Grading the game: Packers

The Vikings got an all-important win Sunday, but their performance was far from perfect, yielding an up-and-down report card.

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus — A week after posting a season-best passer rating of 111.6 against Houston, Gus Frerotte took a major step backward. He threw three interceptions and had a 53.4 rating, the worst in his seven starts since taking over for Tarvaris Jackson after the second game of the season. Frerotte, who has thrown 11 interceptions and 10 touchdowns, completed 15 of 28 passes but none went to No. 1 receiver Bernard Berrian. Berrian was shut out for the second time this year - the first came in Week 2 against the Colts in a game Jackson started - and the Vikings wide receivers had only four catches. Running back Chester Taylor led the team with four receptions, including one he took 47 yards for a touchdown. Frerotte also threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Sidney Rice.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A —
Facing the NFL's 27th-ranked run defense, the Vikings had plenty of success. Adrian Peterson rushed for a season-high 192 yards on 30 carries, a 6.4-yard average, and also scored the winning touchdown on a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter. Overall, the Vikings averaged 5.4 yards on 41 attempts as the offensive line opened holes against the Packers. Peterson's performance was the best for a Vikings running back in the 96 meetings between Minnesota and Green Bay and marked the fourth-best rushing day in Vikings history. Peterson now has three of the top four performances in only 23 career games.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus — The Vikings got constant pressure on Aaron Rodgers and sacked the Packers quarterback four times. This despite the fact left end Jared Allen was playing with what he said was a third-degree sprain (the most severe) of the AC joint in his right shoulder. Allen increased his sack total to eight when he got Rodgers in the end zone for one of two safeties the Vikings recorded. Linebackers Chad Greenway and Napoleon Harris sacked Rodgers on blitzes and defensive lineman Brian Robison also added a sack. Rodgers was held to only 142 yards passing and no completion went for more than 19 yards. Not bad after the Vikings gave up 363 passing yards a week earlier to Houston.

RUSH DEFENSE: B — Packers running back Ryan Grant had some success, gaining 75 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, but overall the Vikings run defense held an opposing team to fewer than 100 yards for the seventh time in nine games this season. Green Bay had a season-high 139 yards on the ground (27 carries) in its season-opening victory over the Vikings so this was a definite improvement. Because wide receiver Donald Driver lost two yards on a carry, the Packers actually finished with 74 yards on 18 attempts as a team, a 4.1 average.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D — Will Blackmon returned a punt for a touchdown against the Vikings for the second time in as many games this season, meaning the Vikings have now given up six special teams touchdown in nine games this season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that ties the Vikings with the 1980 Detroit Lions for the most special teams touchdowns allowed in a single season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. And the Vikings still have seven games remaining. Blackmon's 65-yard score Sunday came in the third quarter and featured at least five missed tackles. Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell made a 54-yard field goal but was wide right on a 47-yard attempt. The Vikings also lost punt returner and nickel back Charles Gordon when he fractured his ankle on a return. Wide receiver Aundrae Allison is likely to take over that role. Allison also has returned kickoffs, although Maurice Hicks is atop the depth chart for that role.

COACHING: B — Brad Childress lost a spot challenge after a third-down play in the fourth quarter and the Vikings failed to get the first down from their own 41 when Adrian Peterson fumbled on fourth-and-1, but overall Childress pushed many of the right buttons when his team could have melted down. The Vikings held a 21-10 lead in the third quarter after a 47-yard reception by Chester Taylor went for a touchdown, but the Packers rallied to go up 27-21 after safety Nick Collins took an interception return 59 yards for a score, Will Blackmon returned a punt 65 yards and Mason Crosby added a 40-yard field goal. Nonetheless, the Vikings were able to move 69 yards on seven plays during a winning drive that ended with Peterson going 29 yards for a score. Peterson had all but five of the Vikings yards during that series.


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