Oct. 8, 2014 By Zuhayr Tahir
In another game that ended in a lopsided victory, the Green Bay Packers routed the Minnesota Vikings 42-10 in the Packers second home game of the season at Lambeau Field.
The game continued a streak of Thursday night blowouts, in which the average margin of victory has been 33.75 points this season.
Analysts are blaming the lack of quality football on the short amount of time that teams have to prepare when they play on Sunday and then again just four days later on Thursday. The NFL is being criticized with claims that they only care about money (what a shock), and that they aren’t putting the best possible product out on the field.
However, I disagree with these claims.
Both teams play on a short week, so they both have the same amount of time to prepare. If one team comes in underprepared and is outmatched, the game is going to be a blowout, just like when it happens on Sundays.
Thursday night games have also been part of the NFL for many years, so why are people against them all of a sudden? A string of blowouts has led to an overreaction, and we should start giving credit to the winning teams who are coming in on short weeks ready to play.
It also turns out that the Packers are just better than the Vikings.
The Vikings came into the game with their third string quarterback and failed to muster much of anything on offense. They turned the ball over and constantly gave the Packers a short field to work with throughout the game. All of which are common ingredients to a blowout.
The Packers offense played great and were able to put up points, but the story of this game has to be the defense. They played shutdown football throughout the game and made a Vikings offense that put up 41 points last week look putrid.
The run defense was significantly improved and the pass rush kept Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder under pressure throughout the game. Let’s give defensive coordinator Dom Capers some credit because he has this unit playing a lot better than in previous years. They are looking strong upfront and in the secondary.
Linebacker Julius Peppers made another huge play as a Packer when he picked off Ponder and outran everyone, taking the ball back 49 yards for a touchdown. He is proving more and more each week that he has a lot left to offer at the age of 34.
Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy also deserves an honorable mention as he was able to eclipse 100 yards for the first time this season and did so using his signature punishing run style.
The Packers will have 10 days before their next game as they travel to Miami to play the Dolphins on Oct. 12. It will be the Packers fourth road game of the season. Winning at Chicago a few weeks ago has to have given this team confidence that they can win on the road, especially when it comes to playing against an inconsistent Miami team.