Ponder plays well but Vikings can't get at PackersRegional Sports
-- The Green Bay Packers are 7-0 for the first time since 1962, after a tough 33-27 victory yesterday at Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS - The Green Bay Packers are 7-0 for the first time since 1962, after a tough 33-27 victory yesterday at Minnesota.
The Packers were down by four at the half when they scored 20 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Vikings came back with 10 unanswered points in the final quarter – but it wasn’t enough, as they fell to 1-6. Aaron Rodgers started his day by completing a career-high 13 straight passes. Two plays after that, Mason Crosby broke a team-record with his 19th straight field goal. Crosby made all four of his field goal attempts, including a 58-yarder which extended his own record for the longest in Packer history.
Rodgers threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Greg Jennings caught seven passes for 147 yards, including a 79-yard TD. And most of that came after Jennings injured his right hand in the first quarter. He said the hand was numb for awhile, but it was never X-rayed. James Starks ran for 75 yards as the Packers were once again out-gained in total yards, 435-to-421.
Jermichael Finley and John Kuhn caught Rodgers’ other touchdown passes. Rodgers now has 20 TD’s and only three interceptions this season. The Packers go into their bye week as the NFL’s only unbeaten team with 13 straight victories dating back to last year. Their next game is at San Diego on November sixth.
Minnesota rookie quarterback Christian Ponder electrified the Metrodome crowd on the first play of yesterday's game when he hooked up with receiver Michael Jenkins for a 72-yard pass play that ended at the one-yard line. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but was later changed. Ponder threw his first NFL touchdown pass two plays later to Visanthe Shiancoe.
The first round draft choice out of Florida State was making his first career pro football start and had both good and bad moments. He fired two interceptions to Packer defensive back Charles Woodson, but also tossed two TD passes. He ended the day with a rather unimpressive stat line of 13-for-33 passing for 219 yards. Coach Leslie Frazier says Ponder did a nice job.
Vikings’ defensive end Brian Robison has apologized to Packers’ lineman T.J. Lang for kicking him in the groin during an extra-point play. On Twitter, Robison said he’s not a dirty player, and he did not maliciously aim for Lang’s groin – but that’s where his foot just happened to land. Lang said he was okay physically, but he wanted to know why Robison wasn’t ejected. The Vikings did get a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The kick was clearly shown during Fox’s TV broadcast – and it soon went viral on the Internet, just like A.J. Hawk’s obscene finger gesture from a week ago. Hawk got fined $10,000 for that – and Yahoo Sports said Robison can expect a fine as well. Lang said he asked the officials why Robison’s kick wasn’t treated like a punch – in which the offending player gets an automatic objection. He said the official indicated that he never saw such a thing before.
The Packers now have a two-game lead in the NFC North Division. Second-place Detroit dropped to 5-and-2 after losing at home to Atlanta 23-to-16. Third-place Chicago went above .500 on its trip to London. The Bears are 4-3 after beating Tampa Bay 24-18 at Wembley Stadium. Last-place Minnesota is now three games out of third at 1-6. Calvin Johnson caught his 10th touchdown pass of the year for Detroit, and Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards. Matt Ryan's touchdown pass to Roddy White in the second quarter was the game-winner for the Falcons. In the Bears' game, Matt Forte ran for 145 yards and a touchdown. Jay Cutler threw for 226 yards, a TD, and two interceptions. And former University of Minnesota running back Marion Barber III also scored on the ground for Chicago.