Packers take control in second quarter
MINNEAPOLIS — For one quarter on Sunday the Minnesota Vikings defense was in control. After that, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers took over.
Rodgers was just 1-for-2 for seven yards in the first quarter. Over the final three quarters he was 21-for-29 for 294 yards and four touchdowns.
"He played great," Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said.
"I'm proud of the way we played today," Rodgers said. "I think our guys did a really nice job up front."
With the game tied 3-3 in the second quarter, Rodgers took the Packers on an 80-yard scoring drive for the game's first touchdown. All eight plays were passes, and Rodgers completed six for 80 yards.
One play after Husain Abdullah missed a chance at a diving interception at the goal line, Rodgers threw an 11-yard TD pass to Greg Jennings. Rodgers scrambled out of the pocket and threw on the run.
Rodgers started with short, quick passes and eventually got time to throw deep.
"He got the ball out as quick as you got out of your stance," Vikings defensive end Pat Williams said.
Rodgers guided the Packers to 17 points in the second quarter when he was 13-for-20 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He directed a back-breaking TD in the closing seconds of the half to put Green Bay (7-3) up 17-3. The drive was set up by a Favre interception.
"It just got lopsided on us quick," Williams said.
Rodgers went at rookie cornerback Chris Cook numerous time in the first half, and often completed deep passes. Greg Jennings had a big day with seven catches for 152 yards and three TDs.
In the second half second-year cornerback Asher Allen was burned for a pair of touchdowns.
"Quarterbacks and offensive coordinators are very smart," Vikings veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield said. "They're going to go after young guy."
GIVE 'EM A YELL:Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards yelled at Cook on the sidelines after one possession. The pair got into a heated argument.
"Just talking to him," Edwards said. "If I ain't doing my job, get on me. If we're not doing the job, we take it up in front of each other in our room. We tell each other to step up."
Cook declined to comment on the event.
"Everybody's competitive out there," defensive end Jared Allen said. "Tempers get going. Emotions get flying and everybody's trying to do something to spark that little energy to come back and get the thing right. The bottom line comes down to doing your job and making the plays you're supposed to make."
SACK IS BACK:The Vikings didn't record a sack in the first meeting against the Packers. The Vikings set the tone early Sunday with two sacks on Green Bay's second drive.
Edwards and Jared Allen both had a sack on the drive, which ended in a Green Bay punt. Edwards added another sack in the third quarter, but as the game went on Rodgers seemed to have more time to throw and got more comfortable in the pocket.
"We had a couple sacks early on," Rodgers said. "In the second quarter we just started getting things rolling."
HERRERA HURTS KNEE:Vikings starting right guard Anthony Herrera suffered a knee injury and did not return. The injury appeared very serious and Herrera is likely done for the season. He may have torn an ACL.
"I believe so," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "MRI will tell us tomorrow (Monday)."
GERHART FUMBLE: Running back Toby Gerhart lost a fumble after making an 10-yard catch
on third-and-9 early in the second quarter. The play would have resulted in a first down around the Green Bay 40.
The Vikings led 3-0 at the time and had momentum. But the first of two Vikings turnovers helped turn the tide. The Vikings are now a dismal minus-13 in the takeaway department this season.
"It's always a game of momentum and swings and we took momentum away from ourselves a couple of times with costly turnovers," Childress said.
RED ZONE WOES:The Vikings had first-and-10 from the Green Bay 11 on their second drive, but
had to settle for a Ryan Longwell field goal after a 3-yard run by Gerhart, incomplete pass and 2-yard pass to Greg Camarillo.
That turned out to be the Vikings lone trip to the red zone.
NOT ALL DAY:With the Vikings trailing 24-3 early in the second half, Adrian Peterson was a non-factor over the final two quarters. The stellar running back had 11 carries for 51 yards in the first half.
He had just three carries for 21 yards in the second half as the Vikings were forced to play catchup.
"I felt like we did pretty well in the run game," Peterson said. "We just got ourselves into a situation where we had to pass the ball."
Peterson entered the game with 908 yards rushing. He now has 980 yards on 211 carries, a 4.6 yard per carry average.
HOLD THAT FIELD GOAL: A holding penalty by Jim Kleinsasser wiped out a 51-yard field goal by
Ryan Longwell in the third quarter with the Vikings down 24-3. Because of the penalty, the Vikings had to punt.
"It hurts anytime you make points and then a penalty takes them away," Peterson said.
A holding penalty by Phil Loadholt on a Peterson run earlier in the drive had put the Vikings in a first-and-20 situation in Packers territory and they were unable to overcome the miscue.