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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Quick hits: Penalties, bad protection doom Vikings in loss to Packers

By Andrew Krammer

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings fell under the weight of their own penalties, porous defense and bad pass protection, losing 30-13 to the Packers on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Aaron Rodgers completed an inefficient 16 of 34 throws, but two were touchdowns as he led the charge against a Vikings defense that allowed a season-high 30 points.

Here are a few quick hits from Sunday. Be sure to tune in to 1500AM, or stream on 1500ESPN.com, to listen to Vikings VentLine with the Superstar Mike Morris and Phil Mackey. Call 651-646-8255 or 877-615-1500 immediately after every game. Check back to 1500ESPN.com for more updates.

Bending and breaking — For the first time all season, the Vikings allowed more than 23 points to an opponent as the Packers crossed that threshold when Rodgers connected with James Jones for a 27-yard touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter. Rodgers flipped the ball to Jones on the ensuing two-point attempt to put the Vikings behind 27-13. Both of the Packers’ touchdown drives traveled 80 yards. The biggest surprise performance from Green Bay came on the feet of Eddie Lacy, who was recently benched for James Starks. Lacy forced missed tackles on safeties Andrew Sendejo and Harrison Smith on his way to a season-long run of 27 yards in the first half. He finished with a season-high 100 yards on 22 carries against the Vikings.

Banged up – Multiple Vikings left the game to injury, including Teddy Bridgewater, as he was sacked six times and hit many more. He entered the game as one of the most harassed quarterbacks in the league behind a patchwork offensive line, and that only continued against a Packers defense that hadn’t sacked an opposing quarterback in three weeks. Among the players that left because of injury were Bridgewater, Sharrif Floyd, Brian Robison and Harrison Smith. All four came back to play.

There it is — Kyle Rudolph atoned for his egregious drop last week in Oakland by catching the longest touchdown of his career in the first quarter. Facing the blitz, Bridgewater lofted a nice touch pass over safety Micah Hyde to Rudolph’s fingertips. Rudolph avoided the tackle and ran another 20 yards into the end zone for his 47-yard score to put the Vikings up 7-3 early. Rudolph also grabbed a 33-yard reception down the seam to help set up Adrian Peterson’s six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Taken out — Adrian Peterson picked up 30 yards on the first two drives, but was otherwise taken out of the game as the Packers held him to -1 yard on the following five carries. On his 13th and final attempt of the game, Peterson ended a 10-yard run with a fumble when safety Morgan Burnett poked the ball out from behind as the Vikings were driving into Packers territory. Peterson finished with 45 yards, his lowest mark since the season-opening loss in San Francisco.

Self-inflicted — The Vikings entered Sunday as the lowest-penalized team in the league, but found themselves on the wrong end of calls against the Packers. Six penalties amounted to 85 yards to stall drives, and extend Packers’ drives, including a 50-yard pass interference call on cornerback Terence Newman, who was covering Jeff Janis on a go route before he stopped to come back to an underthrown ball from Rodgers. On the same drive, a roughing the passer call on Linval Joseph negated a holding penalty by Green Bay to replay third down. Then Anthony Barr was called for illegal contact and Rodgers found Randall Cobb for a 10-yard touchdown to put the Packers up 16-6 just before halftime. Four of the Vikings’ six first-half penalties came on the offensive line, including three on left tackle Matt Kalil (two false starts, hold). In all, the Vikings were flagged eight times for 110 yards.

A brief exit — Bridgewater was on the injury report this week with a bothersome left shoulder, and after a first-half hit he needed to leave the game, clutching his left shoulder. He was immediately deemed ‘probable’ to return and returned to the sideline with his teammates before the Vikings’ next possession. Shaun Hill attempted one pass in Bridgewater’s stead.

The post Quick hits: Penalties, bad protection doom Vikings in loss to Packers appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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