Green Bay Packers grade card: Position evaluation vs. Minnesota Vikings

Eric Baranczyk and Pete Dougherty
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) can't make a catch against Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) during their football game Sunday, November 25, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. 
Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Here's a position-by-position analysis of how the Green Bay Packers graded out during their 24-17 loss Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings.

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers (94 rating) didn’t turn the ball over but missed several throws, including two possible touchdowns to Davante Adams, and threw for only 198 yards. The Packers needed more in this make-or-break game. Grade: D+

Running backs: Aaron Jones didn’t have a lot of running room but put up OK numbers (17 carries for 72 yards) and protected the ball. Minnesota did a good job shutting things down between the tackles, and it looked like the Packers could have attacked the perimeter more with Jones. Grade: C+

Offensive line: When LT David Bakhtiari came out for a few snaps because of a knee injury, Jason Spriggs immediately gave up a sack on a stunt. Banged-up right tackle Bryan Bulaga is running on fumes. The depth didn’t hold up when Bakhtiari and left guard Lane Taylor (quadriceps) left the game. Grade: C-

Tight ends: Jimmy Graham (two catches for 34 yards) had a big drop on a pass down the seam early in the second quarter. Marcedes Lewis fell down on his only catch, and Lance Kendricks was only OK blocking. Grade: C-

Wide receivers: Adams (five catches for 69 yards) keeps getting open, though he had one costly play on the Packers’ first series when he stepped out of bounds before catching an excellent throw by Rodgers that would have converted a third down.  Equanimeous St. Brown smartly came back to a pass for the catch on a scramble throw by Rodgers, which should help earn him the quarterback’s trust. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (one catch, three yards) was a non-factor. Grade: C

Defensive line: The absence of Mike Daniels (foot) hurt the inside pass rush, though Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry each had a sack. Montravius Adams had one of his better games and helped make the stop on Latavius Murray on a third-and-1 that ended up saving points when the Vikings missed the field goal. Grade: B

Inside linebackers: Antonio Morrison is a hitter but lacks the speed to cover as a pass defender. Blake Martinez (13 tackles) lacks burst but continues playing decent football, though he didn’t get home on any blitzes. Grade: B-

Outside linebackers: Clay Matthews had his best game of the season defending the run, but no one among him, Kyler Fackrell and Reggie Gilbert put on much pass-rush pressure from the outside. Gilbert did knock down one pass at the line of scrimmage. Grade: C

Cornerbacks: Rookies Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson didn’t play that badly even though the Packers gave up 342 yards passing. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had all day on a lot of throws against predominantly zone coverage. Grade: C

Safeties: Josh Jones’ up-and-down play continues, and this week was mostly down. He missed a couple tackles and had a chance to break up a deep ball to Adam Thielen but went for the interception instead, which allowed a 33-yard gain. Grade: D

Special teams: Punter JK Scott had a solid game (46.0-yard gross, 39.3 net, three punts inside the 20). Mason Crosby didn’t allow a kickoff return, and Trevor Davis had a good tackle as a gunner in punt coverage. Tramon Williams’ muffed punt late in the game cost the Packers a minute off the clock and a timeout, though no points. Grade: C



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