Sports

Instant reaction: Packers 29, Vikings 29

The Green Bay Packers played the Minnesota Vikings to a 26-26 tie on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. Here are some initial thoughts on the game:

  • Given Vikings’ kicker Daniel Carlson missed three field goals in the game, including two in overtime, one might think the Packers feel pretty fortunate to get out of this one with anything but a loss. In reality, they should look at this as a huge missed opportunity. The Packers had their chances to put the game on ice in the second half, but they settled for field goals and it cost them in the end.

  • Speaking of field goals, perhaps the biggest silver lining on Sunday was Mason Crosby. He made five field goals, with his only miss coming on a 52-yard would-be game-winner as regulation expired. The 12th-year veteran continues to be a solid investment, even if you think he shouldn’t make so many appearances in the red zone.

  • NFL officials are having a really difficult time calling roughing the passer. There were poor calls on both sides Sunday, none bigger than the one on Clay Matthews that wiped out what would have been a game-sealing interception by Jaire Alexander. For the record, I’m completely on board with the new body weight emphasis, as long as it’s going to be enforced correctly. Instead, officials are making up their minds before they see the action develop, and fundamentally sound form-tackles are now being flagged. If they can’t get it ironed out, it’s going to fundamentally change how guys rush the passer, if it hasn’t already.

  • Aaron Rodgers looked more mobile that I thought he would with a bulky brace on his injured left knee. He worked exclusively from the pistol and shotgun, but proved effective despite being hobbled, not to mention he came close to another heroic comeback at the end of regulation.

  • Mike Pettine’s defense, seemed to run out of gas at the very end, but Packer fans should be encouraged by what they’ve seen over the first two weeks. Green Bay has seemingly been able to create pressure with their defensive fronts, and the back end of the unit, especially the two rookie corners, has looked solid. Alexander has shown a propensity for finding the ball and Josh Jackson scored a touchdown on a blocked punt Sunday. If those two continue to pan out, the future is bright.

Top photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today sports