The Vikings moved the ball plenty on offense, but they weren't able to continue drives into the end zone often enough. Plus, get two dozen game-day notes that help tell the story of the 23-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings head to their bye week following their 23-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers
in much the same situation they found themselves in last year – settling for three points on offense rather than getting touchdowns.
For the season, the Vikings have played 16 quarters of football. In that span, they have scored seven touchdowns – four on offense and three on defense. One touchdown a game from the offense is never going to be enough for any team and it's starting to draw a strange parallel to last season.
Through four games last year, the Vikings had five touchdowns – one of those coming on an interception for a score by Antoine Winfield
and another coming on a fake field goal pass from Ryan Longwell
. In that same span, the offense had three touchdowns while settling for 10 field goals.
"It usually does come back and bite you. Particularly when you get close and you approach, you have to be thinking seven points there, not three points, especially when you have an explosive play to put yourself down there," Vikings coach Brad Childress said.
History seems to be repeating itself. In four games, the offense has just four touchdowns and the team has had to rely on six field goals from Longwell to get points – a problem that speaks for itself.
"In my experiences, when you're kicking a bunch of field goals, you usually lose," quarterback Kelly Holcomb
said. "We kind of shoot ourselves in the foot. It's too hard to win if we beat ourselves. You can't do it."
For his part, Longwell was happy to make good on all three of his field goal attempts, but he would prefer getting his points one at a time rather than in trifectas.
"My job is to put points on the board wherever I can," Longwell said. "You want to see the offense get in a rhythm. I'm glad I can contribute, but when I come on to try a field goal, it means our offense has bogged down."
The frustration was evident in the Vikings locker room, but rookie Sidney Rice
, who stepped up with a big game Sunday, said the problem can be cured.
"We have to start getting touchdowns instead of field goals," Rice said. "We've got four or five days of practice every week. That's where we need to get it done."
Darren Sharper was quick to praise his old friend Brett Favre after he put together another stellar game at the Metrodome, saying, "He was making all the proper decisions today. They're putting a lot on him – asking him to throw a lot. He didn't make many bad throws and is playing like a MVP again."
The win is the eighth straight win for the Packers dating back to last year.
The loss for the Vikings is their 11th loss in their last 14 games dating back to last season.
Adrian Peterson continues to assault the Vikings record book. He posted his third 100-yard game of the season, tying the franchise record set by Chuck Foreman in 1973. He also is just one 100-yard game behind the pace Chester Taylor had last year.
Peterson has 549 yards from scrimmage in the first four games – another Vikings record – breaking the mark of 512 set by Robert Smith in 1997. Smith was in attendance Sunday for the honoring of Chuck Foreman into the Ring of Honor.
Sidney Rice scored his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings were the first team to score a TD in the fourth quarter against the Packers this season.
Favre reached another milestone, surpassing Mick Tingelhoff for second place on the all-time list for starts with 241. He trails Jim Marshall by 41 games
Taylor had eight carries for 40 yards – 37 on one play and three on his other seven carries.
Neither defense was overly dominant – the Packers allowed 382 yards and the Vikings defense allowed 384.
The Vikings run defense continued to be impressive, allowing just 46 yards on 20 Packers rushing attempts, which included 15 yards on one carry.
Favre had a passer rating of 108.0 Sunday, completing 32 of 45 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. For the season, opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 85.4 – 27 points higher than the Vikings' season passer rating of 57.4.
From the final two minutes of the first half until the Vikings got the ball for the first time in the second half, Favre and the Packers had run 27 consecutive plays without the Vikings touching the ball.
The Vikings owned a decided yardage advantage at halftime. The Vikings had 251 yards in the first half (131 passing and 120 rushing), while the Packers had 204 yards (191 passing and 13 rushing on just six carries).
Individually, Holcomb was 11 of 20 passing in the half for 139 yards. Peterson had 10 carries for 108 yards, while Taylor had just nine yards on five carries. Wade was the leading receiver with four catches for 65 yards.
For the Packers, Favre completed 14 of 20 passes for 197 yards with a touchdown in the first half. The Packers had just 13 yards rushing, led be DeShawn Wynn with 11 yards on four carries. Eight different Green Bay players caught passes, led by Greg Jennings and Donald Driver with three each.
In the second quarter, Favre broke a second of Marino's record with his 8,359th career passing attempt.
The Vikings dominated the statistics in the first quarter, but the big turnover had them trailing 7-0 after the first quarter. The Vikings had double the yardage of the Packers (112-52), with a 78-47 passing edge and a 34-5 rush advantage. The Packers had just five yards rushing on two carries.
Individually, Favre was 4 of 5 in the first quarter for 47 yards with one TD. Four different receivers caught passes. For the Vikings, Holcomb was 8 of 12 passing for 86 yards. Peterson had four carries for 22 yards to lead the rushing attack, while Rice and Bobby Wade each had two receptions.
Favre went into the history books with 4:56 to play in the first quarter, connecting with Greg Jennings for a 16-yard touchdown to break the all-time touchdown record he shared with Dan Marino at 420. The flashbulbs that went off were more like an opening pitch for a baseball playoff game, as many fans unfamiliar with the physics of flash photography now have a grainy memory of a historic event – and a great shot of the back of the fans head seated in front.
The Vikings thought they had Favre one step closer to the interception record when he threw a pass that was quintessential Favre – 65 yards and up for grabs. Darren Sharper tracked the ball for the interception, but a very questionable call on Antoine Winfield for holding allowed the pick to come off the board.
The Vikings had a couple of early chances to get a big strike early. Twice Holcomb looked deep down the right sideline for Rice. The first came on the second play of the game. Holcomb threw a perfect pass, but Rice couldn't hang on. They tried again later in the drive and Rice, who again was locked up with CB Jarrett Bush, blew past Bush and was wide open but Holcomb overthrew him to end the drive.
The Vikings' captains for the game were Kenechi Udeze, Jim Kleinsasser and Chris Kluwe. While many teams have designated captains with a "C" on their jerseys this year, the Vikings are one of the teams that alternate captains on a weekly basis.
The paid attendance was 63,779 – the 98th straight sellout at the Metrodome.