Sunday, November 09, 2008

Halftime: Packers 10 - ViQueens 14

The Minnesota drive which was allowed to continue near the end of the 1st quarter courtesy of a bogus penalty on Al Harris eventually resulted in a 50+ yard field goal by former Packer kicker, Ryan Longwell. That made the score 10-7.

The Packers had their league-leading ability to attract penalty flags at inopportune times continue in this quarter. Thanks to a holding penalty on fullback Korey Hall, the Packers were backed up inside their 10-yard line. Aaron Rodgers dropped back to pass and had the ball knocked out of his hands into the end zone. Rather than pick it up and attempt to run, which he may or may not have been able to do successfully, he threw it underhand as he was falling to the ground. While it was in the vicinity of a receiver, the refs called it an illegal throw. And since it was made from the end zone, it was a safety for Minnesota. ViQueens 12 - Packers 7.

The Packers gave up a second safety with about 49 seconds left in the half. After stopping Minnesota and securing a punt inside their own 10-yard line, Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on 1st down and then took a sack inside the end zone instead of throwing the ball away. To be fair, Rodgers was under pressure by DE Jared Allen almost immediately...but you have to get rid of that ball!

On Minnesota's possession following the obligatory post-safety punt, though, Tramon Williams intercepted a Gus Frerotte pass and gave the Packers a chance to get a final score before half. Yet another penalty, an illegal man downfield, took both time off the clock and yardage off the field. But the Packers were able to get the ball down to the 'Queens 30-yard line with 3 seconds left on the clock. Mason Crosby was able to convert a 47-yard field goal to make the score 14-10 at half in favor of Minnesota.

Penalties negated first downs and halted drives for the Packers. Towards the end of the half, Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson was able to break tackles and rip off some yardage, although he was unable to break one all the way.

The Packers had horrible field position most of the half, while the 'Queens enjoyed very good field position. Considering that, the penalties, and lack of ability to sustain drives largely as a result of both factors, the Packers are lucky to only be down by 4...and especially when you gave them those 4 points on safeties. If the Packers can get out of their own way, get better field position and stop the stupid penalties, they should still be able to win this game. But they need a completely different half of play for the next 30 minutes than the previous 30.

One side story about the bad field position. Punt returner Will Blackmon caught a punt in the end zone and took it out; he had no clue where he was on the field. Coach McCarthy had a few choice words for him when he came to the sidelines.

Chances are, Coach McCarthy will have some more choice words for the entire team during halftime.