Green Bay Packers v. Vikings: Behind the Numbers

Here is a look behind the numbers with the stats and figures you need to know from the Green Bay Packers' performance against Minnesota.

The Green Bay Packers lose a tough one to Minnesota on a last second field goal. The Packers fall to 8-3 on the season, but still in control of the NFC North and sitting well in the NFC playoff picture overall.

As we do after every game, it's time to go Behind the Numbers, taking a look at the stats and figures that defined this game for Green Bay.

97

Not that there was ever a concern, but AJ Dillon handled the RB1 responsibilities beautifully on Sunday. While there weren't always these huge running lanes, Dillon would still average almost 5.0 yards per carry on his 11 rushing attempts. 

And remember when his pass-catching ability was questioned coming out of Boston College? Well, that's a thing of the past. Dillon had six targets -- the third most on the team -- and caught all six of them for 44 yards while looking like a natural pass-catcher in the process.

“What surprised me is, you might not see it much during games, but you go to practice, and you see him running routes and see him catching the football. And he’s got real good hands,” said Packers college scout Mike Owens following the 2020 NFL Draft via Packers Wire. “His receiving game is actually further along than you might believe. That’s just an added element to his game. He does have pass-catching ability.”

8

Mason Crosby now has eight missed field goals this season--the most since he missed 12 during that horrendous 2012 season. Now, not every miss has been 100 percent on Crosby. There has been bad blocking, wild snaps, and poor holds, but this certainly hasn't been the Crosby of recent years either--and something has to change.

“If it wasn’t my job and I wasn’t in the middle of it, you’d almost kind of be like, ‘Man, just everything that could’ve gone wrong in a few of these situations kind of did," Crosby said via SI.

8 for 92

The Green Bay Packers entered the game as one of the least penalized teams in football but were called for eight penalties for 92 yards against Minnesota. Several of these penalties were committed by the offensive line, forcing the offense to dig out of a 1st and 20 hole. Obviously, converting the first down in those situations becomes much more difficult, but it also makes it more challenging for Matt LaFleur to find a rhythm as a play-caller, and the team becomes pass-heavy.

0

Kirk Cousins tried to gift this Green Bay Packers' defense several turnover opportunities, but they just couldn't convert. Darnell Savage would intercept a pass in the red zone, but it was taken away due to a roughing the passer penalty on Kingsley Keke. On another play, Vikings WR Adam Thielen turned into a defender as he broke up what could have been another interception by Savage. And then, on the final drive, Savage failed to maintain possession through the ground.

In addition to these turnover opportunities, there were a couple of other questionable passes by Cousins that would hit the turf as well. Had Green Bay come away with at least one turnover, the end result of this game may have been different. 

10

Kenny Clark had another fantastic and downright dominant performance on Sunday. He bullied Vikings center Mason Cole and finished the game with 5 pressures, oftentimes finding his way into the backfield. In addition to Clark, Preston Smith was also highly productive, forcing 5 pressures of his own, including two sacks and a forced fumble, along with two tackles for loss. In Rashan Gary's absence, both Clark and Smith came up with some impressive performances. Overall, the Packers defense generated 21 pressures. 

231

In previous weeks, we've seen Joe Barry go heavy with his lightbox usage to provide the secondary with some additional help. But on Sunday, in an effort to contain Dalvin Cook, Green Bay played with more box defenders than what they had recently. 

This meant less help for the cornerbacks against Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, which, unfortunately, showed. Eric Stokes, Kevin King, and Rasul Douglas would give up 14 total receptions on 18 targets for 231 yards and two touchdowns, according to PFF

303

It was a slow start once again for this offense. We saw Aaron Rodgers holding on to the ball and really trying to push the ball downfield early on. But in the second half, we saw this offense find their rhythm as they relied more heavily on the quick passing game; we also saw a much better run/pass mix and some pre-snap motion to help keep the defense off balance.

According to NFL NextGen Stats, when Rodgers threw "in rhythm" -- meaning he got rid of the ball between 2.5 and 4.0 seconds -- he completed 16 of his 19 pass attempts for 303 yards and two touchdowns. 

7 and 34

Unfortunately, injuries have been a big part of this 2021 Green Bay Packers season, and it looks like the team will now have to finish the year without Elgton Jenkins, who according to Ian Rapoport, may have torn his ACL--although there will be further testing to confirm.  

Not only have the Packers had to deal with injuries or missed time, but they've had to get by without thier best players. According to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, the Packers had seven Pro Bowlers in 2020, and that group has missed a combined 34 games so far this season, with each player missing at least one game.

