Skip to main content

Packers will need quick bounce back in San Francisco

Questions linger after officials pick up late defensive pass interference flag

Packers TE Robert Tonyan
Packers TE Robert Tonyan

GREEN BAY – One of the hallmarks of the Packers over the past two years has been how well the team has bounced back under losses under Head Coach Matt LaFleur.

Coming off Sunday's 28-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, that maxim will be put to the test with this Thursday's road matchup against the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

The Packers have yet to lose back-to-back games under LaFleur, though they did suffer a pair of losses in San Francisco last year – a 37-8 loss in Week 12 and a 37-20 defeat in the NFC Championship Game.

"We've obviously had a couple rough ones there last season," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "They've had an up-and-down year. They've been playing better of late.

"I don't believe there will be little, if any, fans there, so we're going to have to handle the environment well. It's a really good football team obviously coming off a Super Bowl appearance."

The 49ers fell behind early in their 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Sunday and saw quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), All-Pro tight end George Kittle (ankle) and running back Tevin Coleman (knee) all leave with injuries. San Francisco entered the game with 13 players already on IR.

The Packers lost two players – safeties Will Redmond and Vernon Scott – to shoulder injuries but seemed to get out of Sunday's game without any significant issues heading into the short week.

"Just get our bodies and minds right, physically and emotionally and get ready for that Thursday game," said tight end Robert Tonyan, who had five catches for 79 yards Sunday. "It's a quick turnaround, it's a long trip, but that's the NFL. That's how it is and we'll be ready."

Flag day: The Packers had a pretty good idea what they were in for in drawing Alex Kemp's officiating crew Sunday, one of the league's most active when it comes to penalties.

While that turned out to be true – Green Bay and Minnesota combined for 16 infractions for 121 yards – it was the peculiar decision in the fourth quarter to pick up a flag on what appeared to be defensive pass interference by Anthony Harris against Tonyan on fourth-and-9 that created some post-game buzz.

Not only did Harris not appear to turn his head around at any point, but he also made contact with Tonyan before Rodgers' pass arrived. After some deliberation, officials picked up the flag and the Vikings took over at their 32-yard line after the turnover on downs.

"The explanation I got was that they talked about it and they decided it wasn't pass interference," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "I've got to go back and look at it, it sure looked when I was out there like it was PI. But again I haven't seen many replays so I really don't know."

Kemp's crew called two defensive pass interference penalties on Green Bay within three plays of each other during the same Minnesota scoring drive in the third quarter – one against Jaire Alexander and another on Josh Jackson on third-and-goal on what appeared to be an uncatchable ball for Adam Thielen.

Making more history: Davante Adams caught touchdowns from 5, 1 and 7 yards for his first career three-score day.

His two TDs in the first half marked just the second time in his career that he registered two TD receptions in a first half (2016 at Philadelphia). His third TD pulled Green Bay within six (following a successful two-point attempt) with 2:47 remaining.

With two touchdowns against Minnesota in the opener, Adams becomes only the third receiver in franchise history to have five TDs against one opponent in a single season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Don Hutson had six touchdowns against the Cleveland Rams in 1938 and then five against the Rams in 1942. In 1993, Sterling Sharpe had five against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It's the first time since 2012 (James Jones/Jordy Nelson) that the Packers have had two different players post three receiving TDs in a game in the same year (Tonyan vs. Atlanta, Week 4).

The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings faced off in a Week 8 matchup on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.

Positive news on Dantzler: Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler "is doing better," according to head coach Mike Zimmer, after colliding with Harris during a tackle of Packers running back AJ Dillon in the first quarter.

Play was halted momentarily as Dantzler was put on a backboard and carted off the field. He underwent X-rays at Lambeau Field before being transported to a local hospital for further evaluation for a neck injury and possible concussion.

In his postgame news conference, Zimmer said Dantzler was being brought back to the stadium and was expected to travel home with the team.

Related Content