Rodgers chose to hand off to Lacy, and the decision paid off, as
the Packers closed out a 24-21 win over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday
at TCF Bank Stadium to climb into first place in the NFC North.
After starting the season 1-2, Green Bay won its third consecutive
game and for the seventh time in their last eight games. Combined
with Detroit's loss Sunday in New England, the Packers (8-3) claimed
sole possession of first place in the division.
"Normally, in those situations, Aaron and I will talk about two
plays and that was the play he preferred," McCarthy said. "I just
kind of chuckled because it's usually the other way around. It was
the right call in that situation."
Trailing 24-13 following a 15-yard touchdown reception by Lacy,
Minnesota drove 79 yards in 14 plays, capped by a five-yard scoring
pass from Teddy Bridgewater to receiver Greg Jennings. The two-point
pass from Bridgewater to Charles Johnson was good, making it only a
field goal game.
But instead of attempting an onside kick from midfield following a
roughing the passer call on the two-point try, the Vikings kicked
deep, giving Green Bay the ball at the 20. The Packers fed Lacy the
ball five straight times, picking up one first down at the
two-minute warning and then another on a 10-yard run after the
Vikings called their final timeout.
Lacy finished with 25 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns
despite playing through what was later described as an illness.
"It's going to take a lot to keep him out of a game," said Packers
right guard T.J. Lang, who played through an injury of his own
sustained in the first half.
"He's a tough son of a (expletive)," added left guard Josh Sitton.
In four career games against Minnesota, Lacy now has 434 yards to go
with six touchdowns.
"He is hard-nose, downhill runner," Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes
said. "You just have to get on top of him. One man can't tackle him
because he is just going to move his feet and he is going to fall
forward every time."
Rodgers credited Lang, Sitton and the rest of Green Bay's offensive
line, which dominated Minnesota's defensive front. Green Bay
averaged nearly five yards per rush and limited the Vikings to one
On the third and two, Rodgers said he listened to the big fellas up
"You have to give the line a voice," Rodgers said. "Those guys know
the pulse of the game, especially late in the game. They felt a run
was something we could get."
"Give credit to the Packers," lamented Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.
"They made the plays in the ballgame when they needed to. We did
some good things, we just didn't do enough."
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Rodgers was 19 of 29 passing for 209 yards and two scores,
connecting on a wild one-yard pass to tight end Richard Rodgers in
the second quarter where the quarterback's pass actually went about
30 yards in the air.
Facing a first and goal, Aaron Rodgers rolled to his right. Richard
Rodgers ran a delayed corner pattern on the left. Aaron rolled
outside the numbers then threw a jump pass across his body to the
far corner of the end zone to the wide open tight end. There wasn't
a Viking within 20 yards of him.
"That was a little bit of freestyling there," Aaron Rodgers said.
"That wasn't exactly how the play is designed. It's a play action
with (Andrew Quarless) as a first option in the right back. There's
only two guys in the route and Richard is the other option."
"I was just standing there waiting," Richard Rodgers said. "It
definitely felt like it took forever, but I was just open with
nobody covering me."
Minnesota responded with an 11-play drive before halftime, setting
up kicker Blair Walsh for a 39-yard field goal to narrow the deficit
to 14-10 at the break.
The teams traded field goals late in the third quarter to make it
17-13 before Lacy took Rodgers' shovel pass 15 yards for Green Bay's
Bridgewater finished with 210 yards through the air and two scores,
hitting Johnson in stride with a 22-yard scoring pass early in the
second quarter, tying the game at 7-7.
"There were a ton of plays left on the field," Bridgewater said.
"When you're playing a team as good as the Green Bay Packers, you
want to make sure you're making all those plays."
Johnson was targeted 11 times but caught only three passes for 52
yards. Jennings caught four passes for 38 yards and the score
against his former team.
Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson had a game-high eight catches and
"This is a very good November win," McCarthy said. "You've got to be
balanced this time of year."
NOTES: Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson injured his left knee and
ankle on a kick return in the third quarter. He returned to play in
the fourth quarter. ... Vikings OT Phil Loadholt suffered a shoulder
injury in the fourth quarter and did not return. He got an MRI after
the game. ... Packers S Micah Hyde had an interception in the second
quarter. Green Bay has forced at least one turnover in all 11 games
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