3.9

Dalvin Cook may not be as dominant this season as he was a year ago when he rushed for over 1,500 yards, but he still entered Sunday's contest averaging 4.7 yards per rush. But the Green Bay defensive front did a good job of containing him and making sure that he did not take this game over--something that we've seen him do in the past. Cook finished the day averaging 3.9 yards per carry on 22 attempts with a long of 13. 

Very little

The lack of practice time for Aaron Rodgers and his receivers is one of the bigger reasons why the offense isn't quite clicking like they did in 2020. This past Friday was Rodgers' first practice since the Arizona game. It was also his first practice with Davante Adams since prior to the Washington game and his first with Marquez Valdes-Scantling since Week 3 against San Francisco. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there will be a whole lot more practice time this week either. Following the game, Rodgers mentioned that his toe injury was "very, very painful," which again could result in minimal practice time--something that is greatly needed.

“We’ve got to get back out on the practice field,” said LaFleur via SI. “We need those guys to continue to work on the timing portion, making sure that the details of our route depths and our assignments are on point because, I think right now if you just look at as a whole, there is opportunity out there for us.”

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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Comments (23)

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Leatherhead's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:38 am

We threw for 380 yards, but clearly we need another superduper WR. 😉.

This was the worst game of the season for the defense. It’s rare that we give up this many points without helping.

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scullyitsme's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:19 pm

If your ok with mvs’s one or two good games a year, then more power too you. Most of us aren’t.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:33 pm

I’m happy with 33 passes for 380 yards. It’s about 11 yards per attempt, which is excellent. I’m also happy with the four passing TDs. I’m unhappy with only 11 rushing attempts for Dillon.

We need help on the line and at TE, and on defense, a helluva lot more than we need some superduper taking snaps and targets away from the guys we already have.

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scullyitsme's picture

November 22, 2021 at 06:31 pm

Cherry picking one game and calling the season successful at the wr position is ridiculous, and really doesn’t call for further comment

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Leatherhead's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:13 pm

Look at our season. Look at last season. It’s not one cherry picked game.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:25 pm

LOL. Who knew GB needed 5 really good OLBs? We had Z, Gary, Preston, did well to pick up Mercilus, and now we are short at least one. I liked Tipa, but there should be under 10 snaps a game for Tipa and Garvin combined (depending on what attribute is most desired due to matchups).

Even Cobb has been useful. We're going to find out what can be done without the super duper WRs because the 2022 teams shapes up as likely to be devoid of any.

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porupack's picture

November 23, 2021 at 05:45 am

The worst Game of the season by the defense?? Hardly. They played pretty well actually since the priority was to stop the run, and hope Cousins turns the ball over a couple times, which he did, and the game of inches, and milliseconds didn't work to GB favor. I also believe the Savage INT should have counted. But it didn't, so, the turnovers didn't happen. But the D played well considering the Stop Cook priority. Also, there was very, very inopportune and costly penalties....Keke. Jeez. He doesn't commit the penalty, and you would then have thought this was a pretty good performance by the D.

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ricky's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:46 am

What continues to amaze me is that even though the OL has been decimated by injuries, they have continued to play well enough to (usually) give Rodgers time, and open holes for the RB's. Adam Stenavich and Gutekunst should be given kudos. Stenavich for having the guys ready for real action; Gutekunst for finding guys who can play.

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wildbill's picture

November 22, 2021 at 06:47 pm

Hard to type this but I think Butkus had a helping hand also

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Brockrice99's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:50 am

Crosby Makes the field goal +3 Packers , Keke doesn't rough the passer -7 Vikings, Savage catches the INT -3 Vikings... That math results in a 34-24 win for the Green Bay Packers. But what can go wrong went exactly wrong for us.

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frankthefork's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:36 pm

Vikings are better than their record- a well-rounded team.
This last game confirms: it's just a matter of inches on both sides of the ball. And damn, the injury bug is killing a great run to the playoffs, but it's early.
LA is beatable, and hope the bye week after helps the Packers mentally and physically prepare for the upcoming (all-winnable) games and the playoffs to come.

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 03:18 pm

Luck aside, and there was a little of that on a day where things fell the Vikings way, the problem I see is at OLB. Cousins just had too much time too often. Those receivers are good. Cook is a legitimate threat. Our DBs have a huge task If Cousins has that long to throw and those WRs have that long to get open. Losing Mercillus and Gary for this week was likely to hurt. We were very close to getting him to turn the ball over multiple times, but close isn’t enough. We really need to find a solution until Gary is healthy (not just on the field) or we will struggle in the backfield.

