The Minnesota Vikings season thus far has been like a kick in the stomach and this game was no different. But for the second straight game, the Vikings started the game with an amazing return for a touchdown. But like the rest of this season, they provided their fans with little else to cheer about.
The Vikings stunned the Packers and the viewing audience with an NFL-record 109-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson to start the game. The 44-31 loss to Green Bay at the Metrodome was heartbreaking. But at least it was better than last week’s 23-7 loss to the New York Giants.
But The Vikings weren’t the only ones with an impressive kickoff return. The Packers took a 24-10 lead with 1:49 left in the first half when cornerback Micah Hyde returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was on fire as usual. He finished the night 24 of 29 for 285 yards with two touchdowns. Both of those were to Jordy Nelson, he caught an 11-yard TD in the first quarter then a 76-yard TD in the second quarter.
While Green Bay’s quarterback situation was solid as usual, Minnesota’s quarterback situation remains a mess.
Sunday’s game saw the return of Christian Ponder. After a bad start Ponder and a rib injury Ponder was benched and the Vikings brought in Josh Freeman. Ponder saw the field again because Freeman suffered a concussion against the Giants.
Despite his promise to step it up, Ponder did little to inspire the team or the crowd. He managed to complete 14 of 21 passes for 145 yards. A glass half full moment for Ponder was that he didn’t have an interception after throwing five in the three games to start the season.
Minnesota did go on 77-yard drive to make the score 24-17 at halftime on an 8-yard TD run by Adrian Peterson. But the Vikings, who are now 1-6, showed little in the second half until the game the game was already DOA.
After falling behind 41-17, the Vikings got a 13-yard TD run by reserve running back Toby Gerhart with 4:42 left in the game. And Ponder scored on a 19-yard run with 1:24 to account make up for the final points.
Peterson fared much better Sunday, he got 13 carries against the Packers, and turned them into 60 yards.
The Packers (5-2) got a workmanlike 94 yards on 29 carries from running back Eddie Lacy. After a slow start to the season, the rookie now has rushed for 395 yards in Green Bay’s past four games.
The Vikings play next in Dallas on Sunday.