Packers Come Up Just Short in Shootout, Get Another Chance at Vikes Next Week

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 30: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the third quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 30, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It's not very often that the Packers end up on the short end of a scoring shootout, but that's what happened this Sunday.

Nine times out of 10 Green Bay wins that game against the Vikings, but as Adrian Peterson chewed up clock over the last two minutes and Blair Walsh made Packers fans jealous of his kicking ability, destiny took a different turn. 

That isn't to say the Packers played badly. Considering the injuries they had during the game, they actually did very well.

Randall Cobb didn't dress, while Jarrett Boykin hurt his leg and Jerel Worthy was carted off with what looked to be a knee injury.

The Packers overcame all those injuries, and the loss certainly wasn't because of any poor play on their end.

Offensively, two Packers stepped up and may well have made themselves a ton of money for next year.

After a relatively quiet few weeks, Greg Jennings had a ridiculous game, compiling 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He got the better of his coverage all day and constantly found himself open for Rodgers to throw the ball to him.

Jermichael Finley wound up catching eight balls for 72 yards, both highs for this season.

Finely also had an outstanding day blocking on runs and for receivers downfield, something he hasn't done well this season.

Meanwhile, DuJuan Harris continues to look fantastic running the ball, knifing through the Vikings would-be tacklers and showing tremendous speed and vision.

He could be a long-term answer to their long quest for a consistent running back.

Defensively, things didn't go as well. Tramon Williams had about as bad a game as you will see from a defensive back, both in coverage and tackling. In general, the defense had some moments against the Vikings, but at the end of the day, Peterson blew them up again and Minnesota moved the ball far too easily down the field. 

The defensive line has to get to Christian Ponder for more than one sack, and they allowed him to scramble and extend a play far too often.

Between Peterson breaking their arm tackles and Ponder completing passes to the likes of Michael Jenkins, Jerome Simpson and rookie Jarius Wright (who is turning into a solid player), the defense gave up too many yards and way too many points.

Back on the other side of the ball, Don Barclay struggled too often at right tackle and was overmatched by Jared Allen and Chad Greenway. Three sacks on Rodgers were three sacks too many, and too much pressure came from Barclay's side.

Rodgers has to get rid if the ball quicker as well.

The Packers are a tough team to beat twice, and very hard to do so in Lambeau. It's back to the drawing board tomorrow to find out where it went wrong and how to fix it before next Saturday night against a hungry Vikings team.



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