Tom Oates: Grading Packers' performance in victory over rival Vikings

Tom Oates: Grading Packers' performance in victory over rival Vikings

Aaron Jones - Packers vs. Vikings

Green Bay running back Aaron Jones carried the ball 23 times for 116 yards and a touchdown while also catching four passes for 34 yards Sunday in the Packers' 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.

Wisconsin State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Green Bay Packers' performance in their 21-16 win over the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Offense: C-plus

After 16 minutes, the Packers had a 21-0 lead and a perfect grade, but they couldn't maintain it. Aaron Jones provided the running game the Packers need. Davante Adams was hot early and gave the Packers a 100-yard receiver to go with a 100-yard rusher. Aaron Rodgers had a perfect passer rating after three possessions.

Defense: B

The defense allowed three big plays for 181 of the Vikings' 421 yards, but held Minnesota time and again in the fourth quarter. Kevin King's end-zone interception saved the game. Preston Smith did a bit of everything, including an interception. Jaire Alexander had three chances for interceptions but ended with none.

Special teams: B-minus

JK Scott was so-so for three quarters but was brilliant on his three punts in the fourth. In the first two games, he has become a weapon, especially in the clutch. Tony Brown blocked a rare 43-yard extra-point attempt by coming in off the corner and laying out. Mason Crosby was perfect: Four kickoffs, four touchbacks.

Coaching: B-minus

Matt LaFleur's creative 20-play script couldn't be stopped. LaFleur should have realized what was happening on the fourth-and-1 blunder and called a timeout. Any play that calls for Jimmy Graham to pass-block Danielle Hunter is doomed. Mike Pettine played his base defense extensively and still couldn't stop the run.

Overall: B

The offense was only good for a quarter and the defense had to win the game for the second consecutive week, but the Packers are now 2-0 and have beaten Chicago and Minnesota, their two biggest rivals in the NFC North Division. The Packers are set up for success, especially if they start putting complete games together.

Contact Tom Oates at


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