The Green Bay Packers marched into an empty U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday and left with a great Week 1 victory, the utilize of four touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers and a dominant offensive performance to beat the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Rodgers mixed three of his most famous attributes as a quarterback – decisiveness, accuracy and creativity – to manufacture a devastatingly efficient performance in the season opener. He performed 32 passes for 364 yards and 4 rankings, a stat line indicative of how well he played against Mike Zimmer’s defense.
Rodgers threw on time, firing strikes to each phase of the sphere. He talked all summer season about how ecstatic he felt with the timing and progressions of the passing game, and it confirmed up in a plentiful methodology Sunday. The ball came out of his hands quick. He attacked below, deep and in the intermediate areas. The entire lot looked easy and in rhythm.
And all the pieces came out of his hands with precision. He performed 72.7 percent of his passes (32-of-44) however turned into once potentially trusty on 85 to 90 percent of his entire makes an attempt. Twice, Marquez Valdes-Scantling dropped plentiful beneficial properties. Davante Adams had as a minimum two targets he need to indulge in caught. Most severely, all the pieces turned into once thrown with terrific ball placement, taking into account clear-slice catches and elope-after-the-prefer alternatives. The bucket throw turned into once finest on a deep, 45-yard ranking to Valdes-Scantling to halt the first half.
At last, Rodgers threw in some creativity, a trademark of his profession. On his first touchdown pass, Rodgers offered time to his correct and fired a throw to the support shoulder of Adams, who got initiate for a 2d all the blueprint throughout the trail drill, spun support around and made the prefer sooner than going out of bounds in the halt zone. It turned into once vintage Rodgers. Later, he moved correct and facet-armed a ball to Allen Lazard, fitting the ball into a minute window for yet some other ranking.
Rodgers hasn’t been ready to combine decisiveness, accuracy and creativity as continuously as he did Sunday in a truly very long time. If he can discontinuance it continuously correct throughout the season, he’ll be an MVP candidate and the Packers will be very, very correct.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
The Packers didn’t fabricate an addition to the vast receiver crew this offseason, a unfamiliar resolution for a crew that turned into once so inconsistent in the passing game a three hundred and sixty five days previously. On Sunday, the crew’s high three receivers turned into in a extremely productive overall performance against an overmatched and inexperienced Vikings cornerback crew.
Davante Adams feasted, catching 14 passes for 156 yards and two rankings. Nonetheless he didn’t discontinuance it by myself in the passing game. Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught four passes for 96 yards and a ranking, and Allen Lazard chipped in four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Altogether, the Packers receivers caught 22 passes for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers had a passer ranking of practically 154.9 when focusing on the trio Sunday.
Withhold in mind, Adams dropped a doable touchdown, and Valdes-Scantling dropped two probably plentiful plays. The receivers weren’t finest, however they didn’t need to be.
There’s a pathway forward for these three to have the Packers passing game humming, especially if Rodgers and Adams live locked in, Valdes-Scantling continues threatening vertically and Lazard does your entire thankless work. Sunday turned into once a correct day for the Packers’ idea at receiver.
Dan Powers/Appleton Post-Crescsent-USA TODAY NETWORK
Alexander gave up a slack touchdown to Adam Thielen, however he additionally turned into the game with a pair of plentiful plays in the first half. His improvised blitz resulted in a security, and his well-timed interception space up a large touchdown correct sooner than the half.
With the Vikings backed up on their 1-yard line, Alexander acknowledged he sensed a elope and blitzed off the offense’s left facet. He entered the backfield unblocked, and when Kirk Cousins saved the ball off a elope counterfeit, Alexander had a straightforward sack in the halt zone, developing two capabilities. The Packers took the resulting punt and drove the sphere, at last settling for a field diagram.
For as hard as it turned into once to expose over the ball on downs at the 1-yard line, Alexander’s play helped erase many of the damage.
Late in the 2d quarter, Alexander picked off Cousins’ errant pass at the 41-yard line with 34 seconds left. Two plays later, Aaron Rodgers hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 45-yard touchdown, extending the Packers’ outcome in 22-7.
Two plays from Alexander wait on fabricate 12 capabilities for the Packers in the first half.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) checks on guard Lane Taylor (65) after he turned into once injured against the Minnesota Vikings all the blueprint through their soccer game Sunday, September 13, 2020, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. Green Bay gained 43-34.
Assistant coaches assuredly ever accumulate credit, however Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich deserves barely quite lots of praise for the methodology his crew – which turned into once shuffled after which reshuffled – performed Sunday.
The Packers needed to improvise along the offensive line to begin up Week 1, the utilize of left guard Elgton Jenkins at correct sort out and Lucas Patrick at left guard with Billy Turner injured. When Patrick went down with a shoulder damage, Jenkins moved support to left guard and Rick Wagner entered the game at correct sort out. Later, correct guard Lane Taylor went down, and rookie Jon Runyan replaced him.
The Packers still didn’t enable a sack and rushed for 158 entire yards.
Aaron Rodgers turned into once most effective hit twice despite attempting 44 passes, and the Packers averaged over 5.0 yards per have on the ground (not counting two kneel downs to halt the game).
