Cumberland Times-News

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October 28, 2013

Rodgers, Packers cruise past Vikings 44-31

Minnesota's Peterson held to only 60 yards


“We’ve got a great team, very well-coached,” Rodgers said. “Guys are ready to play. It was loud in here. It was a tough environment, but guys stepped up.”
Patterson put the Vikings in front before Ponder even touched the ball, with a breathtaking run through the middle of Green Bay’s kickoff coverage that was so fast only Hyde, the rookie cornerback from Iowa, had a chance to tackle him. 
Even the longest possible play in the sport wasn’t enough for the Vikings to feel good about facing Rodgers, though.
The Packers scored on their first two possessions, running a total of 31 plays for 160 yards that drained 15 minutes and 48 seconds off the clock. The touchdown to cap the first drive was a Rodgers classic, a laser on a corner route that somehow slipped past Josh Robinson into Nelson’s outstretched hands despite the cornerback being about as close as could be to the receiver without interfering.
“He’s the top quarterback in the league in my opinion,” Nelson said.
The Packers helped keep the Vikings close in the first half with a pair of ill-timed penalties. Rookie defensive end Datone Jones was flagged for unnecessary roughness after Ponder’s nowhere-close incompletion on third-and-6 in the second quarter, extending a drive for a field goal. 
Then with 14 seconds left before the break, Tramon Williams was called for pass interference along the sideline during an overthrow on Jennings, putting the ball at the 14. Peterson powered through the teeth of the Packers defense for an 8-yard score, cutting the lead to 24-17.
The harsh reality for the Vikings was that gutsy run came after the 76-yard catch and run by Nelson on third-and-6 and the 93-yard backbreaking punt return by Hyde, just 2 minutes apart. The Vikings, already having a hard time this season finding reliable play from their cornerbacks, had to play their backup safeties, too. Harrison Smith is out with a turf toe injury, and Jamarca Sanford hurt his groin early in this one. Linebacker Chad Greenway was trying to cover Nelson on the touchdown, and safety Andrew Sendejo was late to help.

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