Sometimes Thursday Night Football gets so ugly, you don’t even want to talk about it. In fact, we’ve seen nothing but blowouts on TNF the last three weeks. Week four’s “battle” between the Giants and Redskins yielded a 31-point blowout – the second biggest gap in a TNF game. The Packers and Vikings did them one better – literally.

Aaron Rodger and co. were sharp early and did enough late to punish the Vikings into submission, as Green Bay held serve at home and pushed themselves to a 3-2 mark with a convincing 42-10 win. The 10 points came in the final period for Minnesota, who was without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater due to an ankle injury. Down both Bridgewater and star rusher Adrian Peterson, the Vikings didn’t come close to competing in this one, and fell to 2-3.

But there’s more to this prime time game than the final score or the records. Let’s see what else we learned on Thursday night:

Christian Ponder Wasn’t Ready

A quick glance at Ponder’s numbers show he just wasn’t ready for this game. Rookie passer Teddy Bridgewater was potentially going to start this game all the way up until kick off, but Ponder was instead thrust into action with just two full days of preparation with the first team offense. It was visible that he and the rest of the team were ill prepared. Some credit obviously has to be given to Green Bay’s defense, but Ponder had zero chemistry with his passing weapons and got little help from his running game early. The third string quarterback and one-time franchise savior was out of sync from the beginning and even added two interceptions before the half that buried his Vikings for good.

Truth be told, Ponder could have been a lot worse. He was playing in a hostile environment against an underrated defense and didn’t have Adrian Peterson. He probably did about as well as most expected him too.

Eddie Lacy Lives

Lacy couldn’t muster up even 50 rushing yards in any of his first four games this year. He more than doubled that on Thursday night. Running mad and with distinction, Lacy used a surprising burst and tenacious power to chew up over 50 rushing yards on his first few carries and proceeded to top 100 total yards and find the end-zone twice against the Vikes. It was an impressive performance after Lacy had been criticized all week for not being able to dominate the Bears on the ground a week ago. While he got off to an extremely slow start, it looks like Green Bay’s young running back is finally back on track.

Green Bay Has a Defense

As bad as the Vikings were on offense last night, the Packers really did appear to be that good on defense. Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Nick Perry were all active off the edge in the pass rush, while the Packers also got great push and pursuit from the defensive line up front. They initially sniffed the run out extremely well and forced two great turnovers in the first half. Julius Peppers even cut back across the entire field and returned an interception for a score. They didn’t get the shutout, but this defense suddenly has six straight quarters of allowing just 10 whole points. Few could come away unimpressed.

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