It may not have been an elimination game, but the Packers appear to be on the verge of missing the playoffs after a 24-17 loss in Minnesota.
In the lead up to the game quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he needed to play perfect, the Packers needed to convert third downs, and the tempo needed to increase. Green Bay converted just two third downs and Rodgers threw for less than 200 yards on Sunday.
The Pack traded punches with the Vikings in the first half. A touchdown catch by Davante Adams combined with a six yard score by Aaron Jones gave Green Bay a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. From there the Packers offense seemingly slowed down.
On the other side Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins played one of his best games since going to Minnesota in the offseason. Cousins threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. The last giving Minnesota a ten point lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
In a game of limited possessions the Packers were unable to take advantage in the second half. Rodgers threw for just 22 yards in the third quarter. Meanwhile the Packers were forced to punt three times and turned the ball over on downs after Jones was stopped short on fourth and inches.
Injuries Take Their Toll
Green Bay was already missing some key playmakers heading into the game. Randall Cobb was inactive for the third straight week. On the defensive side of the ball they were without cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Kevin King.
Things didn’t get better for Green Bay against the Vikings. Safety Kentrell Brice left briefly due to an ankle injury, and was sidelined for good in the second half after a helmet to helmet hit with Delvin Cook.
The biggest losses on the offensive side of the ball were up front. Left tackle David Bakhtiari was in and out with a knee injury. Meanwhile guard Lane Taylor left the game with a quad issue.
Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown had one of his best games in the green and gold before suffering an elbow injury, but was able to come back late. Trevor Davis, who started the year on injured reserve, left with a hamstring injury against Minnesota.
On a positive note tight end Jimmy Graham was able to get on the field despite a thumb injury. Graham was also able to haul in a pair of receptions in the fourth quarter as Rodgers and company tried to rally late.
Adams Reaches 1,000 Yards
Davante Adams has been one of the Packers most consistent performers this season. Sunday was no different. Adams once again led Green Bay with 69 yards to go along with that first quarter touchdown. In the fourth quarter Adams crossed over 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in his career.
Unfortunately a near touchdown a few plays later summed up Sunday night for Green Bay. Just out of reach and off the finger tips. So close to getting the Packers within three points at the time.
Now the Packers have their backs against the wall with just five games left.