Packers improve to 2-0 despite vanishing offense following fast start
Sunday brought with it a double dose of the unexpected. After -12 yards on the first three drives last week, the Packers scored 3 touchdowns to go up 21-0 on the vaunted Vikings defense. That was surprise #1.
And after that? The opposite came from the offense.
The Packers failed to score a single point on their final 11 possessions of the game, having to hold on to win.
“A really quality opponent, I have a lot of respect for Mike Zimmer and players that they have,” said coach Matt LaFleur.
“We just didn't execute,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “We had some chances. They made some good plays on contested balls. Marquez (Valdes-Scantling) had one and got carried out of bounds, Davante (Adams) had one on their sideline, and then G'mo (Geronimo Allison) trying to get some extra yards took away some points there. And my bonehead play took away some points as well.”
That bonehead play? A 4th-down attempt in field goal range on a play that Rodgers thought was a first down attempt.
“I looked over at Carl Johnson, the line judge, and he had spotted first down,” Rodgers said. “So I just wanted to get us on the ball quickly. From the time it took Carl to spot the ball to whatever happened when they placed the ball inside. I just assumed first down. When he put the ball down, I was looking at the first down marker and it was clearly past the line.”
The whole world wanted to know what happened late in the first half when Rodgers was seen in a spirited discussion with coach Matt LaFleur with the offense starting to slump.
“That's just two competitive guys,” LaFleur said. “And I am sure it's not the last one we are going to have. Just two competitors in the heat of the moment and it is what it is.”
“I can't say we were yelling how much we love each other,” Rodgers said. “But we definitely weren't M-F'ing each other or anything. it was talking about the look there and getting on the same page.”
“I would much rather have that than anything else because you want guys that are extreme competitors and that's what he is,” LaFleur said.
“We have had a couple good quarters out of 8,” Rodgers said. “We have a lot of work to do. The fun thing is we have moved the ball, at times, very easily. I think we made improvements from Week 1 to Week 2. But the important thing is we are 2-0.”
“That was a really good team win for us,” LaFleur. “Anytime you can win a division game, especially against a quality opponent like the Minnesota Vikings, you can never take that for granted.”
Perhaps the story of the season will be to expect the unexpected. These Packers are now 2-0 against their two toughest division rivals, with a new head coach.