In the penalty department, the Packers were flagged nine times for 85 yards. Several holding calls put the offense in tough spots – once it was first-and-30 after back-to-back holds – and a couple of defensive fouls negated potential third-down stops.
Ironically, the Packers also were on the wrong end of a penalty flag being picked up in a key moment. While trying to rally down 14 in the fourth quarter, Green Bay went for it on fourth-and-9 from the Minnesota 32, and a flag was thrown on an incomplete pass to tight end Robert Tonyan.
With Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer screaming on the sideline, the officials talked about it and picked up the flag, announcing there was no pass interference. Both LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers felt the hit on Tonyan was obviously early, but to no avail.
“I don’t think we overlooked anybody,” said Rodgers, who several times called it a “strange” game, as the Packers methodically scored two early touchdowns and then suddenly stalled on three straight possessions in the second half. “We didn’t handle the elements as well as we have in years past. I don’t know if we played with the same type of energy that we needed to.”
The no-call on Tonyan loomed large later, as the Packers’ eventual rally featured a third TD pass to Davante Adams (seven catches, 53 yards) and a defensive stop with just under a minute left gave Rodgers (27-of-41, 291 yards, three TDs, 110.9 rating) one final shot.
But as he attempted to find some space to launch a Hail Mary from midfield, he was hit from behind, knocking the ball out. The Vikings recovered for the game’s only turnover on the final play.
“This definitely qualifies as one of those games where if you want to be a great team, you’ve got to handle business at home,” Rodgers said.
“Hopefully it’s just a reality check for us. Thankfully, we have a short week, but we need better performances moving forward.”