Instant analysis and recap of Packers’ 23-7 loss to Vikings in season opener

·3 min read

The Green Bay Packers allowed 184 receiving yards to Justin Jefferson and had more turnovers (two) than touchdowns (one) in a highly disappointing 23-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings to open the 2022 season on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

It was over when…

… Aaron Rodgers’ fourth-down pass to Robert Tonyan was broken up in the end zone by Eric Kendricks, giving the Vikings the ball back up 16 points with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Game balls

– RB A.J. Dillon: The third-year running back turned his 15 touches into 91 yards, including a team-high 46 receiving yards, and he scored the team’s only touchdown.

– OLB Rashan Gary: His pressure wrecked a few plays, including one on a third-down sack in the first half.

– P Pat O’Donnell: His four punts resulted in three inside the 20-yard line.

Key stat

0-2: The Packers failed on both fourth downs inside the red zone. The Vikings converted on fourth down to finish off the offense’s season-opening touchdown drive.

Best play

Quick takes

– Another Week 1 performance lacking execution and effort.

– The highly touted Packers defense couldn’t cover Justin Jefferson or consistently pressure Kirk Cousins. Jefferson finished with a career-high 184 yards on nine catches, while Cousins took just one sack and had a passer rating of 118.9. The Vikings also rushed for 126 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. This was a highly disappointing start for Joe Barry’s group.

– Not having a better plan for Jefferson was shocking. The Vikings did a nice job of moving him around and getting him into good spots to attack zone coverages.

– The offense is going to take time. Maybe a lot of time. The passing game wasn’t in sync, Aaron Rodgers didn’t look particularly comfortable or confident and the offensive line isn’t very good without David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins.

– Rodgers had two turnovers, including a head-scratching interception thrown and a lost fumble on a play where he held the ball.

– Dillon and Aaron Jones needed the ball more. How does Jones only get five carries and eight total touches?

– Christian Watson dropped what would have been a 75-yard touchdown on the game’s first play and had a few other mental errors. It’s going to take the rookies a little while to settle in.

– The margin for error on offense is small. Watson’s drop cost the Packers seven points, and the offense failed on two fourth-down opportunities inside the 20-yard line, including one on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. That’s a lot of points to leave on the field.

– Veterans Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins combined for 32 yards on five catches.

– The depth on defense is already being tested. Cornerback Keisean Nixon and linebackers Quay Walker and Krys Barnes all exited with injuries. Barnes’ ankle injury looks like a season-ender.

– On the plus side, there was no major mistake made by the special teams. Progress.

What’s next

The Packers will welcome the Chicago Bears (1-0) to Lambeau Field for the season opener next Sunday night.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire