Even after getting into a huge hole early against the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings had plenty of opportunities to sneak out of Lambeau Field with the win. Unfortunately, they took advantage of none of them.
The 116th regular-season installment of the Border Battle went to the Packers, as they scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and took advantage of a litany of Minnesota errors to hold on for a 21-16 victory.
The Vikings found themselves in a significant hole early on, as they allowed the Packers to score touchdowns on their first three possessions. Aaron Rodgers had two first quarter touchdown passes, a 15-yarder to Jamal Williams and a 12-yarder to Geronimo Allison to put the Packers ahead, 14-0. That was followed by a 3-yard run by Aaron Jones on the second play of the second quarter to make the score 21-0, and things had started just about as badly as possible for the Vikings.
Dalvin Cook put a stop to all of that.
The big 75-yard run by Cook put the Vikings on the scoreboard, cutting the deficit to 21-7.
The Vikings appeared to have a three-yard scoring pass from Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs near the end of the second quarter, but after a review, an offensive pass interference call took those points off the board. The Vikings had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Dan Bailey, and went into the locker room trailing, 21-10.
Minnesota got the only points of the third quarter, as Cousins hit Diggs on a deep pass for a 45-yard score. Diggs was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, which made Bailey’s extra point attempt a 48-yarder. That attempt was blocked, making the score 21-16 going into the final quarter of play.
The Vikings pushed the ball all the way down to the Green Bay 8-yard line with about five minutes remaining, but then Cousins threw an inexcusable interception when trying to hit Stefon Diggs in the end zone. Kevin King picked the ball off, and the Vikings’ threat was squelched.
But, the Vikings’ defense forced a three-and-out, and gave the offense another opportunity to save the day. . .which they responded to with a three-and-out. The Vikings punted it back to Green Bay, who ran out the clock for their second win of the season.
Kirk Cousins was, to put it bluntly, awful in this football game. He completed just 14-of-32 passes for 230 yards, threw one touchdown pass, and turned the ball over three times. losing a fumble and throwing two interceptions. He also missed on what would have been another long scoring pass to a wide-open Diggs in the fourth quarter, and was generally just awful all game long. Quarterbacks generally get too much credit when things go well and too much blame when they go bad, but Cousins played as big a role in this loss as anyone on the team.
Adam Thielen had five catches for 75 yards on the afternoon to pace the Vikings’ receivers, and Chad Beebe had a 61-yard catch-and-run that set up Bailey’s second quarter field goal. Stefon Diggs had one catch, but it was a 45-yard touchdown.
Dalvin Cook had what might have been the best game of his NFL career, as he carried the ball 20 times for 154 yards and his 75-yard score. Alexander Mattison chipped in with 25 yards on four carries as well.
The Vikings fall to 1-1 on the season, and they’ll return to U.S. Bank Stadium to host the Oakland Raiders next Sunday. The Packers move to 2-0, and will host the Denver Broncos next Sunday afternoon.
The Minnesota Vikings simply shot themselves in the foot too many times on Sunday at Lambeau Field, and as a result come away with a 21-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!