Sunday Night Football featuring the Green Bay Packers (4-2) at the Minnesota Vikings (1-5) kicked off with an explosive play.
On the kickoff, the Vikings’ special teams return man Corderelle Patterson ran the ball back 109 yards to score. This run set a record for the longest run back on a kickoff. The Vikings scored within seconds of the start of the game, going to 7-0 on their very first possession.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took the field and converted 3 of 3 third downs to go 90 yards down the field to tie the game 7-7 with a pass to Jordy Nelson in the end zone with about five minutes left in the first quarter.
From the backfield, Adrian Petersen bounced out to the right and got to the 17 yard line. Petersen carried the ball again for a first down. Vikings drew a false start flag and lost five yards. On 1st and 15, Ponder handed off the ball again. A.J. Hawk caught Petersen in the backfield for a loss of one.
Ponder had to run for his life and was tackled bringing up 3rd and 10. Patterson came up a yard short of the first down at the 33 and the Vikings had to punt. The ball took a Viking bounce and was downed at the 18 yard line.
On 3rd and 3, Rodgers passed complete to Nelson for the 1st down. The quarter ended with the game tied 7 all.
Starting the second quarter at 3rd and 3, the Vikings drew an offsides flag that granted the 1st down. Viking stopped the run and the Packers lined up to go for it on 4th and one. Rodgers’ pass to John Kuhn and converted for the first down.
Lacy burst through the defensive line for a first down rush to the 11 yard line. Lacy was stuffed to bring up 2nd down. Rodger’s pass to Miles White in the end zone was too low bringing up 3rd and 9. Rodgers was sacked by Chad Greenway to bring up 4th and 1. Mason Crosby kicked a 31 yard field goal to give the lead to Green Bay 10-7 with 10:30 to go in the half.
Petersen rushed for a first down and then went to the 47 yard line to bring up 2nd down. Ponder had to throw the ball away after escaping from a sack. Packers drew a personal foul flag for unnecessary roughness on Jones giving the Vikings the first down.
B. J. Raji stopped Petersen for minimal gain to bring up 2nd and 10. Ponder passed to Greg Jennings incomplete to go to 3rd down. Ponder was hit on the release but Kyle Rudolph caught the pass to convert for 1st down.
Ponder was almost intercepted on 3rd and seven to bring up 4th down. Blair Walsh kicked a 36 yard field goal to tie the score again 10-10 with a little over five minutes to go in the half. The Packers got the ball on a touchback to start their drive at the 20.
With four minutes to go in the half, Rodgers passed on a blitz to Jordy Nelson who ran 76 yards for a touchdown. Nelson averages 11.4 yards per catch since 2009 with Rodgers, leading the NFL in passer-receiver efficiency.
On 3rd and 8 Ponder stumbled forward but was four yards short of the first down. Jeff Locke came in to punt for the second time. The ball was caught at the seven and Micah Hyde ran the ball back for 93 yards to score a touchdown with 90 seconds to go in the half. The score at the end of the half was 24-10, Packers.
Ponder was sacked at the 16 yard line. Petersen caught the ball twice to gain a first down. After a timeout, the Vikings faked a screen and gained another first down with a pass to Patterson on the sideline. Ponder’s high pass was broken up by Shields covering Patterson to bring up 2nd and 10 with 29 seconds left. Jennings caught the ball short of the first down and the Vikings took a time out.
An incomplete pass drew an interference flag on Tramon Williams to give the Vikings first down at the spot of the foul, the 14 yard line. A pass to Petersen bounced out of bounds for 2nd and four from the 8 yard line. Petersen ran and lunged for a touchdown. After 77 yards, the Vikings kicked the extra point to bring the score to 24-17 at the end of the half.
Packers got the ball to start the third quarter. Nelson made the first down on 2nd and 2, and then Eddie Lacy rushed for another first down to the 50 yard line. Going no huddle, Lacy rushed to the 40, about 2 yards short of the first down.
Rodgers escaped pressure but threw incomplete to Boykin. A flag was thrown for a personal foul against the Packers costing them 5 yards. Rookie, David Bakhtiari was the offending player. He has been penalized at least once in the last six games for holding.
On 3rd and 11, the play came up short at the 41 to bring up 4th and 3. The Packers lined up to go for the 1st down, and Rodgers passed to Nelson to convert at the 34, tackled by Rhodes. On 2nd and 4, Lacy was stopped short to bring up 3rd and 3 from the 26. Rodgers escaped pressure to run out of bounds for a first down and then some.
On 2nd and 2 from the four, Rodgers rolled right but the pass was incomplete in the end zone. The Packers were 9 for 12 on third down. Aaron Rodgers scrambled and seemed to make it into the end zone but the whistle was blown for forward progress when Rodgers was forced back at the goal line.
On 1st and goal Lacy rushed for the touchdown, taking the score to 31-17. The Packers ate eight minutes off the clock and went 80 yards in 15 plays.
A holding flag against the Vikings cost 10 yards to bring up 2nd and 18. Ponder was sacked on 3rd and 9 by Mike Daniels. Hyde took the ball and ran it back to the 36 after the punt.
With 4:06 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Rodgers ran the ball to the 20 on 2nd and 21. On 3rd and 15, Boykin caught the pass for the first down after reaching out while going down.
Evan Dietrich-Smith rushed for 25 yards for another Packers touchdown for 38-17.
On 3rd and 7 Ponder threw the ball away toward the Packers side line.
Boykin, in his second start, caught another catch for 26 yards to gain the first down. Lacy rushed twice in a row down to the 10 yard line for 3rd and 1. Rodgers tossed lacy the ball for 1st and goal. Jordy Nelson was stopped about a half yard shy at the goal line for 2nd and goal. Lacy was held up at the goal line to bring up 3rd and goal for the Packers. Sendejo stopped Lacy again to force a field goal. Crosby kicked and made the 20 yard kick for 41-17.
This is the most points the Packers have ever scored in the Metrodome.
On the kick off, Patterson ran back 50 yards. Ponder passed complete for the first down. Gerhart gained 13 yards on the next play before being pushed out of bounds. Rudolph caught and ran to the 15 for another first down. Gerhart rushed for a touchdown to give the Vikings another seven points.
An on-side kick was recovered by the Vikings but the ball did not go 10 yards. The possession went to the Packers first and 10 on an illegal touching flag.
Vikings held the Packers to a 45 yard field goal, putting the score to 44-24, Packers. The Vikings failed to convert a first down and had to punt at the 2 minute warning.
Tramon Williams got tangled up with Patterson and drew a flag for interference. Ponder then ran 19 yards for a touchdown,
Vikings attempted another on-side kick but Packers’ Jordy Nelson recovered. Rodgers knelt the ball down to end the game, 44-31.
The Packers converted of 15 third downs during this game which gave them the time of possession advantage. Rodgers threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, scoring a 130.6 passer rating. Lacy led all rushers with 94 yards. Adrian Petersen was held to 60 yards on the ground. Ponder completed 14 of 21 passes for 145 yards but managed not one touchdown. Peterson, Ponder and Gerhart all rushed for touchdowns.
The Vikings could not seem to consistently put together good series. Even though Petersen gained significant yards, they Vikings were outplayed and outscored by the Packers once again. This is the fourth straight win for the Packers. Green Bay improves to 5-2, the Vikings fall to 1-6.
By: Brandi Tasby