To get things started on Sunday Night Football, the Minnesota Vikings won the opening coin toss, and rather than defer they made the Green Bay Packers kick off to get things started. The initial boot from Mason Crosby went through the end zone for a touchback, giving Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ offense a start at their own 25-yard line. Cousins got things started with a quick pass to Stefon Diggs, and another short pass to Kyle Rudolph set up an early 3rd-and-1. The Vikings elected to hand the ball to C.J. Ham, and he was stopped short by the Green Bay defense. After burning a timeout, Mike Zimmer made the bold move to go for it on 4th-and-1. . .until they were called for 12 men in the huddle and a five-yard penalty. Matt Wile came in to punt the ball away, and the Packers started their first drive from their own 29.
Aaron Rodgers led his team’s offense onto the field, and started things with two short runs by Aaron Jones to bring up a 3rd-and-8 from the Green Bay 31-yard line. Rodgers appeared to find Devante Adams for a first down, but the officials ruled the pass incomplete as Adams stepped out of bounds prior to the catch and was the first person to touch the ball. J.K. Scott came in to punt the ball away, and Marcus Sherels called for the fair catch at the Minnesota 24.
The second drive got off to a disastrous start, as a pass to Stefon Diggs was interrupted by Adam Thielen getting blocked into Diggs after the catch. Diggs went backwards, and wound up losing ten yards to set up a 2nd-and-20. (It was way uglier than that makes it sound.) A pass to Laquon Treadwell made up some of the yardage, and Cousins air-mailed a pass for Aldrick Robinson for a second consecutive three-and-out. Wile came in to punt again, and Trevor Davis called for a fair catch at the Green Bay 32-yard line.
The Packers’ drive started with a nice pass breakup by Trae Waynes, but a handoff to Aaron Jones picked up the game’s initial first down, as he ran for 11 yards. Xavier Rhodes was then flagged for pass interference while covering Davante Adams, a big penalty that moved the ball into Minnesota territory at the 31. The Packers then ran an end-around to Equanimeous St. Brown for five yards, and a short pass to Marcedes Lewis brought up a 3rd-and-1 situation. Jones converted on the ground, and the Packers picked up a fresh set of downs at the Minnesota 18.
Jones then moved the ball to the 14, and then the Packers got the game’s first points, as Rodgers found Adams for a 14-yard score in the left-front corner of the end zone. Mason Crosby added the extra point, and the Packers were out to a 7-0 lead with just under six minutes left in the first quarter.
Crosby’s kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at the 25 once again. Dalvin Cook got his first touch of the evening on an end-around that picked up nine yards, and a sneak by Cousins got Minnesota a first down for the first time on the evening. Cousins then found Rudolph for nine more, and a run by Latavius Murray pushed the ball to midfield. Cousins then hit Diggs on a nice slant for 24 yards, and the Vikings were approaching the Green Bay red zone.
After that, the drive finished the way it began, with the ball in the hands of Dalvin Cook. Cousins swung a pass out to Cook in the right flat, and Cook had a whole lot of blocking to rumble 26 yards for the touchdown! It’s his first touchdown since Week 4 of 2017 against the Detroit Lions (the game he got injured).
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 26, 2018
The Chef is cookin' this Thanksgiving weekend. pic.twitter.com/iYAc4KKPQW
Oh, and the touchdown celebration was pretty epic, too.
Dan Bailey’s kickoff went through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Packers the ball at their own 25 to start their third possession. They started the drive with a pass to St. Brown for 15 yards and a first down, and a pass to Lance Kendricks for eight yards had Green Bay near midfield. Rodgers then found St. Brown again for a big gain of 23 yards into Minnesota territory at the 29-yard line. Jones then bulled his way down to the 20-yard line, and was we move to the second quarter of play, the Packers are looking at 1st-and-10 from the Minnesota 14-yard line.
After one quarter of play, the Vikings and the Packers are tied at 7, but Green Bay is looking for more. Can the Vikings minimize the damage?