Grading the game: Packers
PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus — After throwing three touchdown passes in a highly emotional victory over the Packers on Oct. 5 at the Metrodome, Brett Favre returned to face his former teammates for the first time at Lambeau Field. He didn't disappoint — at least Minnesota fans — with his performance. Favre threw four touchdown passes, had no interceptions and completed 17 of 28 passes for 244 yards. Favre's favorite target on this day was rookie WR Percy Harvin, who caught five passes for 84 yards with a 51-yard touchdown. Favre also continued to spread the ball around, completing passes to eight receivers. In addition to Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe and Jeff Dugan caught touchdown passes. Berrian played despite suffering an injury to his left hamstring the previous week at Pittsburgh.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B — Adrian Peterson was held to fewer than 100 yards rushing for the sixth time this season, but he did gain 97 yards and had a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Peterson's longest run was a 33-yarder. He also had a reception that he took 44 yards. The key thing here was the passing and running games were far more balanced than they were in the Vikings' loss to the Steelers. In that case, Favre attempted 50 passes and Peterson ran the ball 18 times. On Sunday, Favre attempted 28 passes and Peterson had 25 rushing attempts. Teams are going to load up to try to stop Peterson, and Favre can certainly make opponents pay for this, but the real issue is that the Vikings don't lose sight of the fact that Peterson must be involved in the offensive attack on a consistent basis. That wasn't forgotten Sunday.
PASS DEFENSE: C — The Vikings dominated the Packers in this area in the first half. Aaron Rodgers went to the locker room having completed only five of 11 passes for 38 yards with no touchdowns. Rodgers also had been sacked four times, and it appeared he was in for a long afternoon. But the Vikings struggled with tackling in the second half — a frequent problem this season — and Rodgers got hot over the final 30 minutes. He finished having hit on 26 of 41 passes for 287 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The success he had certainly means there is room to clean up things for defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier during the Vikings' bye week. The Vikings also are looking forward to getting Pro Bowl LCB Antoine Winfield back shortly after the bye. Winfield is recovering from a right foot injury, and the Vikings have replaced him with a trio of players, including Karl Paymah, Benny Sapp and Asher Allen. Rodgers was sacked twice more in the second half Sunday, and Pro Bowl DE Jared Allen finished with three sacks going against Packers rookie LT T.J. Lang. That gives Allen an NFL-leading 10.5 sacks on the season, and 7.5 of those have come against Green Bay.
RUSH DEFENSE: B — The Vikings did an excellent job against the Packers' running game, holding Green Bay to 90 yards on 19 carries. That included 29 yards rushing in the first half. Rodgers led his team with 52 yards scrambling on five attempts, and much of that came on a career-long 35-yard scamper on which Sapp took a very poor angle on and got caught out of position. Ryan Grant was held to 30 yards on 10 carries. One important factor in the Vikings' success is that NT Pat Williams seems to be playing better of late. The veteran looked sharp a week earlier at Pittsburgh and finished second on the Vikings on Sunday with six tackles and a sack.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus — Harvin alone earned this grade. One of the NFL's most electrifying kick returners, Harvin appears as if he has the ability to score a touchdown every time he touches the ball. He finished Sunday with 175 yards on five returns, an average of 35 yards. That included a 77-yarder in the first quarter that set up the Vikings' first touchdown and a 48-yarder in the third quarter that set the table for another score after Green Bay had pulled within 24-20. Ryan Longwell also contributed by making a 41-yard field-goal attempt, and Chris Kluwe put two of his three punts inside the 20-yard line. Kluwe averaged 45.7 yards gross and 36.3 net.
COACHING: B — Brad Childress' first victory ever in Lambeau Field had to be a sweet one. Childress lost his first five games against Packers coach Mike McCarthy, and the first four of those losses came with Brett Favre running show for Green Bay. Now, Favre has taken his act to Minnesota, and the Vikings swept the Packers for the first time since 2005. Childress enters the bye week with his team sitting atop the NFC North at 7-1, and he looks pretty smart these days for getting Favre to come to Minnesota. The Vikings' game plan against the Packers on Sunday seemed solid with the run-pass mix much more evenly distributed this time around.
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