The Green Bay Packers dismantled the Minnesota Vikings 44-31 Sunday night in a game that wasn't anywhere near that close. Aaron Rodgers reminded us all that he's got a legit claim for best quarterback in the game with a 285-yard, two-touchdown performance that kept Minnesota in check for almost the entire game.
Aside from the game's opening play, where the Vikes' Cordarrelle Patterson ran back the opening kickoff for a 109-yard touchdown, Minnesota didn't have much to enjoy, which is strange to say about a game in which you score 31 points. But the Vikings' D was abysmal, and the offense was scattershot, unable to deploy Adrian Peterson in any effective manner for any sustained length of time. Green Bay controlled the football by a better than two-to-one margin, grinding down the Vikings defense and never giving Christian Ponder, the benched-then-restarted quarterback time to get into any rhythm.
Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, who caught both touchdown passes, mind-melded for 123 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown. With James Jones sidelined, the Vikings defense keyed on Nelson, and he was still able to elude them. Add in Eddie Lacy, who nearly broke three figures on the ground, and you've got a Packer attack that could cause some real trouble in January. The primary question remains the defense; giving up 31 points to a team as misbegotten as the Vikings isn't the kind of performance you want to frame.
Still, the Packers are making their case for consideration among the NFC trinity of Seattle-San Francisco-New Orleans. Sure, their defense may need Rodgers to score 40 points in a game, but he can handle that.