This game was unofficially over when Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. It was officially over late Sunday night.
The Green Bay Packers ultimately cakewalked their way to a 37-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. The Packers have now locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC after the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Arizona Cardinals earlier in the day.
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It was yet another ho-hum carving up of the Minnesota Vikings defense for Aaron Rodgers. The longtime Packers quarterback started the game by beautifully feathering in several vertical balls and then went into game-manager mode for a good portion of the contest. He was as exceptionally quick at getting the ball out as he’s been in recent weeks, averaging 2.36 seconds to throw.
Even though A.J. Dillon was drafted to be the cold-weather back, it was the other A.J. running wild for the Packers, as Aaron Jones picked up 76 yards on only eight carries to lead the Packers. Jones broke off multiple big runs early on to fuel the Packers offense.
Wide receivers/Tight ends
Lazard hauled in all six of his targets for 72 yards and a score. That touchdown came in highlight-reel fashion, as he hauled in a glorified jump ball. If he can be reliable in such situations, the Packers' offense will be scary in the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers says jump Allen Lazard says how high?! pic.twitter.com/ubn0OIGnAp
— Nicole Menner (@NicoleMenner) January 3, 2022
The Green Bay offensive line continues to get the job done despite being down four starters. Center Lucas Patrick had arguably the best day of the bunch, as he didn’t allow a single pressure on 45 pass-blocking snaps on the day.
With yet another sack, Rashan Gary’s breakout season hit double-digit sacks by our count. After five pressures on Sunday night, he now has 73 on the season — 27 more than he had a season ago.
De’Vondre Campbell continues to be a completely different player than we’ve seen at any other point in his career. He was all over the field Sunday night and shut down everything underneath. The linebacker finished with six defensive stops to lead all players.
It was a leisurely walk in the park for the Packers secondary, as they were barely targeted on the day. Their outside corners had a particularly easy go of it. Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas combined to allow only four catches from nine targets for 39 yards.
Sean Mannion was so limited that it seems crazy to think rookie third-rounder Kellen Mond couldn’t have benefited from the reps. Even when Mannion had wide-open receivers, like on a fourth down to Justin Jefferson midway through the third quarter, Mannion still missed his mark.
There just wasn’t a path to getting Dalvin Cook more touches in this game. He finished with only nine carries for 13 yards and three receptions for zero yards as the Vikings were down early and big.
Wide receivers/Tight ends
Tyler Conklin was seemingly the only player Sean Mannion felt comfortable throwing to. He was targeted eight times and caught five for 47 yards. Unfortunately, he took a massive shot on one of his targets and had to leave the game, but he returned later.
While it wasn’t a great day for the offensive line, at least one member had a moment they’ll never forget. Garrett Bradbury’s improbable catch on a batted ball turned into a miraculous 21-yard gain — the longest play of any Viking in the game.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 3, 2022
The Vikings were completely unable to affect Aaron Rodgers when he dropped back to pass on Sunday, even against an offensive line chocked full of backups. The defensive line combined to generate only nine pressures on 45 dropbacks.
The Vikings' second corner position continues to be a massive issue. This week it was Kris Boyd in the spotlight with Cameron Dantzler sidelined, and he allowed seven catches on eight targets for 81 yards and a score.