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PhantomII's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:04 pm

It's called a safety or corner blitz. I saw ILB try to muddle thru the line a few times with mixed results.

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THESZOTMAN1's picture

November 22, 2021 at 04:49 pm

My number=3.
3 points on 1st 2 drives when you should have had 14. Or 10. Or at least 6 for crynoutloud.
Can't happen if you're gonna win.
The Szotman

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 05:26 pm

Agreed. The bright spot is that LaFleur seemed to open the playbook from last year in the middle of the second quarter and that not only got points but got Rodgers going better than he has all year too. If that continues we are a much better O.

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edp1959's picture

November 22, 2021 at 06:06 pm

Here I will fix this for you, why it always the responsibility of #12 to win the game?

Defense prevents just one of those wide open long TD drives and Packers are in the Superbowl last year and win this game.

34 points can't happen if you are going to win

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croatpackfan's picture

November 23, 2021 at 02:04 am

Because if he will not play well (and he did not in the 1st half), D will be a lot on the field and become tired (what happened). If Packers O can sustain long scoring drives, D would stay fresh and be able to make more pressures and more turnovers. When both teams QBs not play well, both D will have less time to stay on the field. When people are tired they make all kind of mistakes.

And if you cost team 20 to 25% of your budget alone, you better bring A+ game every f***ing time you are on the field.

I hope I put an argument in for why people consider AR responsible.

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edp1959's picture

November 23, 2021 at 04:32 am

Ok, then you are saying that #12 is 100% solely responsible for every win the Packers have had while he has been under center. Can't have it both ways, thanks for making the point.

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porupack's picture

November 23, 2021 at 05:53 am

I agree Szot-ey. GB just starts too slow. I watched other games on Sunday, and the winning teams came out firing. GB offense just loses timing, a pulse and momentum. Do some UPTEMPO PLEASE, and friggin a drive or two with no huddle, and pump some life into that passing attack. Timed passing routes and quick passes. Slants. Back shoulder outs. ONce in a while, let the passing attack open up the run attack, not always the run attack open up the pass attack.

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joejetson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 07:42 pm

Behind the Numbers-

#20- Please, Please replace Kevin King. He is an easy first down/TD waiting to hapen. Scour other yeams practice squads, or try one of the young guys. But get #20 off the field.

On the TD he gave up, he conceded the catch, presumably to keep the receiver in front of him, and then totally whiffed on the tackle to allow the score. For some reason, KC and Seattle didn't exploit him, but Minnesota knows all about him. He is a glaring weakness on this defense.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:52 pm

Per Rob Demovsky, MN completed 4 of 5 passes to receivers lined up across from Kevin King for 76 yards: that's 15.2 yards per attempt and 19 yards per completion. That's why King played just 26 snaps, half that of Rasul Douglas.

PFF's preliminary grade on King was 29.3. They were harsh to Stokes at 32, but at least Stokes can cover; sometimes he gave up the completion against MN but usually he was there to make the play. He has upside. I wonder if PFF will improve his grade in a day or two.

How bad must Vernon Scott be to be a perpetual healthy scratch given the quality of Henry Black's play. Barnes and Burks can't seem to put it together, and for now both are liabilities.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:23 pm

I liked the signing of Dennis Kelly and thought Ben Braden could be a good backup. So far, those moves have borne no fruit. Jake Hanson (53-man roster) and Cole Van Lanen (PS) appear to be fliers taken on by the team for possible development, but I would not bet on either being in GB in 2022.

Newman had a good game against Seattle. Against MN, he was not the reject he had been in the first 8 weeks, moving up to average to below average backup. Who knows, it may be that he is learning on the fly and getting better as opposed to hitting the rookie wall or just getting overwhelmed.

Bakh won't return until after the Bye, at best, per LaFleur. That sounds more like a month than a couple of weeks to me. So, short of another Veldheer situation, that leaves the return of Josh Myers and simple internal improvement as the possible ways to improve the OL in the near-term.

I do expect Bakh to return. I am now thinking it is more likely to be week 16 or 17, that's all. GB needs to avoid the injury bug.

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porupack's picture

November 23, 2021 at 06:01 am

Thanks TGR, no projections on JAlex? That absence was really noticeable v the vikes. Injuries were brutal this year, so the law of averages balances out last year....well, except that final game sans Bahk. This is case for why not to gamble on 1 year, going "all in" perhaps. But, hey, this was the year to try it. But no pouting, and the injury list can be the double asterik on the 2021 SB winner like 2010.

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