Welcome to a new column here on Titletown Sound Off where each week your third favorite writer you’ve never heard of (hey guys, it’s me, Nick Lauer) will write about his favorite Packer, based entirely on what transpired in the most recent game. This week Nick struggles to find a player worthy of the award after the Sunday night misfire in Minneapolis.
Well that was ugly and no, I don’t mean US Bank Stadium (actually, yes I do). Many assumed the Vikings would struggle in this matchup because Sam Bradford had only spent two weeks on the Minnesota roster. However, as Cris Collinsworth mentioned 374 times, it looked more like Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were the ones attempting the college cram session to figure out how to make an offense work. This puts the Packer of the Week award in an awkward spot.
Initially the plan was to spotlight one of the front seven players on the Green Bay defense that dominated the line of scrimmage all night. Bradford was sacked four times and before leaving with a knee injury, Adrian Peterson was held to a measly 19 yards on 12 carries. Clearly, it was a great showing by the big men in green and gold. But that impressive effort wasn’t the main thing that kept the Packers in the game.
The only reason the Packers didn’t get beat by double digits was because of the newest Packer of the Week award winner…the penalty flag!
Some may consider handing the award to an inanimate object a controversial choice, but truth be told, the runner-up for the award was the football, which seemed to have a mind of its own every time the Packers fumbled, which was quite often.
As the Packers offense struggled to get anything going all night, the penalty flag was doing everything in its power to keep the game close. In total, the Vikings were tagged with 13 penalties for a whopping 137 yards. Included in that total was a huge pass interference call on Terrence Newman that set up the Packers’ first touchdown of the game in the first quarter. These ended up being the only points they would score until early in the fourth quarter.
It’s frightening to think about what the game would have been if the yellow flag had not been so prevalent. Unfortunately, live by the flag, die by the flag. On the Vikings’ final drive, one final flag thrown in the direction of Damarious Randall sealed the Packers’ fate. If only it could have stayed firmly tucked in the waistband of the middle aged official who threw it. On second though, I don’t blame it for wanting to go airborne.
It’s hard to get too mad though at the biggest difference maker the Packers had on the field all night. Let’s just hope that this is the last game that infamous inanimate object needs to win this prestigious award. In the meantime, it’s time to take the advice of Oasis and turn the page on a game I hope to never have to revisit.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickLauer23