For years, the Minnesota Vikings have been able to lean on their defense, but there were plenty of changes this offseason. The adjustment period, if Sunday’s home opener is any indication, might be a bit of a painful one.
The Vikings’ defense offered up little resistance to Aaron Rodgers and company all afternoon, as he finished with four touchdown passes in leading the Green Bay Packers to a 43-34 victory over the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Packers got on the board first in this one, as they took their opening drive and turned it into a 31-yard field goal from Mason Crosby to take a 3-0 lead. Minnesota answered right away, however, as they scored a touchdown on their first drive courtesy of the new $63 million man, Dalvin Cook.
The 1-yard run by Cook gave the Vikings a 7-3 lead, and that was the score at the end of the first quarter of play.
Green Bay nearly answered on their next possession, pushing all the way down to the Minnesota 1-yard line and, after a run that had been ruled a touchdown for Aaron Jones was reversed on review, elected to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1. Aaron Rodgers attempted to hit Davante Adams on a short slant, but the ball was knocked away by Holton Hill for an incompletion and a goal line stand for the good guys.
Unfortunately, the Packers added points just a couple of plays later, as Jaire Alexander came off the right side untouched on a blitz and sacked Cousins in the end zone for a safety. That made the score 7-5 in favor of the purple. Green Bay added to their lead once again, as they turned the possession following the safety into another Crosby field goal, this one a 43-yarder to make the score 8-7 midway through the second quarter.
Green Bay added more points after a three-and-out for the Vikings, as Aaron Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the right sideline with less than a minute remaining before halftime, giving the Packers a 15-7 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Kirk Cousins threw an awful interception to Jaire Alexander, and the Packers took advantage with Rodgers finding Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 45-yard touchdown to make the score 22-7. Minnesota managed to get a 35-yard field goal from Dan Bailey before the half to cut it to 22-10 going into the locker room.
After a turnover on downs, Rodgers and the Packers took advantage again, as he found Davante Adams for a third touchdown pass, a 1-yard score. Crosby’s extra point made it 29-10 going into the fourth quarter of play.
The Vikings finally got back into the end zone to start the fourth quarter, as Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 37-yard score. With the Vikings going for two and converting via a Dalvin Cook run, the score was cut to 29-18.
That didn’t last long, however, as the Packers went down the field and scored again. Rodgers got his fourth touchdown pass of the day, this one to Allen Lazard from four yards out. Crosby was good again, and the score went to 36-18.
With the game well decided, the Vikings made the final margin a bit more respectable, as Dalvin Cook got his second touchdown of the day on a three-yard run. Cook added another two-point conversion to make the score 36-26 at the halfway point of the fourth quarter.
As you’d expect, the Packers answered once again, this time courtesy of a five-yard touchdown run from Aaron Jones. Crosby’s extra point made it 43-26 in favor of Green Bay and set a mark for the most points scored against the Vikings in the Mike Zimmer era.
There was one more garbage-time score for the Vikings at the end, as Cousins once again found Adam Thielen for a touchdown, this one a 19-yard score. The Vikings went for two one more time and were successful, cutting the margin to 43-34.
I’m not going to bother breaking down the stats for this one, because they don’t matter. The Vikings lost by two scores and the game wasn’t even that close, so the statistics don’t mean anything.
The Vikings fall to 0-1 to start the season and will travel to take on the Indianapolis Colts next week. The Packers start their season 1-0 and will take on the Detroit Lions in their home opener next Sunday.
The Vikings lose an ugly one at U.S. Bank Stadium, as they got blown out by the Green Bay Packers by a final score of 43-26. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game here at The Daily Norseman, and we’ll have more on this one over the next day or two.