Vikings pass Packers but lose Peterson
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[September 19, 2016]
MINNEAPOLIS -- This was probably
the debut of their new stadium that Minnesota fans dreamed of three
weeks ago, with a different face under center. Although the midgame
loss of the star running back may yet produce an offensive nightmare
for the Vikings.
In the first regular season contest at U.S. Bank Stadium,
Minnesota's new billion-dollar football venue, new Vikings
quarterback Sam Bradford led the home team to a 17-14 win over the
Green Bay Packers.
Bradford, acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles at the end of the
preseason after Teddy Bridgewater was lost to a knee injury, threw
for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first start for the
Vikings. His favorite target was Stefon Diggs, who had nine catches
for 182 yards and a touchdown.
"I thought he played well," Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said of
Bradford, who completed 22 of 31 passes. "Diggs made some big
catches. It's a big credit to a guy that's come in here and in 15
days or whatever it was, he's learned enough of the offense to come
in and perform against a team that's pressuring and blitzing and
attacking him as much as they did."
However, the Minnesota ground game was troublesome, putting it
mildly. Running back Adrian Peterson finished with just 19 yards on
12 carries, and he left the game in the third quarter due to a right
knee injury. He did not return. Zimmer said Vikings will know more
after Peterson undergoes an MRI exam Monday.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ran for a touchdown and threw for
another, finishing with 213 yards on 20-of-36 passing. However, his
interception, hauled in by Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes with 1:50
to play, enabled Minnesota (2-0) to run out the clock.
"There's some moving pieces right now," Rodgers said. "We've got to
go back and be harsh with our critiques of ourselves, myself
included, and we've got to get better. But I think we will.
"I don't think this is anything to get super crazy about. It's a
tough opponent, a division opponent, they're a good football team.
They've still got to come to our place later in the season.
Hopefully we're in a position to play for something then."
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Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) sacks Green Bay Packers
quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and forces a fumble in the first
quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA
The Packers (1-1) got 50 yards on the ground from Eddie Lacy, but
they trailed by 10 points entering the fourth quarter. Rodgers led a
long drive and scored on a 10-yard run with 4:30 to play, but his
late interception sealed the outcome.
Waynes, who was targeted by Rodgers much of the night and took
several pass-interference penalties, stepped in front of a pass
intended for Davante Adams.
The Packers fumbled four times in the game but recovered three of
Penalties were the Vikings' biggest problem all night. Minnesota was
whistled 13 times for 137 yards, but a late pass-interference
penalty on the Packers enabled the Vikings to hold onto the ball.
With three seconds to play, Bradford dropped back and heaved a pass
out of bounds to end the game.
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