The coin toss for the first ever regular season game in the history of U.S. Bank Stadium was won by the Green Bay Packers. They chose to defer to the second half, so the Minnesota Vikings would get the football first. Mason Crosby's kick went through the end zone for a touchback, and Sam Bradford led the Minnesota offense onto the field. The initial first down for the Vikings came on a 3rd-and-8 pass from Bradford to Adam Thielen for 15 yards, keeping the drive alive. Unfortunately, the Vikings could advance no further, as a couple of incompletions brought the punt team onto the field. Jeff Locke's first effort of the evening was a good one, traveling 48 yards and fair caught at the 10-yard line.
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers' offense onto the field for their first series of the evening, and they nearly gave it right back. The first play was a fumble by Davante Adams after a short catch, with Eric Kendricks knocking it loose, but the Packers managed to get on top of it. Green Bay could only get five yards on the drive, and they had to punt the ball away as well. The punt by Jacob Schum was not a very good one, and it was downed by the Packers at the Minnesota 47-yard line, giving the Vikings good field position to start their second drive.
Minnesota's second drive didn't go very well, either, as it started off with a pass to Jerick McKinnon that wound up going for a loss, followed by a sack of Bradford by Mike Daniels. That put the Vikings in 3rd-and-20, and a 14-yard pass to Stefon Diggs left the Vikings well short of the mark. Locke came on to punt again, and the punt was blocked by Ty Montgomery. The ball managed to bounce to the Green Bay 47-yard line, and the Packers became the beneficiaries of good field position.
The Packers got into Minnesota territory on a short pass to Randall Cobb, and a short run by Eddie Lacy brought up a third down opportunity. That third down saw Rodgers go deep for Davante Adams, who drew a pass interference flag from Terence Newman to give the Packers 1st-and-goal at the Minnesota 4-yard line. A second flag on Newman gave the Packers 1st-and-goal at the 1, and two plays later Rodgers found Jordy Nelson for a 1-yard touchdown pass. Yes, the first points in U.S. Bank Stadium history were scored by the Green Bay Packers. Crosby came in and hit the extra point, and with a little over five minutes left in the first quarter, the Packers had a 7-0 lead.
Cordarrelle Patterson got an opportunity to return the next kickoff, and he took it out to the Minnesota 23-yard line to get the Vikings' next drive started. Bradford found Diggs for a nice 15-yard gain to get the offense moving, but they couldn't get much more. A false start on Matt Kalil brought up 3rd-and-15 and a pass to Asiata came up short of the first down again. Once again, the Vikings called on Jeff Locke, and once again Locke pinned the Packers deep as the punt was fair caught at the 10-yard line. The Packers went three-and-out, highlighted by a strip sack of Rodgers by Danielle Hunter. The Packers recovered the fumble at their own 12-yard line, and were forced to punt it away. Marcus Sherels fair caught the punt from Schum at the Minnesota 47-yard line, and the Vikings are again looking at very good field position.
After one quarter of play at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Green Bay Packers by a score of 7-0. Can the Vikings get things back on the right track? Come join us for the second quarter of play!