Grading the Game: Packers

Very little good comes out of a shutout loss, and the grades reflect the Vikings' poor play in nearly every phase of the game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

PASSING OFFENSE: D — Brooks Bollinger got his first start as a member of the Vikings and became the third starting quarterback the team has used this season. And nothing really changed. Bollinger threw for only 7 yards in the first half (only one pass was even directed at a wide receiver), and he finished 16 of 26 for 176 yards. His numbers went up in the second half only because the Vikings were forced to throw the football due to the lopsided score. Bollinger was intercepted once, did not throw a touchdown, was sacked three times and was running the show for the Vikings' first shutout since the 1991 season. So who starts Sunday against Oakland? It would seem logical to return to Tarvaris Jackson, if for no other reason than to see if the second-year player can be counted on or if the Vikings simply need to go back to the drawing board.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus — One week after Adrian Peterson rushed for an NFL single-game record 296 yards, the Vikings totaled 86 yards on the ground and Peterson left the game in the third quarter because of an injury to his right knee. Peterson rushed for a season-low 45 yards on 11 carries before departing. The Packers did an excellent job of containing the Vikings run game, but interestingly, at least one Green Bay player said the Vikings changed up their blocking scheme from what they had done against San Diego when Peterson ran wild.

PASS DEFENSE: D — Playing without starting LCB Antoine Winfield for a second consecutive game, Brett Favre had no problem picking apart this defense. Favre passed for 351 yards, completing 33 of 46 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also wasn't sacked. The Vikings did not apply enough pressure, and Minnesota clearly was overmatched in the back end. If these stats seemed familiar, there is good reason. In the Packers' 23-16 victory over the Vikings in Week 4, Favre completed 32 of 45 passes for 344 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. And Winfield played in that game. On Sunday, Favre completed passes to 10 receivers, and Ruvell Martin caught two touchdowns, including one that was tipped when Vikings CB Cedric Griffin collided with S Darren Sharper. The Vikings were fine against San Diego when they knew they could pressure Philips Rivers into mistakes. But against Favre and the Packers, Minnesota returned to looking lost against the pass.

RUSH DEFENSE: C — After containing the likes of Larry Johnson and LaDainian Tomlinson, the Vikings gave up a 100-yard rusher for only the second time in the past two seasons. Ryan Grant rushed for 119 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown, leading a Green Bay running game that had been ranked last in the NFL. The Rams' Stephen Jackson was the last player to top the 100-yard mark against the Vikings, and that came in the final game of the 2006 season. In fact, the Cowboys had been the only team to rush for more than 100 yards against the Vikings this season. The Packers' game plan called for runs that went to the outside and stayed away from the Vikings' Pro Bowl tackle tandem of Kevin and Pat Williams. Grant had 92 yards and his touchdown by halftime. The fact the Packers also were so dangerous through the air helped to loosen things up.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B — Special teams played a very small role in this game with the Vikings being handled so easily. Chris Kluwe punted five times for a gross average of 52.8 yards, a net of 41.0 and a long of 57. Troy Williamson returned three kicks for 54 yards, and Aundrae Allison took one back for 28 yards. Given Williamson's obvious disdain for being used in this role, it's a mystery why Allison isn't the regular on kickoff returns when he's active. Mewelde Moore was used again on punt returns and looks to have gotten that job back after Bobby Wade spent the first part of the season in that role.

COACHING: D — For the second time in three games, the Vikings had a big game and came out completely flat. That has to be put squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. The first occasion came against Philadelphia at the Metrodome, when Brad Childress faced his old team and lost 23-16. This time it was much worse. Facing the rival Packers, the Vikings laid a complete egg and were shut out for the first time since the 1991 season. This also was the Vikings' most embarrassing loss against Green Bay. It's a mystery what Childress is doing at the quarterback spot. He has turned the position into a game of musical chairs and seemingly has no answers for one of the most important spots on the field. Vikings players seem to quickly be losing interest in the season, and that might ultimately cost Childress his job after only two seasons.

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