By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @LUCYrk78
Vikings 16 – Packers 0
AND they did it AT Lambeau. It could be said that the Packers did well at only keeping the Vikings to 16 points, but that would be one of those statements where you’re really stretching to find something positive to say about this game.
I don’t think any die-hard (realistic) Green Bay fan truly expected us to win this game, but I am pretty sure that we didn’t see a shutout coming. According to Bleacher Report, “Saturday’s loss marks the second time in the past six games the Packers have been shut out. They hadn’t been held scoreless in a game prior to this season since 2006.”
The Vikings are a great team. Most likely they’ll end up securing a first-round bye in the post season. The Packers are a banged up team, and the list of injuries only got worse as the game went on. Coming into the game, there was no quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive end Nick Perry, safety Damarious Randall or wide receiver Davante Adams.
Then within minutes, lost wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, running back Aaron Jones safety Josh Jones and tight end Richard Rodgers. At this point, I just can’t wait for the season to be over so the players can get healthy and head coach Mike McCarthy can figure out more of a game plan (ahem: DEFENSE, cough, cough: backup quarterback) for 2018.
This game has given me the chance to learn more about players I’ve never thought of before; players that stepped in to fill spots as injuries piled up. While they may never see the turf again, some of them did well at a moment’s notice.
I hate to say that these players only played when there was no one else to turn to. That they got field time because the games don’t matter anymore now that their playoff hopes are gone. Cornerback Lenzy Pipkins is one of those players. He did well with two goal-line stops late in the game, and I’d like to see what he can do if given the opportunity to join the secondary with some of the Packers’ starters.
Defensive tackle Kenny Clark is another player that we normally wouldn’t be mentioning, but that I’d say deserves to be seen more. He was able to get two sacks and seemed to have a great read.
In these game recaps, I’ve tried to shy away from too much negativity thrown towards backup quarterback Brett Hundley. No one can fill Aaron Rodgers’ shoes – I think the entire league realizes that. However, Green Bay, without a doubt, needs a better option to step in as backup quarterback.
Playing the Vikings, it was easy to see the contrast between a backup QB that grew into the role and succeeded, versus Hundley, who just hasn’t and isn’t. There is just too much he needs to improve on – he isn’t consistent, his throws don’t connect and aren’t targeted enough and he continues to throw interceptions. Hundley will start again in next week’s New Year’s Eve season-finale at Detroit, and then hopefully the search for a true Rodgers replacement will begin more earnestly.
Talk Packers with Lucy on Twitter @LUCYrk78