Found December 03, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With one month until the playoffs begin, the Packers showed Sunday that they still have a lot of work to do to become serious Super Bowl threats. But this was certainly an improvement over how they played a week ago, so coach Mike McCarthy's team is starting to make a few of the necessary adjustments. Handing out grades following the Packers' 23-14 win over the Vikings: Passing Offense: B It wasn't an MVP-type birthday performance by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but it was enough to lead his team to victory. Rodgers completed 27 of 35 passes for 286 yards with one touchdown and one interception, for a passer rating of 98.0. The efficiency was there (77 completion rate) for Rodgers, but the trips into the endzone were not. Green Bay's opening drive gave Rodgers his only touchdown pass, a terrific 32-yard grab by wide receiver James Jones that came on a free play due to an offside penalty. The remaining 56 minutes of the game were serviceable for Rodgers, but not spectacular. Greg Jennings, in his first game since Sept. 30, led the Packers in targets with eight, but he only caught four of them for 46 yards. Randall Cobb and tight end Jermichael Finley tied for the team-lead with six receptions. Rodgers completed passes to nine different receivers, and none of those came from Donald Driver, who was inactive due to a thumb injury. The offensive line held up fairly well, just one week after getting destroyed by the New York Giants. In this game, Rodgers wasn't sacked until the fourth quarter. It was then that the Vikings were able to take him down twice. Considering that an injury to right tackle T.J. Lang forced undrafted rookie Don Barclay into action, this was a solid improvement overall from Green Bay's front five. Rushing Offense: A- It was a split-carry game between James Starks and Alex Green, and it worked very well for McCarthy's offense. Starks had 15 carries for 66 yards (4.4 average), which included a 22-yard touchdown run. Green finished with 12 rushing attempts for 58 yards (4.8 average). Green started the game and played on first and second down on the opening drive, with fullback John Kuhn coming in for third-down plays. But on Green Bay's next series, it was Starks who played first and second down. This was a fairly consistent theme throughout the game, with McCarthy alternating in an effort to keep both guys fresh, and it worked. With veteran Cedric Benson (foot) out for the remainder of the season, Green and Starks will both have to continue at this level in order to give the Packers some offensive balance. Rushing Defense: D Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is one of the NFL's best ... best ever, that is. Tramon Williams said after the game that not since Barry Sanders has a running back been as good as Peterson. Ryan Pickett described Peterson as a once-in-a-lifetime type of talent. And that's after Peterson's remarkable comeback from a devastating knee injury late last season. So, yes, the Packers' defense will always likely have a difficult time stopping someone that good. But Peterson's 210 yards on 21 carries (10.0 average) is close to a failure for Green Bay. Peterson had his share of 2- and 3-yard runs, but he also had an 82-yard touchdown run that gave Minnesota a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter. He then opened up the second half with a 48-yard run. Peterson is the elite of the elite, but that can't be an excuse for a running back gaining 200-plus yards on the ground, especially on only 21 rushing attempts. Passing Defense: A- Peterson was as great as Christian Ponder was terrible. The Vikings' second-year quarterback completed just 12 of 25 passes for 119 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Throwing for 119 yards is low enough, but with 83 of those yards coming in the final four minutes of the game, that means Ponder had just 36 passing yards in the first 56 minutes of action. Ponder also went 38 minutes and 46 seconds without completing a pass. That's two-and-a-half quarters of football in which a starting NFL quarterback was unable to connect on a single pass. Minnesota was without star receiver Percy Harvin, and that's a huge loss, but no team -- even with the success it had on the ground with Peterson -- should have such little production in the passing game. Weather conditions weren't a factor, either, as this particular December afternoon at Lambeau Field was 45 degrees at the start of the game. Safety Morgan Burnett had the two best plays of the game, both interceptions, including one in the end zone that saved a touchdown. Special Teams: C A foot to the left and Mason Crosby's 30-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter would have been the latest in a series of recent misses. Instead, the left goal post was kind to Crosby, bouncing his kick through the uprights and potentially saving his career. At the end of the first half, Crosby missed badly on a 53-yard try that went wide right. To open the second half, Crosby booted his kickoff attempt out of bounds for a penalty to give Minnesota great field position. But later in the game, Crosby settled in a bit and connected on 47- and 31-yard field goals. Randall Cobb struggled in the return game, including a minus-7-yard punt return, but punter Tim Masthay continued his phenomenal season. Overall: B A division win with a makeshift offensive line, defensive stars sitting out (Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson) and a huge game by an opposing player (Peterson). That's not the ideal way to get it done, but the Packers found a way to get a victory they very much needed. This win, coupled with the Chicago Bears' loss Sunday, puts Green Bay back in first place in the NFC North. The difference between winning the division and getting into the playoffs as a wild card team will be substantial, and the Packers are in a better spot now than they were before play began this weekend. Though Green Bay wasn't great in this game, Burnett's interceptions, Jones' touchdown catch and a few solid plays along the way was enough for the win. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 14: Green Bay Packers RB Alex Green