An offensive line with that many accidents and transferring pieces will indulge in crumbled. Stenavich’s crew caught collectively and played an ideal game Sunday. Jenkins, a 2d-three hundred and sixty five days participant who needed to breeze all the blueprint through, turned into once in particular impressive.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur works the sidelines against the Minnesota Vikings all the blueprint through their soccer game Sunday, September 13, 2020, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Packers offense produced 43 capabilities, 522 entire yards and 31 first downs. Matt LaFleur’s crew most effective punted once, and it came after a tumble from a receiver on third down.
This turned into once a dominant offensive performance, and LaFleur’s fingerprints were all the blueprint through it.
The Packers play caller mixed up personnel. He mixed up formations. He aged pre-snap motion and elope motion. He saved a elope-pass balance. He dialed up plays to attack every phase of the sphere. He made Mike Zimmer and the Vikings defend all the pieces, and so that they couldn’t.
LaFleur has some versatile pieces, especially in Tyler Ervin and Josiah Deguara. They each played all the blueprint throughout the sphere and gave the Vikings elements, each sooner than the snap and after.
Aaron Rodgers played an ideal game, however he got barely quite lots of wait on from his play caller on Sunday. In the fight between LaFleur and Zimmer, the Packers coach scored yet some other decisive victory.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Empty stadiums and still atmospheres already have interaction groups of inherent house-field advantages in 2020. Aaron Rodgers will be sure that the advantages of a still stadium continually dash the Packers’ methodology.
Rodgers drew the Vikings offside three diversified cases on Sunday. Twice, the five yards gave the Packers a fundamental down. On the third, he hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a free play for 39 yards, constructing a touchdown.
Rodgers is going to be a matter for defenses in these environments. His cadence will be heard from the press box, and it’s no surprise it provides pass-rushers so many issues. He varies the rely so well. Rushers don’t indulge in any probability to time it out correct, and after they wager, it’s practically continually inappropriate. When it’s inappropriate, and the officers let the play dash, Rodgers goes into attack mode.
As long as stadiums are empty, Rodgers is going to build up free plays. And potentially barely quite lots of free plays and barely quite lots of plentiful plays.
Designate Hoffman, USA TODAY NETWORK
No one anticipated Krys Barnes, who turned into once released at closing cutdowns, signed to the observe squad after which promoted to the 53-man roster on Saturday, to play famous Sunday. Per chance a snap here or there. Per chance some special groups.
No, Barnes didn’t trusty play sporadically. He turned into once Mike Pettine’s starter at internal linebacker, and he played many of the game.
Barnes had some rough snaps early however at last settled in. The undrafted free agent linebacker helped short-circuit two drives in the first half, each with tackles for losses on Vikings working support Dalvin Cook. On the 2d, he identified a display veil play, raced to the house and dropped Cook in the support of the road.
Will the Packers be ready to rely on Barnes to play a plentiful position all season? Who knows. Nonetheless the rookie got thrown into a plentiful house Sunday and survived, helping fabricate two plentiful stops in the first half. Barnes done with seven tackles and a crew-high two tackles for losses.
Photograph by Hannah Foslien/Getty Pictures
The Packers misplaced offensive linemen Lucas Patrick and Lane Taylor, each doubtlessly to famous accidents. Nonetheless the plentiful damage drawl popping out of Sunday has to be Kenny Clark, who departed with a groin damage in the 2d quarter and didn’t return. The Educated Bowl defensive sort out is a famous phase of what Mike Pettine does, each against the elope and rushing the quarterback. Shedding him for a fundamental duration would possibly presumably well well be hard. The indisputable truth that the Packers dominated him out to begin up the 2d half is a referring to label. More needs to be identified this week.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Vikings working support Dalvin Cook ran for most effective 50 yards, however the Packers dominated the soccer and this game got out of hand in the 2d and third quarters. Early on, it looked fancy the Packers can also want more elements against the elope, especially with the nasty defense on the sphere. The Vikings moved the ball with out famous resistance on their first power. General, Cook and Alexander Mattison rushed for 100 yards and two rankings on trusty 18 carries, and the duo potentially would indulge in performed lots more damage had the game waft been diversified. The elope defense would possibly presumably well well still be a plentiful drawl, especially if Kenny Clark has to pass over time.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) congratulates vast receiver Allen Lazard (13) after he scored a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings all the blueprint through their soccer game Sunday, September 13, 2020, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. Green Bay gained 43-34.
The Packers gained by nine capabilities, however the variation between these two groups looked famous increased than nine capabilities. Matt LaFleur’s crew held leads of 19 capabilities in the third quarter and 18 capabilities in the fourth quarter. More importantly, the Packers got a road hang against a division rival, and lots of assume the Vikings will indulge in a playoff-caliber crew in 2020. It turned into once an ideal begin up, especially for the offense. The Vikings were inexperienced at cornerback and lacking pass-rushers, so the Packers attacked mercilessly and efficiently, and Aaron Rodgers had a vintage performance. It’s one hang, however it surely’s still a famous one. And the Packers need to feel correct about the methodology they managed the game, even after some early hiccups in the red zone.