Grading The Game: Packers

This time, the Viking played a decent all-around game and didn't have to rely on an NFL record to win it. All phases posted average or better grades.

PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus — Brad Johnson threw for a season-high 196 yards and for the second week in a row directed a game-winning drive that ended with a Paul Edinger field goal. Johnson's 43 yards in passing on the final drive included a key 35-yard completion to Koren Robinson. On the negative side, Johnson did throw his first interception of the season and was sacked five times by the Packers.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — The up-and-down nature of the run game continues for the Vikings. A week after rushing for 12 yards against the Giants, Minnesota rebounded with a 160-yard effort (4.3 average), including a season-high 122 from Mewelde Moore. This came with Moore running behind an offensive line that included a change at center (Cory Withrow replaced Melvin Fowler), left guard (Toniu Fonoti and then Anthony Herrera replaced Chris Liwienski) and right tackle (Marcus Johnson replaced Mike Rosenthal).

PASS DEFENSE: C — Receiver Donald Driver burned the Vikings for first-half touchdowns of 15 and 53 yards, but the Vikings also made some key plays against Packers quarterback Brett Favre (227 yards passing). Rookie cornerback Dovonte Edwards, a rookie free agent out of North Carolina State, returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 7-7 in the second quarter, and cornerback Brian Williams had a key fourth-quarter interception of Favre with Green Bay at the Vikings 45-yard line and Minnesota ahead by three points.

RUSH DEFENSE: A — It doesn't get much better than this. After a week of hearing and reading about rookie Samkon Gado's big game against Atlanta, the Vikings held the Packers to 21 rushing yards. Tony Fisher had 14 yards and Gado only seven yards on 10 carries. In the second half, the Vikings gave up 6 rushing yards. Nose tackle Pat Williams (five tackles) continues to be a force in the middle and is on pace to earn a Pro Bowl berth.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B — Kicker Paul Edinger ended a game for the third time this season as time expired, hitting a 27-yarder as time expired to lift the Vikings to their first season sweep of Green Bay since 1998. It was Edinger's second field goal of the game after his 49-yarder in the first quarter landed short. The Vikings' return teams, which accounted for two touchdowns last week against the Giants, did not put any points on the board but the special teams remained Minnesota's most consistent unit.

COACHING: B — Mike Tice got his team to .500 with a second consecutive road victory and a third in a row overall, an impressive feat considering the Vikings stood at 2-5 less than a month ago. The defensive game plan proved solid against Favre and a rather anemic Packers offense; most importantly, the Vikings used up enough clock on the final drive that when Edinger's winning field goal split the uprights there was no time left on the clock for Favre to direct one of his last-seconded comebacks.




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