A report from surfaced late Tuesday night that Green Bay Packers RB James Startks could be placed on the season ending injured reserve list. Starks reportedly suffered a knee injury in the team’s win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Although the injury is not being reported as an ACL, Starks could be placed on the injured reserve list in order to clear a...

Packers Inactives Include Driver

Donald Driver, the leading receiver in franchise history, last missed games because of injury in 2003 and 2010.

NFL News: Green Bay Packers bring back RB Ryan Grant

With a depleted backfield, the Green Bay Packers have brought back a player from their past, adding veteran free agent RB Ryan Grant. The Packers have lost RB Cedric Benson for the season and could lose RB James Starks for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. The loss of Starks leaves the Packers with little depth on the roster with Alex Green likely to shoulder the majority...

Packers Injury Report: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Ryan Pickett

While the Green Bay Packers are expecting to have wide receiver Greg Jennings and defensive lineman Ryan Pickett active today when they take on the Minnesota Vikings, they may not have wide receiver Donald Driver. Jennings is set to return from an abdominal injury that has kept him out for much of the season. The wide receiver was a full participant at practice all week and...

Burnett's interceptions led to Packers' win

GREEN BAY, Wis. A day after the Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field, defensive coordinator Dom Capers, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum and offensive coordinator Tom Clements addressed several topics from the 23-14 win. Here are three question-and-answer highlights from each coordinator: DOM CAPERS, defensive coordinator 1. How good was Morgan Burnett...

Packers must put clamps on Peterson

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the Minnesota Vikings (6-5) to make the playoffs this season, they'll need to win at least one of their two upcoming games with the division-rival Packers (7-4). The first of those two NFC North showdowns is Sunday at Lambeau Field, with both teams' regular-season schedules concluding four weeks later in Minnesota. "I want to go ahead and control...

Ponder, passing game a dissapointment

The Minnesota Vikings' playoff chances are slipping away with each missed opportunity, such as Sunday's 24-13 loss at the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay and the Chicago Bears (8-4) are tied atop of the NFC North, with the Packers owning a tiebreaker advantage against Chicago. Minnesota (6-6) is a game out of the playoffs after the Seattle Seahawks (7-5) beat the Bears Sunday...

Packers 23, Vikings 14

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers got plenty of help. Adrian Peterson got none at all. The Green Bay Packers won a key NFC showdown against the division rival Minnesota Vikings 23-14 on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers (8-4) stayed comfortably in the playoff chase while the Vikings (6-6) are in deep trouble after losing for the fourth time in five games. Rodgers completed...

Packers overcome Vikings, Peterson

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers got plenty of help. Adrian Peterson got none at all. The Green Bay Packers won a key NFC showdown against division rival Minnesota 23-14 on Sunday at Lambeau Field. With a win by the Packers (8-4) and a loss by Chicago (8-4), the Packers are tied for first place in the NFC North. The Vikings (6-6), meanwhile, are in deep trouble after losing for...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.