On the second play of the third quarter last Sunday at the Metrodome, the Green Bay Packers completed a 30-yard pass play between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Greg Jennings. On the fourth play, Jennings ripped off a 45-yard reception and the Packers were literally off to the races.
Rodgers completed 17 of 21 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns after halftime in the Vikings' eventual 37-34 victory. In the first half, Rodgers had managed a modest 103 yards on 11 completions (in 19 attempts).
What was the difference?
The Packers have a talented offense and no doubt made some halftime adjustments. But the absence of Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield, who had left the game because of pain in his broken right hand, was glaring.
Winfield has pledged to play in Saturday night's wild-card rematch, and this week's Blogger Blitz video notes how important Winfield is to the Vikings' cause.