MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings controlled the vast majority of the second half in beating the Packers, 24-17, on Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
With the loss, the Packers remained winless on the road this season at 0-6 and fell to 4-6-1 on the year. Minnesota improved to 6-4-1.
For the Vikings, QB Kirk Cousins was 29-of-38 for 342 yards and three TDs for a 129.5 passer rating. RBs Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook combined for 62 yards rushing. WR Adam Thielen had eight catches for 125 yards and a TD, with WR Stefon Diggs adding eight grabs for 77 yards and a score. Cook also had 47 yards receiving and a TD.
For the Packers, after a strong start, QB Aaron Rodgers finished just 17-of-28 for 198 yards with a TD for a 94.0 rating. RB Aaron Jones had 17 carries for 72 yards and a TD, and WR Davante Adams had five catches for 69 yards and a score. Adams went over 1,000 yards receiving on the season and reached double-digit TDs for the third consecutive year.
Here’s a recap of all the action:
Packers, Vikings tied at 7 after one
The Vikings got the ball first, but LB Clay Matthews stopped FB CJ Ham on a third-and-1 run. Minnesota called timeout and sent out the offense to go for it, but the Vikings were flagged for 12 men in the huddle and punted.
The Packers also went three-and-out, as WR Davante Adams stepped out of bounds before coming back in to catch a sideline pass on third down.
The Packers’ defense got another three-and-out, thanks to a great play by CB Jaire Alexander. On a first-down swing pass to WR Stefon Diggs, Alexander blocked WR Adam Thielen into Diggs and knocked him down, then chased the running Diggs into the backfield for a 10-yard loss.
The Packers got going on an 11-yard run by RB Aaron Jones, and then Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes was called for pass interference on a deep ball to Adams. The 26-yard penalty put the ball on the Minnesota 31. Three plays later, Jones converted on third-and-1. On second down from the 15, QB Aaron Rodgers hit Adams on a back-shoulder throw for the touchdown, and the Packers had the lead.
The Vikings answered quickly. A 9-yard run by RB Dalvin Cook and a 9-yard pass to TE Kyle Rudolph set up a pair of second-and-short conversions. QB Kirk Cousins then hit Diggs on a slant that he took for 24 yards, and on the next snap, a screen pass to Cook went the distance, 26 yards for the touchdown to tie the game.
A 15-yard pass to WR Equanimeous St. Brown started the Packers’ next drive. After an 8-yard pass to Kendricks, Rodgers found St. Brown again for 23 yards to the Minnesota 29. Jones ran for 9, and a 6-yard pass to Adams gave the Packers a first down in the red zone when the quarter expired.
Packers, Vikings tied at 14 at half
From the Minnesota 14, the Packers scored in two plays. A screen to Jones gained 8 yards, and then a pitch to Jones took care of the final 6 yards as the second-year RB won the race to the pylon.
The Vikings started their next drive with a 17-yard completion to Rudolph that was tipped by S Josh Jones. A 10-yard pass to Rudolph converted on third-and-7 to get the Vikings across midfield. Another 10-yard pass, to Diggs, moved the chains on third-and-5, and then Diggs was wide open for a 30-yard touchdown to tie the game with 11:01 left in the half.
The Packers went three-and-out, as a deep ball over the middle to TE Jimmy Graham went off his fingertips, and Rodgers was sacked for a 1-yard loss by DT Tom Johnson on third down. P JK Scott’s 54-yard punt was covered well by WR Trevor Davis, who tacked PR Marcus Sherels as soon as he caught it at the Minnesota 17.
A pinpoint 33-yard completion to WR Adam Thielen got the Vikings to midfield, and an 11-yard pass to Rudolph moved the chains again. Three plays later on third-and-1, RB Latavius Murray was stuffed for a 1-yard loss, and K Dan Bailey came on. He missed wide left from 48 yards out, and the game remained tied.
From the Green Bay 38, St. Brown caught a pass for 15 yards on the first play. A third-and-9 was turned into a third-and-4 after an offside call on Minnesota, and Rodgers threw incomplete. After trying to draw the Vikings offside again on fourth down, the Packers punted. Scott’s punt was downed on the Minnesota 10.
