Atari Bigby the defense made sure there were no conversions on third or fourth down, leaving the Vikings with 0-8 third-down attempts, and 0-3 for fourth-downs. Since Peterson is all the Vikings have in terms of moving the ball down, the Pack picked up on it and focused on the running game.
In the first quarter the Vikings only moved the ball seven yards, SEVEN YARDS!!! And by the time the second half came around, what was the point in even playing anymore?
Granted the Vikings did end up driving the ball down the field a few times, but they didn’t even manage to get it within field-goal-range, or take advantage of any scoring opportunities.
It didn’t help that the Vikings were using their third-string quarterback, Brooks Bollinger, who completed only three passes for seven yards. Late in the game the Purple Jerseys lost Peterson to a hard tackle by Al Harris, and was out for the rest of the game... it didn’t make a difference.
With the help of an interception by Charles Woodson on a first and goal play for the Vikings, the defense took away all hope for any points up on the green and gold scoreboard.
The more the offense worked to keep their hands on the ball, the less the defense had to work to block and tackle, which seems to be a good thing.
While the defense continually misses tackles, they still manage to have a strong game plan, namely keying on Peterson.
This game marked the first complete game by the Packers in a string of mistake plagued contests, and down-to-the-wire scores.
All around they played well, and when a team plays well and sets a record for the most attendance ever at Lambeau Field, they’ve got to be doing something right.
While the team has been showing that they do possess the talented athletes to take them to the top, they can’t stop trying. They are playing Carolina Nov. 18 at home, and take it on the road to Detroit on Thanksgiving. However, their toughest competition comes after the turkeys and the stuffing at Detroit, the Packers face-off against Dallas for a big test of the winning streak for the Pack.
Lauren Bennett is a student at UW-River Falls.