NFL games are built on momentum. Fortunes can turn on a dime and a bad situation can get worse in a hurry. The Vikings had two stretches in the first half of their humbling 42-10 defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers that rendered the second half essentially moot, as both the defense and the offense created stomach-turning turning points of the game.
It was the defense that failed the Vikings early on. After getting a three-and-out on the first drive, the second time the Packers got the ball, they gashed the Vikings with a previously nonexistent running game. Eddie Lacy had a season high of just 48 yards through the first four games. The Packers opened their second drive of the game on their own 38-yard line and gave Lacy the ball three times. He rumbled for 18, 29 and 6 yards. When Aaron Rodgers opted to mix things up with the pass, he found Randall Cobb for an 8-yard touchdown and a quick 7-0 for Green Bay.
On their next drive, it took only four plays again to get the job done. Facing a second-and-7 from their own 34-yard line, Rodgers rolled out and found Jordy Nelson wide open deep downfield for a 66-yard touchdown and, in the span of 4:20 on the game clock, the Packers had put up 14 points to take a commanding lead that would only balloon as the game progressed.
After that point, the Vikings defense stiffened and did its part to try to keep the team in the game, but just as the defense had collapsed in a little over four minutes of the first quarter, it was the offense that betrayed the team in a little over two minutes in the second quarter that made the big deficit a blowout.
Christian Ponder was under pressure all night and the Packers finally turned that pressure into turnovers on consecutive possessions to put the game away.
The Vikings offense was putting together its best drive of the game, having converted a pair of first downs, including a conversion of a third-and-12 play by tight end Chase Ford, who used some good individual effort to get to the first-down marker. Facing a first-and-5 from his own 39-yard line, Ponder had the ball tipped as he threw and a wobbling duck came down into the arms of ageless Julius Peppers, who returned the interception 49 yards for a touchdown to give the Packers a 21-0 lead.
The Vikings got the ball back immediately after and, on Ponder’s next pass attempt, he was intercepted by linebacker Jamari Lattimore, who set the Packers offense up on the Minnesota 20-yard line.
It only took three plays for Rodgers to cash in, connecting with rookie Davante Adams for an 11-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead that would prove to be insurmountable.
The Vikings came into Lambeau Field knowing that they would have to play a near-perfect game to come away with a road win. The game itself was 60 minutes, but a span of less than five minutes in the first quarter and scarcely over two minutes in the second quarter in which both the defense and offense broke down created a laugher at Lambeau.
Vikings offense, defense trade blunders
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