Sunday, November 11, 2007

Neighbors Beating Down Neighbors

The final numbers are: Green Bay Packers 34, Minnesota Vikings 0, but the game isn’t as close as that. GB Game 9 Stats. The combination of the Packers efficient ball control offense and shut down defense yields a time of possession differential more than two to one in favor of the Pack. Purple inclined pundits will find reasons to excuse the performance but the truth is Mike McCarthy’s utilization of Ted Thompson’s personnel is producing an elite team.

Consider this angle, the Vikings achieve only 11 first downs all game and the Packers commit only four penalties all game: two false starts, an illegal block on a return and a late roughing the passer call. Noticeably absent are the pass interference infractions haunting the secondary the last several weeks. Now admittedly former Wisconsin QB Brooks Bollinger doesn’t instill fear into pro cornerbacks, but even conceding that fact, it is deep into the 3rd Quarter before he connects with anyone other than a running back.

Whatever curse has been visited upon Minnesota, it manifests itself in one extended 4th Quarter sequence. The Vikings finally manage a drive deep into Packers territory only to have it end abruptly when Charles Woodson intercepts Bollinger at the 2 yard line. 96 yards back the other direction Favre flips up a completely interceptable end zone toss that bounces off the hands of two Viking defenders and over to Ruvell Martin who catches it for a Packers score.

The dominance is so complete that Aaron Rogers gets to walk on the field with a game clock running and pad his stats with a 102.1 quarterback rating. Two for Two baby for seventeen yards. Of course, he is charged for minus one rushing yards on two victory formation kneel downs. 8-1 and improving. Yeah Cheese!