GREEN BAY – One theme on offense and one on defense to concentrate on from the Packers-Vikings game film.
On offense, the Packers took advantage of certain players drawing extra attention from the Vikings’ defense, and it resulted in big plays.
On defense, certainly no one missed Clay Matthews’ two batted passes, strip-sack, and holding call drawn, but his pressure had an impact on several other plays as the star pass-rusher looked back to his old self again.
Here’s the rundown.
Play No. 1: Third-and-4 from the Minnesota 21, first quarter, 7:20 left
Result: A touchdown pass to WR Jordy Nelson
Coming off his big game against the Bears, RB Ty Montgomery (88) was on Minnesota’s mind, and it showed here as both Vikings S Harrison Smith (22) and LB Anthony Barr (55) follow Montgomery into the flat while Nelson (boxed) finds a big soft spot in the middle and turns a third-down conversion from QB Aaron Rodgers into a touchdown.
Play No. 2: First-and-10 from the Green Bay 46, second quarter, :54 left
Result: 32-yard completion to WR Geronimo Allison
Packers WR Davante Adams is the one attracting all the attention here, as both Vikings CBs on his side, Captain Munnerlyn (24) and Trae Waynes (26), run with him on the go route. That leaves the rookie, Allison, all by himself as he comes out of the slot toward the sideline, and it’s an easy pitch-and-catch for a big gain.
Play No. 3: First-and-20 from the Green Bay 37, fourth quarter, 13:01 left
Result: 30-yard completion to TE Jared Cook
This time, Nelson’s quick hook route over the middle draws in Smith (22), which leaves Cook one-on-one down the left sideline with Waynes (26). As soon as Rodgers sees Smith break toward Nelson, the ball is on its way to the 6-foot-5 tight end, who outworks the 6-foot corner for the ball.
Play No. 4: Second-and-6 from the Green Bay 12, second quarter, 13:11 left
Result: Incomplete pass
Matthews’ spin move here on Vikings LT T.J. Clemmings (68) is the first in an array of moves he unleashes in the game. This one leads to a QB hit and Sam Bradford throwing the ball away, as the Vikings eventually settle for a field goal.
Play No. 5: First-and-10 from midfield, second quarter, 1:40 left
Result: 9-yard completion to FB Matt Asiata
The recovery of Matthews’ strength in the shoulder is evident here, as he splits the double-team of Clemmings and LG Alex Boone (76) just as Bradford gets the pass away for a positive gain. But after this inside move by Matthews gives the Vikings trouble, he has set up his lightning-quick outside move on the very next snap. That’s the play he blows around Clemmings for a clear blind-side shot on Bradford, creating the game-changing strip-sack.
Play No. 6: First-and-10 from the Minnesota 25, third quarter, 15:00 left
Result: A 9-yard sack by DT Mike Daniels
Matthews picks up where he left off on the first snap of the second half. Once again, he powers his way through Clemmings and Boone, which in this case frees up Daniels to drill Bradford as the Vikings QB steps up in the pocket.