Key to the Game; Noteworthy Numbers

Burnett's key INT (Benny Sieu/US Presswire)

Packer Report takes a quick-hitting look back at the Packers' 23-14 victory over the Vikings on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The key to the game was Morgan Burnett's second interception.

Packer Report takes a quick-hitting look back at the Green Bay Packers' 23-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Key to the game

The Packers had just taken a 20-14 lead when the one-man wrecking crew of Adrian Peterson put the Vikings in position to retake the lead. Peterson's 23-yard run moved the ball to the Packers' 40, and the officials gave the Vikings 15 more yards when Tramon Williams was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting Toby Gerhart when a downfield pass sailed over his head.

"I don't know. I don't know. Truthfully, I don't know," Williams said. "I looked at the replay, just like everybody else, and I just can't see it."

Coach Mike McCarthy was irate on the sideline, and not even Morgan Burnett's game-changing interception could calm him down. Burnett's second interception of the day came when he got in front of a pass to Kyle Rudolph. During the timeout at the change of possession, McCarthy continued his argument about the call on Williams.

"I've never seen Coach like that," Williams said.

It was Burnett's second red-zone interception of the game, the first coming in the end zone in the second quarter.

"If you can erase a team from getting points on the board, that's big," Burnett said. "And if you can steal another possession for your offense, that's really big. That's one of our main goals as a team coming into a game, is winning the turnover battle, and that's what we did today."

Said McCarthy: "I thought Morgan Burnett's interception in the end zone was the biggest play of the game. I thought our whole sideline changed after that."

The Packers' offense took advantage with a stunning 11-minute possession that made it 23-14 with 4 minutes remaining. Green Bay overcame a holding penalty on fullback John Kuhn, and Aaron Rodgers' 33-yard completion to Randall Cobb on third-and-12 was one of the four third-down conversions.

"We haven't had one of those in a while. We haven't been able to control clock like that," Rodgers said. "It says a lot about toughness of those guys. It wasn't the prettiest drive. We made the most of our third-down opportunities. We had a penalty and had a first-and-20 and we were able to overcome that and get a first down. Greg (Jennings) made a big catch for first down (on third-and-8). Randall made a nice adjustment for a first down. We had a couple good runs on that drive. To put it to two scores there with 4 minutes left, we had a good feeling about our defense there."

Notable numbers

0: Sacks by the Packers, their first sack-free game of the season. Green Bay entered the game ranked third with 34 sacks.

0: Completions to wide receivers by Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder until less than 3 minutes remaining in the game.

0: Completions by Ponder, spanning his touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph with 12:18 remaining in the second quarter to a 21-yarder to Rudolph with 3:32 remaining in the game, a span of 38 minutes, 46 seconds.

3: Rushing touchdowns by the Packers, including James Starks' 22-yarder for the go-ahead score. Their two rushing touchdowns entering the game were last in the league; Jacksonville, St. Louis and Oakland had three apiece. The others came from Cedric Benson and John Kuhn.

"I was asking if that was the first one of the season, I couldn't remember," Randall Cobb said. "But that was big for us. The running backs played extremely well today, and they made it a lot easier for us as an offense."

10: Consecutive division games won by the Packers, extending their team-record streak. Only Baltimore's 12-game run against the AFC North was the longest in the league, but the Ravens lost to Pittsburgh.

34: Consecutive games at home with a touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers. That's the longest streak in the league since Dan Marino's 39-game run from 1983 through 1988.

38:30: Time of possession by the Packers, almost 5 minutes more than their previous high of 33:39 at Seattle in Week 3.

56: Packers' third-down conversion rate, their second-best of the season (60 percent at St. Louis in Week 7) and just their second game this season of better than 50 percent.

85: Games for Adrian Peterson to reach 8,000 career rushing yards. That's tied for the sixth-fastest in the league with Emmitt Smith. Only Eric Dickerson (73), Jim Brown and Barry Sanders (80), Earl Campbell (83) and Edgerrin James (84) got there faster.

152: Rushing yards by the Packers, their second-most of the season since running for 176 against Arizona. They had just five games of 100-plus rushing yards in 11 games this season.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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