Thursday Night Football is just a massacre waiting to happen. This week’s version of this sacrifice to the football gods was written in the stars early on. There was some hope that Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would be ready to go against the rival Green Bay Packers after suffering a sprained ankle last week in a win over the Atlanta Falcons.
But he was ruled out about an hour before game time. In came former starter Christian Ponder. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were fresh off a blowout victory over the bumbling Chicago Bears and all were licking their chops to gain ground on the NFC North leading Detroit Lions. From the very beginning things were looking bad for Minnesota at historic Lambeau field. Green Bay scored their first touchdown off a 66 yard Rodgers to Jordy Nelson hookup. The Packers’ defense would sustain a consistent and significant pass rush, forcing Ponder to look jittery and unsure in the pocket. He would be sacked six times.
The next score for the Dairy State’s favorite team came on an interception by DE Julius Peppers. The 49-yard scamper by Peppers was reminiscent of the athleticism displayed during his early days with the Carolina Panthers. However, the success of the endeavor may have had a little to do with the fact that no one on the Minnesota offense seemed willing or able to want to tackle the nearly 300 pound defensive end. On this day, as the NFL celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Christian Ponder was the proverbial piñata that would just keep on giving as he threw another interception a minute later. That mistake would lead to touchdown catch made by Devante Adams.
Minnesota’s emerging RB Matt Asiata played a solid game with 15 carries for 72 yards, but Ponder’s early ineptitude, as well as a sorry performance by the Viking’s offense line, was just too much to overcome. Rodgers would finish with 156 yards passing on 12-17 attempts. The game was truly over in the second quarter as Green Bay was up 21 to zip with 7:06 left in the second quarter. Another key to victory for the Green Bay Packers was the 105 rushing yards provided by running back Eddie Lacy. Christian Ponder would finish with 222 yards on 50 percent passing, but much of that humble tally would be gained late in the game.
The Green Bay Packers have rebounded nicely since the early season blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a near loss in Week 2 to the lowly New York Jets and a loss to the Detroit Lions. They gear up to face the Miami Dolphins (2-2) next week. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings are probably glad this debacle didn’t take place with Teddy Bridgewater under center. Who knows what it would have done to his confidence after the impressing performance he delivered last week. The loss leaves the Purple People Eaters with a 2-3 record as they host the big-play potential of Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush of the Detroit Lions next week in Minnesota.