The Packers started the holidays off with a bang this year with a statement win in Minnesota. In a game where Green Bay knew that they could reclaim the division they had won five out of the last eight seasons, they started off playing like they didn’t want to win. In the first half, the Packers turned the ball over in their own territory. One of these turnovers was an uncharacteristic Aaron Rodgers interception. This, paired with Aaron Jones and Davante Adams fumbles, it seemed like Green Bay would lose their most important game of the season.
However, their defense held strong, and the Pack only trailed by one at the half thanks to three field goals. The Packers looked like a different team for the last 30 minutes, as Aaron Jones rushed for two scores, including a 56-yard division-winning dagger.
Dominance starts with D
Even with three first-half turnovers, the Packers trailed by one, and the game never felt out of hand. The Packers dominated this game defensively in every metric. The team had five sacks, an interception, and forced two turnovers on downs.
Za’Darius Smith tallied three and a half sacks and five tackles for a loss in the most dominant performance by a Packers EDGE rusher in years. Kevin King came down with the interception that set up a touchdown drive for Greenbay. Additionally, the Packers held star wideout, Adam Thielen, to no catches on the night and didn’t allow a touchdown in the second half. Ultimately, Minnesota had seven total first downs as the Packers took back the NFC North in their rivals home stadium.
Looking at the stats, it wouldn’t seem like Green Bay played well on offense at all, but it might be one of their better games this season. The early turnovers kept yards and points off the board, but the turnovers were very uncharacteristic.
Against one of the better defenses in the league, the Packers were able to move the ball. Rodgers was delivering on time to Allen Lazard and Davante Adams, Aaron Jones was running like a man possessed, and the offense as a whole was clicking.
Davante Adams had his second straight 100-yard game. Aaron Jones also tallied 154 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the second straight week as well. The Packers seem to have figured out the offensive formula, and now all they have to do is polish things up heading into the playoffs where they could be playing at Lambeau multiple times.
One week is all that stands between Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers and the playoffs. The team can secure a first-round bye with a win against Detroit. They can walk away as a #1 seed if Seattle wins on Sunday Night. If the team can clean up the turnovers and play as they did on Monday, they can make a run with the help of one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL.
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