The Vikings' divisional downfall continued with a loss to the Packers that was "disappointing" or "embarrassing," depending on which Viking was speaking on the matter. It just continued a downward divisional trend for Minnesota in a game they lost in so many ways.
With Monday's 45-7 blowout, the Packers officially eliminated the Vikings from division title contention after just nine games.
Worse yet, the Vikings' loss to the Packers was their ninth straight division loss – a new franchise record. The Vikings haven't beaten an NFC North opponent since taking down Detroit in Week 3 of the 2010 season.
"It just was not a very good performance on our part," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We have to congratulate Green Bay. They showed why they are defending champions. They played a heck of a football game, and we just didn't play well in any phase. We need to do a better job across the board."
It was easy to see how the Packers bounced the Vikings.
Green Bay outgained the Vikings 356 yards to 266. But the disparity was much more pronounced in the second half, when Green Bay outgained Minnesota 206-101.
The Packers converted seven of 13 third-down attempts and on two of the ones they didn't convert, they converted on fourth down.
They held the ball for 33:18 of the game, but had the ball for just shy of 20 of the 30 minutes in the second half.
"They are 9-0 for a reason. It is tough to beat a team like that from the get go, but it is hard to beat yourself and them at the same time," Vikings QB Christian Ponder
said. "We made a lot of mistakes tonight; I made a lot of mistakes tonight. We had a great game plan, but we didn't execute very well."
A PETERSON LOW
had just 51 yards on 14 carries Monday night. It now gives him 846 yards, which has him in fourth place in the league. Fred Jackson
leads the league with 917 rushing yards.
Monday's numbers represented the second-lowest totals for Peterson this season in both carries (14) and yards (51). The only lower numbers were against Chicago – the last prime-time game the Vikings played.
"We've been playing these guys for a long time and normally their defense all around is good. I don't feel like we did a good job offensively," Peterson said. "Not taking anything away from their guys, they made great plays, but I felt like we had some opportunities to make some plays to keep drives alive and we just didn't execute."
The Vikings outgained the Packers on the ground 104-90 and held the Packers to just 2.9 yards per rushing attempt.
Rodgers dominated the rematch with Ponder, completing 23 of 30 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 140.3
Rodgers topped 110.0 passer rating for the ninth straight game, tying an all-time NFL record set in 2004 set by Peyton Manning, who had nine straight games with a passer rating of 100.0 or above.
Rodgers just seems to keep getting better. He came into the game with a season passer rating of 127.1. He finished the game with a passer rating of 130.7 on the season.
Rodgers' top three passer ratings have come in his last three games – 146.5 against the Vikings in Week 7, 145.8 last week at San Diego and 140.3 Monday night.
Ponder had a passer rating of just 52.3, completing 16 of 34 passes for 190 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Rodgers completed passes to 10 different receivers, had six different receivers catch three or more passes and six of them had receptions of 17 yards or more.
Peterson scored his 11th touchdown Monday night, tying him with Detroit's Calvin Johnson for second place in the league. LeSean McCoy of the Eagles leads with 12 touchdowns.
Peterson has scored at least one touchdown in seven of his last eight games.
Peterson topped the 10-rushing touchdown plateau for the fifth straight season since joining the league in 2007.
Percy Harvin continued to add to his single-season rushing record for a wide receiver, rushing three more times for 18 yards, padding the record he set last month. He now has rushed 23 times for 203 yards.
Harvin was also the team's leading receiver, catching six passes for 52 yards.
Kyle Rudolph's three receptions tied a career high and his spectacular one-handed catch will be incorporated into his highlight reel from here on.
Monday was the first game this season in which Toby Gerhart didn't have a rushing attempt. He did run once, but it was negated by penalty.
Jared Allen recorded a sack Monday, giving him 13.5 sacks and passing DeMarcus Ware of Dallas to reclaim the league lead.
Antoine Winfield made his return to the lineup Monday and had five tackles and a sack, his first since the Vikings game at Philadelphia last December.
Kevin Williams was disruptive up the middle, blowing up plays and forcing Rodgers to run more often than he wanted.
The Vikings have now been outscored 91-27 in the third quarter of games this year and 155-56 after halftime – a whopping 10 points a game.
The Vikings are 2-7 to start a season for the first time since 2002.
In his first eight games, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had three sacks. He recorded two Monday night and nearly had two more if not for escapes by Ponder.
Rookie Randall Cobb had a strange day. He started the scoring with a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown. He helped the Vikings to their only points with a fumble inside the Vikings 20-yard line that was turned into points, but, on the ensuing kickoff, killed any momentum the Vikings may have been building with a 55-yard kickoff return.
At halftime, the Vikings had actually outgained the Packers 165-150. Peterson had 10 carries for 46 yards to lead the offense in the first half, but had just four carries for five yards in the second half.
Ponder completed nine of 17 passes for 102 yards in the first half and seven in 17 passes for 88 yards in the second half.
The Vikings had 10 penalties – all of which seemed critical at the time – while the Packers had just one penalty for five yards – a false start on the first play of the second quarter.
Prior to his miss on a 52-yard attempt into the wind that came up short in the first quarter, Ryan Longwell had made 10 straight field goals of 50 yards plus, just one short of the record held by Max Zendejas.
Longwell has now missed a field goal in four straight games, but one of the Vikings 10 penalties came when he was attempted the 47-yard field goal that he made but was negated by a false-start penalty on Fred Evans. Instead, he tried from 52 yards and, while the kick was on line, it came up a couple of yards short of the goal post.
Joe Webb saw action at wide receiver, catching his first NFL pass from Ponder Monday night.
Monday was the 101st career meeting between the Vikings and Packers.
Green Bay enjoyed its 297th straight sellout at Lambeau Field Monday.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.