AP Story: Packers Drop Season Opener To Vikings, 30-25


Randy Moss turned the Lambeau Field rededication into his own party.

Moss caught nine passes for 150 yards and a touchdown in front of a record crowd of 70,505 at the remodeled stadium.

The Vikings, who snapped a 12-game losing streak outdoors, built a 27-3 lead and then held off Green Bay's furious rally.

Javon Walker's 24-yard touchdown catch pulled Green Bay to 30-25 with 1:55 remaining.

But Ryan Longwell's onside kick went out of bounds, and the Vikings took over thanks to a new NFL rule that doesn't allow a rekick with less than five minutes left. And Minnesota ran out the clock.

In a contrast to last December, when the two got into a shouting match, Brett Favre and Chris Hovan hugged after the game.

Daunte Culpepper threw three touchdown passes and the Vikings' defense forced four turnovers from the out-of-sync Packers in the first half.

The Packers lost starting receivers Donald Driver (neck) and Robert Ferguson (right knee and ankle) on the same drive in the fourth quarter.

Driver went up for a high pass from Favre and came down on his right shoulder and head with 8:40 remaining in the game. He was down on the field for several minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher.

He was taken to a hospital for X-rays but never lost consciousness.

Ferguson limped off after a hard hit at the goal line from Ken Irvin.

Ahman Green's 1-yard TD run cut the deficit to 30-18 and Green Bay's Erwin Swiney recovered the onside kick with 6 1/2 minutes left.

But Favre threw his fourth interception and second one to Corey Chavous, in the end zone with 5:13 left.

The Packers, the only team in the league to go 8-0 at home during the regular season last year, got their two injured Pro Bowlers -- safety Darren Sharper and right guard Marco Rivera -- back in the lineup, but neither stayed there very long.

Sharper was in for but a handful of plays, and Moss capitalized on his absence. His 13-yard touchdown reception with Mike McKenzie defending made it 27-3 in the third quarter and seemingly snuffed Green Bay's chances of a comeback to cap the celebration of the $295 million stadium makeover.

The Vikings jumped to a 20-3 halftime lead after forcing four turnovers, including three interceptions by Favre, who hadn't been picked off that many times in the first half since a loss to the Lions on Oct. 29, 1995.

Favre's third interception came on first-and-goal in the closing seconds of the first half as the Packers were trying to trim a 17-3 deficit.

Driver turned left on a post route in the end zone instead of right, and Brian Williams returned the pick 77 yards, setting up Eddie Johnson's 46-yard field goal with 4 seconds left before halftime.

Moss had six catches for 87 yards in the first half, including three receptions for 56 yards on a drive in which Sharper never saw the field. Moss then served as a decoy on D'Wayne Bates' 2-yard TD catch that capped the drive and made it 17-3.

The Packers were outgained 196-2 in the first quarter, when Favre was 2-for-6 for 1 yard and Green fumbled away his first carry in 249 rushes.

The Vikings had five plays of 10 or more yards on their opening drive, including an 11-yard reception by John Avery for his first touchdown since 1998.

Aaron Elling's 22-yard field goal made it 10-0 and came after Chavous intercepted Favre at midfield when the ball bounced off receiver Walker's hands.

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