The Green Bay Packers are atop the NFC North division for another week, the Minnesota Vikings are sinking toward rock bottom, and Greg Jennings might be wishing more than ever he'd never crossed the Mississippi. Aaron Rodgers was 24-of-29 passing for 285 yards with two touchdown passes in the Packers' 44-31 rout Sunday night, toying with a Vikings defense that also allowed 182 yards rushing and failed to force a punt or a turnover. Meanwhile, the Vikings offense continued to struggle in the return of quarterback Christian Ponder, who was under 100 yards passing until garbage time, heard boos and completed only one pass for 9 yards to Jennings in the ex-Packer's first game against his old team. The Packers lead the division at 5-2, with the Detroit Lions (5-3) and Chicago Bears (4-3) close behind and the Vikings (1-6) bringing up the rear, on a second three-game losing streak in which they've been outscored 102-41. Loud "Go Pack Go!" chants echoed repeatedly inside the Metrodome as Green Bay turned a seven-point game at halftime into a laugher, converting 13 of 18 third-down chances, plus a pair of fourth downs, and holding the ball for nearly 41 minutes. Rodgers' performance was even more impressive because he was without three of his top weapons: receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones and tight end Jermichael Finley. He converted key throws again and again, including two gorgeous touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson. Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kick for a 109-yard touchdown, an NFL record. But the Packers answered with a 14-play, 90-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Nelson, who snared the ball past cornerback Josh Robinson's shoulder. The teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter before Rodgers connected with Nelson again, this time on a seam route against linebacker Chad Greenway that went for a 76-yard touchdown. Then Micah Hyde — the only man to touch Patterson on the early TD — took back a punt 93 yards for a touchdown that made it 24-10 Packers.
First-place Packers roll past sinking Vikings 44-31
USA Today | Oct 28