The Green Bay Packers had to endure a week of offensive doubt. Some of it just and some of it unjust. The doubt was all from the outside and the Packers proved this in their home opener versus the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Having tallied only 10 points on the season, thanks to a stifling Chicago Bears defense, the Packers got out to a fast start against the Vikings. After their third straight touchdown drive, early in the second quarter, the Packers found themselves up 21-0.
Lambeau Field was rocking and many were celebrating. I pumped the brakes. On Quick TO:SS , I predicted a 24-20 Packers victory. This Vikings defense is too good to get blown out and they have playmakers on offense. I expected this game to get close, and it did.
Minnesota’s defense settled down, began forcing three-and-outs, and created turnovers. The Vikings offense came alive (somewhat) with a huge 75 yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook. Add a Dan Bailey field goal and Green Bay’s lead was cut to 11.
More of the same occurred in the second of this game. Kirk Cousins throws a beautiful ball to Stefon Diggs, between two Packers defenders, for a 49-yard touchdown reception. (Diggs then idiotically took his helmet off, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Packers assessed this penalty on the extra point try and Bailey missed. Be smart kids.)
Minnesota was hurting the Packers defense with Cook. They were able to run the at will against Green Bay’s defense. Why even pass it? No, really, why even pass it? They weren’t successful when they did. The Packers goaded Cousins into two picks, none bigger than Kevin King’s pick in the end zone, to seal it. The Packers defense proved their worth. Again.
Yes, the Vikings put up 421 yards of total offense. Yes, the Vikings were able to run the ball effectively against Green Bay’s front. But it wasn’t as bad as the stats would present. Besides that 75-yard run by Cook, and three passes that went for 136 yards by Cousins, there wasn’t much offense to speak of for the Vikings.
I am by no means absolving the Packers offense or defense. There is work to be done on both sides, but what was presented is encouraging. To put up 21 straight points on a top flight defense, a week after mustering only 10, is encouraging. To give up a massive amount of yardage, but hold a team to only 16 points and create turnovers when it matters most, is encouraging.
The offense hasn’t found its footing, but they will. That’s a dangerous thought. The defense dealt with adversity for the second straight week and came up with play after play to win. Not to mention the defense is only giving up 9.5 points per game through the first two weeks.
I said that to say this; be encouraged this team can get better. Despite the offensive struggles and the adversity they send the defense into, they have won. Once Green Bay figures it all out, you guessed it, they’ll be dangerous. Patience.