GREEN BAY — Columnist Tom Oates assesses the Green Bay Packers' performance in a 23-14 victory over Minnesota at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
OFFENSE • B
Green Bay’s 18-play, 11-minute drive only netted a field goal, but it ate up most of the fourth quarter and made it a two-score game. The way to beat a cover-2 defense is by running and the Packers rushed for 152 yards.
DEFENSE • B
Morgan Burnett’s two red-zone interceptions were huge plays. After Adrian Peterson’s 48-yard run on the first play of the second half, he had 174 yards on 14 carries. The Packers limited him to 36 yards after that.
SPECIAL TEAMS • C
Mason Crosby’s 53-yarder late in the first half had no chance, but he struck the ball well in the second half and ended up 3-for-4 on field goals. Randall Cobb lost some yards on punt returns. Is he trying to do too much?
COACHING • B
Mike McCarthy compensated for his patchwork offensive line by calling short passes and running plays. When the line showed it could hold up, he expanded the playbook. The double-pass failed to fool the Vikings.
OVERALL • B-minus
It wasn’t pretty, but the short-handed Packers were good early and late in claiming an important division victory. The biggest difference between the teams? Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers, Minnesota has Christian Ponder.