The difference between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings on Sunday could be boiled down to each team's quarterback play.
When the Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, felt pressure in the pocket, he scrambled for a few yards, put a throw on the money or threw the ball away. He didn’t make one game-changing mistake.
As Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty writes, when the Vikings’ second-year quarterback, Christian Ponder, faced similar pressure, he made two huge errors that were the difference in the game, so on a day when the nine-point-underdog Vikings easily could have won behind the mind-blowing running of Adrian Peterson, the Packers instead pounded out a 23-14 win at Lambeau Field.
“Any time you put any quarterback under pressure and make him scramble, get him on the move, the chances are he’s going to make a mistake,” Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said. “Our guy doesn’t. Our guy’s special, though. Our guy is a special player right now, Ponder is still a young guy. He definitely has tools, but he’s still a young guy. He’s going to get it. A couple years from now, you’ll probably see a different quarterback.”
You can read the rest of Dougherty’s story here: (http://tinyurl.com/d4ol22r).
*Even with undrafted rookie Don Barclay taking over for an injured T.J. Lang at right tackle, the Packers’ running game and offensive line pulled itself together in the second half Sunday, writes Press-Gazette reporter Rob Demovsky (http://tinyurl.com/d8sgn32).
*The stats indicated Morgan Burnett had one of his best career games with two critical interceptions on Sunday against the Vikings, but the third-year safety has been playing at a high level in the eyes of his peers all season. Even if, it’s taken time for the outsiders to take notice (http://tinyurl.com/cnu9urq).
*Packers coach Mike McCarthy avoided any rah-rah halftime speeches before his team rallied to beat the Vikings on Sunday, opines Press-Gazette sports editor Mike Vandermause (http://tinyurl.com/ct8set5).
*Dougherty and Demovsky collaborated on our Packers notebook, which leads with kicker Mason Crosby, who missed another kick from 53 yards, but rallied to make 3-of-4 attempts against the Vikings. Crosby made two field goals off Burnett’s interceptions to help seal the win (http://tinyurl.com/czl4h3z).
*Packers safety Jerron McMillian played Sunday’s game with a heavy heart following Saturday’s murder-suicide that involved former college teammate Jovan Belcher, who was a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs (http://tinyurl.com/cp3wwlx).
*In his Packers’ Insider, Demovsky gives a thumbs up to the Packers’ 11-minute drive in the fourth quarter and a thumbs down to their inability to stop Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for more than 200 yards (http://tinyurl.com/butytst).
*Appleton Post-Crescent columnist Mike Woods looks at the ineptitude of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who practically handed the Packers the game with his shoddy play in the second half (http://tinyurl.com/crvhg8e).
*In his rants and raves, Vandermause starts by taking aim at the unsportsmanlike contact call on cornerback Tramon Williams, which could have cost the Packers the game if not for Burnett’s second interception (http://tinyurl.com/bt3uehl).
*Press-Gazette correspondent Eric Goska takes a deeper look into the Packers’ 11-minute scoring drive in the fourth quarter (http://tinyurl.com/czrr5t7).
*Demovsky and Dougherty discuss Sunday’s 23-14 win over Minnesota in our post-game analysis video (http://tinyurl.com/d7guxrw).