Cook made multiple tacklers miss on an 8-yard reception to move the chains before DL Dean Lowry brought him down for a 1-yard loss at the two-minute warning. On third-and-10, Cousins hit Thielen on a crossing route, and the receiver dodged Alexander in the open field to gain 15 yards and convert.
A holding penalty drawn by DL Kenny Clark pushed the Vikings back to their own 26, but three straight completions converted anyway, with a third-and-7 throw to Thielen gaining 8. The Vikings used their last timeout with 22 seconds left, at their own 47.
A 19-yard pass to Thielen put the ball on the Green Bay 33, and Cousins spiked the ball with three seconds left. A false start penalty pushed Bailey’s field goal try back from 51 to 56 yards, and he missed wide right on the final play of the half.
Vikings take 24-14 lead over Packers into fourth
The Packers started the second half with Jones touching the ball on four straight plays, gaining 25 yards on three runs and a reception. But the drive stalled just across midfield, as Rodgers overshot Adams deep on third-and-7, and the Packers punted.
The Vikings went three-and-out, as LB Kyler Fackrell has good coverage on RB Ameer Abdullah on a wheel route on second down, and Clark tackled a scrambling Cousins on third down. Packers DB Tramon Williams, back on the punt for an injured Davis (hamstring), got a 19-yard return of a 55-yard punt to the Green Bay 35.
With Justin McCray in for an injured Lane Taylor at LG, Jones ran for 5 and gained 4 on a screen pass. Then he was stuffed on third-and-1. The Packers went for it, and Jones was stuffed again, turning the ball over on downs.
A 13-yard completion to Cook moved the ball to the Green Bay 31. A 5-yard pass to Diggs and a 13-yard cross to Thielen made it first down at the 13. But the Packers stopped it there, with Clark sacking Cousins on third down. Bailey was good from 37 yards out, and the Vikings led for the first time in the game, 17-14.
Jason Spriggs came in to replace David Bakhtiari at left tackle, so the Packers were down two starters on the offensive line, and the drive went backwards. A delay of game on third down was followed by a Sheldon Richardson sack, and the Vikings got it back in great field position at the Green Bay 31 after a 20-yard return by Sherels and a 5-yard penalty on the Packers for illegal formation.
Diggs ran for 12 yards on an end-around, and on second-and-5 from the 14, Cousins rolled out and threw back short to Thielen, who ran over a couple of tacklers at the goal line for the score, putting the Vikings up by 10 with 27 seconds left in the third.
A 6-yard pass to TE Lance Kendricks closed the quarter.
Vikings down Packers, 24-17
Bakhtiari re-entered the game for the Packers, and Jones ran for 7 yards to move the chains. But the Vikings stopped it quickly, with another third-down sack by Richardson. The punt pinned Minnesota on its own 7.
Murray ran three straight times for 17 yards, and then Thielen hauled in a 20-yard pass to convert on third-and-6. A 13-yard pass to Ham on third-and-1 put the Vikings on the Green Bay 34. Then on third-and-5, Lowry sacked Cousins to knock the Vikings out of field-goal range, and they punted.
But Williams, calling for a fair catch, let the ball bounce in front of him, and it deflected off of him for a muff with the Vikings recovering at the Green Bay 15.
Matthews tackled Cook for a 3-yard loss, and Diggs couldn’t quite haul in a shot to the end zone on second down. Cousins scrambled 11 yards to make it fourth-and-2 on the 7, and the Vikings went for it. Packers LB Reggie Gilbert batted the pass down at the line of scrimmage, and the Packers took over deep in their own territory.
Passes of 26 and 9 yards to Graham got the Packers out of the hole, but Rodgers was sacked on second-and-1. On the next snap, he hit Adams deep down the sideline for 36 yards, with Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes getting injured on the play.
From the Minnesota 26, Adams caught a pass for 9 yards. But an incomplete pass on second down, and a throw to the end zone for Adams just was just out of his reach brought on K Mason Crosby. He was good from 38 yards out to get the Packers back within one score, 24-17, with 2:20 left.
Rudolph recovered the onside kick for the Vikings. From the Green Bay 42, Murray ran for 2 yards and the Packers used their last timeout with 2:15 left. Murray ran for 3 more to take the clock to the two-minute warning.
On third-and-5 from the 37, Diggs snagged a slant pass for the first down, and the Vikings ran out the clock.