MINNEAPOLIS – Two fourth-quarter turnovers doomed the Packers to a 17-14 loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday night.
Both turnovers occurred with the Packers perhaps one first down away from getting into field-goal range for a chance to tie the score.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers finished 20-of-36 for 213 yards with one TD and one interception. RB Eddie Lacy had 12 carries for 50 yards, and WR Jordy Nelson had five receptions for 73 yards and a TD.
Vikings QB Sam Bradford was 22-of-31 for 286 yards with two TDs. RB Adrian Peterson, who left the game in the second half, finished with just 19 yards on 12 carries. WR Stefon Diggs was Bradford's main target, catching nine passes for 182 yards and a score.
Here's a quarter-by-quarter rundown of the action:
The Packers got back in it early in the fourth, as QB Aaron Rodgers overcame a sack to hit WR Jordy Nelson for a 39-yard gain down to the 4-yard line on the next play. After a 6-yard loss by RB James Starks, Rodgers scrambled up the middle for a 10-yard TD. K Mason Crosby's extra point brought the Packers within 17-14 with 12:41 left.
Packers C JC Tretter was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD, taking exception to what he thought as a late hit on Vikings S Andrew Sendejo at the end of Rodgers' run. That forced the Packers to kick off from their own 20, and WR Cordarelle Patterson returned it 37 yards to the Minnesota 44.
The Green Bay defense got a three-and-out on the next series, though, with help from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Vikings WR Stefon Diggs. Rookie WR Trevor Davis fair-caught the punt at the Green Bay 15 with 10:32 to go.
The Packers started moving the chains on a 13-yard run by RB Eddie Lacy, a 10-yard pass to WR Davante Adams and a 15-yard hookup with TE Richard Rodgers. But on first down from the Minnesota 45, Vikings DE Brian Robison stripped Rodgers of the ball, and the Vikings recovered at their own 44 with 6:53 left.
The Vikings picked up one first down on a 12-yard run by RB Matt Asiata, but the Packers' defense held there, getting a sack on third down from LBs Nick Perry and Julius Peppers. The Vikings got a nice roll on a poor punt, and it stopped dead on the Green Bay 9 with 4:38 left.
Rodgers moved the chains with a 14-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb on third down and with his own scramble to the 36. A 13-yard completion to Adams got the ball out to midfield, but Rodgers was sacked by DT Linval Joseph on first down, taking it to the two-minute warning.
Then on third-and-14, Rodgers pass for Adams was intercepted by CB Trae Waynes at the Minnesota 45 with 1:50 left.
The Packers had one more chance to get the ball back, but a third-down pass interference penalty on CB Damarious Randall gave the Vikings a first down with 1:36 to go.
The Vikings got a fourth-down stop in the red zone and tacked a touchdown onto their lead, heading into the fourth quarter up 17-7 over the Packers on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Packers went three-and-out to open the second half, as a holding penalty on TE Richard Rodgers made it third-and-long, and TE Jared Cook came up one yard short of the first down on a reception.
The Vikings got out to midfield thanks to a 10-yard pass to WR Stefon Diggs and a roughing-the-passer penalty on DT Mike Daniels tacked on. But LB Clay Matthews knifed through for a third-down sack, forcing Minnesota to punt.
The Packers got a good drive going with a 14-yard pass to TE Jared Cook, a couple of defensive penalties and a 12-yard run by RB Eddie Lacy. QB Aaron Rodgers then scrambled for a first down, had the ball knocked out, but TE Jared Cook recovered at the Minnesota 22-yard line. Three plays later, the Packers went for it on fourth-and-short, and RB James Starks was stopped just short of the marker at the Minnesota 13.
The Vikings seized the momentum switch, as QB Sam Bradford hit Diggs over the middle for a 46-yard catch-and-run on the second snap of the next series. A 5-yard pass to WR Adam Thielen converted on third down to put the ball on the 25, as both RB Adrian Peterson and DB Micah Hyde left the game with injuries. Bradford then hit Diggs over the top of CB Damarious Randall for the 25-yard touchdown, and the Vikings led 17-7 with 2:11 left in the third.
The Packers got out to midfield on their next drive on a pass interference call on CB Trae Waynes on a ball intended for WR Davante Adams. A shovel pass to Starks picked up 16 yards and the Packers were in field-goal range as the quarter ended.
The Vikings scored 10 straight points in the second quarter to take a 10-7 lead into halftime over the Packers on Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings got going at the start of the second quarter. Passes of 19 yards to TE Kyle Rudolph and 14 yards to WR Adam Thielen moved the chains. The Vikings then faced fourth-and-2 from the Green Bay 19 and decided to go for it, and QB Sam Bradford – with LB Clay Matthews rushing free up the middle into his face – hit WR Stefon Diggs for a 5-yard pickup.
Two false starts moved the Vikings back from the 14 to the 24, but passes to RB Adrian Peterson and Diggs set up third-and-4 from the 8. Bradford then found Rudolph in the right corner of the end zone to tie up the score.
The Packers proceeded to go three-and-out, and the Vikings took over on their own 34 after a 35-yard punt that went out of bounds.
The Vikings responded with a wildcat snap to Peterson on their next drive to try to get him going, and he picked up four yards. But Nick Perry and Julius Peppers combined on a third-down sack of Bradford. Letroy Guion was not on the field that series for the Packers, having left the game with a knee injury (return questionable).
The Packers got across midfield on a 21-yard catch-and-run by WR Jordy Nelson on third-and-3, but the drive stalled there. Rodgers threw high to WR Randall Cobb over the middle on third down, and the Packers had to punt again.
Three straight Peterson runs picked up one first down, and then Bradford went deep to Diggs for 44 yards to the Green Bay 32. Green Bay's defense held there, with DB Micah Hyde tackling Rudolph a half-yard short of the first down on a third-down reception, and K Blair Walsh made a 46-yard field goal. The Vikings took a 10-7 lead with 27 seconds left in the half.
A blocked punt by the Packers led to the game's first touchdown, and Green Bay took a 7-0 lead over Minnesota after one period on Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings gained one first down on their opening drive, on a 15-yard pass from QB Sam Bradford to WR Adam Thielen. But DT Letroy Guion stuffed RB Adrian Peterson on first down, and then Bradford threw incomplete twice, forcing a punt.
The Packers' first play from scrimmage was an adventure. WR Davante Adams caught a short pass but had the ball knocked out. Vikings S Andrew Sendejo recovered and tried to run with it, only to have WR Randall Cobb strip it right back for the Packers. Green Bay went three-and-out from there and punted from its own 15.
A sack by Mike Daniels led to a three-and-out for the Vikings, and Packers WR Ty Montgomery promptly blocked Minnesota's punt, giving the Packers the ball near midfield. Montgomery, who blocked a punt in the preseason, came right up the middle.
The Packers quickly took advantage. On third-and-2, QB Aaron Rodgers went deep to WR Davante Adams, who was interfered with by CB Terence Newman on the Minnesota 4-yard line.
Two plays later, Newman was called for holding WR Jordy Nelson in the end zone, putting the ball on the 1. On second-and-goal, Rodgers ran a play-action boot to the left and found Nelson wide open for the score. K Mason Crosby's extra point gave the Packers a 7-0 lead with 5:39 left in the period.
Daniels continued to wreak havoc in the Vikings' backfield, tackling Peterson for minus-1 and zero yards on two runs, leading to another punt.
The Packers did little with it, though. After one first down, Rodgers was sacked on third down and fumbled the ball, but C JC Tretter recovered for the Packers deep in Green Bay territory.