That impact grew awfully big on Sunday night in the Packers’ 44-31 victory at the Metrodome.
Fielding a punt deep in Green Bay territory in the final two minutes of the first half, Hyde burst through a sizable opening and went 93 yards in all for a touchdown, putting the Packers ahead 24-10.
Having put together solid returns the last few games, Hyde said the unit felt it was close to breaking one.
“We said all week if we hit it, we’re going to have a big one,” Hyde said. “Kudos to our punt-return team. They blocked it well. Anybody in here could have returned that. It was a huge hole.”
The closest Hyde came to being tackled was by his own teammate, linebacker
The return was especially big because it helped make up for allowing Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson to return the opening kickoff 109 yards for a score. Patterson was touched by only one Packers cover man on his long run, and it was Hyde, who came in from the side but wasn’t able to bring him down as Patterson broke through the first wave of coverage.
“It was a bad play by me,” Hyde said. “I actually could have made the tackle. I could have taken one more step, wrapped up a little bit. He’s explosive. We talked all week about him, too.”
Nelson moves to slot: With receivers
Normally an outside receiver only, Nelson looked plenty comfortable in the new spot, catching both of his TD passes from the slot on his way to a seven-catch, 123-yard night.
Both TDs came on slick catches against defenders with their backs turned. The first was an 11-yard grab on a ball that whizzed past cornerback Josh Robinson’s helmet.
The second came on a slant route on third down in the middle of the field. Linebacker Chad Greenway tried to slide over to pick up Nelson as he came off the line, but
Both plays showed just how much Nelson and Rodgers were in sync all night. Only one ball thrown Nelson’s way was incomplete.
“We’re having a good time doing it,” Nelson said of his connection with Rodgers. “I guess that’s all that matters. We’re two guys that communicate a lot to one another. We’re students of the game, we try to be detailed at what we do and make sure we’re on the same page.”
“My mindset going into every game is just doing my job,” Nelson said. “I can’t do anything else but what I’m supposed to do. I want to run good routes, be assignment sound and get open, and if you get opportunities to make plays, you’ve got to make them, across the board.”
On Sunday night, it was second-year defensive lineman
“I didn’t do anything spectacular, I just worked as hard as I possibly could to get to the quarterback, and I was blessed with two tonight,” said Daniels, who doubled his sack total on the season to four.
Daniels also tipped his cap to his fellow defensive linemen for their efforts in holding Vikings RB Adrian Peterson to just 60 yards on 13 carries. Peterson rushed for 210, 199 and 99 yards in three meetings with the Packers last season.
“It was amazing, to have Adrian do what he did against us last year and then come out and respond tonight the way we did,” Daniels said.
“I say it every week,
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