MINNEAPOLIS — Aaron Rodgers took full benefit of the younger cornerbacks and the empty stadium in Minnesota, starting his 13th season as Green Bay’s beginning quarterback by passing for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Packers previous the Vikings 43-34 on Sunday.
Davante Adams was predictably the largest beneficiary, with a career-high, franchise-record-tying 14 catches for 156 yards and two scores. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard every reached the top zone, too, as Green Bay had its means with a Minnesota defense renovated this 12 months out of salary-cap necessity as hefty new contracts got to quarterback Kirk Cousins and operating again Dalvin Cook.
Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a landing for the Packers, who posted their highest rating towards the Vikings since a 44-31 victory on the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013.
Cook rushed 12 instances for 50 yards, two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. Adam Thielen caught six passes for 110 yards, two scores and one other 2-pointer, however Cousins underthrew him in the ultimate minute of the primary half. Jaire Alexander, who additionally recorded a security on an untouched cornerback blitz in the second quarter, made the bobbling interception.
Then Rodgers hit Valdes-Scantling on a fade route up the suitable sideline with rookie Cameron Dantzler in place however too late to flip for the ball, a 45-yard landing that gave Green Bay a 22-7 lead with 11 seconds left in the primary half.
Surprised by his group’s determination to draft quarterback Jordan Love in the primary spherical, the 36-year-old Rodgers made it clear he’s nowhere shut to being performed. He accomplished 32 of 44 passes, and several other incompletions had been throwaways when no person was open.
Mike Hughes and Holton Hill had been the highest two cornerbacks for Minnesota, with the third-round draft choose Dantzler seeing loads of motion in a trio all age 23 or youthful. Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander all departed through the offseason, leaving coach Mike Zimmer with a tall activity this 12 months.
What didn’t assist the protection was the absence of a move rush, with two-time Pro Bowl defensive finish Danielle Hunter on the mend with a reported neck harm and stalwart Everson Griffen now with Dallas after 10 seasons with the group. Newcomer Yannick Ngakoue was a nonfactor.
Ifaedi Odenigbo was the one one who even got here shut to disrupting a throw by Rodgers, who was sacked 12 instances in the earlier three full video games he performed at U.S. Bank Stadium. This was the primary full sport he performed in Minnesota with out being sacked.
There could also be no sport in this constructing stranger than this one, one of many NFL’s strongest rivalries staged with out the at all times energetic environment created by these border-state fan bases. No followers had been admitted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The echoes of referee whistles and coach and teammate claps, by no means audible in a traditional circumstance, contributed to the soundtrack, together with the league-approved, prerecorded crowd noise. Just a smattering of jersey-clad followers strolled round exterior earlier than kickoff, with no dwell music or smoking meats alongside the largely empty streets.
The Vikings locked arms in the top zone for a recorded efficiency of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black nationwide anthem now being performed throughout the NFL. Nine family of George Floyd, together with three brothers and one sister, had been then acknowledged on the video board as they gathered across the Gjallarhorn in the higher concourse. The image of Norse mythology, sounded by a celeb visitor earlier than every Vikings sport, was saved silent in honor of Floyd, the handcuffed Black man who died three miles from the stadium on May 25 when a white police officer pressed his knee towards his neck for practically eight minutes.
Packers: RT Billy Turner (knee) didn’t play, initially changed by Elgton Jenkins. When LG Lucas Patrick (shoulder) was compelled out in the second quarter, Jenkins moved again to his authentic spot and free agent addition Rick Wagner entered at RT. Then in the fourth quarter, RG Lane Taylor (knee) was taken off on a cart with what appeared to be a critical harm, bringing rookie Jon Runyan in. … DT Kenny Clark (groin) was damage in the second quarter throughout Alexander’s interception and didn’t return. His backup, Montravius Adams, was additionally inactive (toe), so Kingsley Keke entered at DE and Tyler Lancaster slid over to the nostril.
Vikings: Hunter’s absence ended his streak of 82 straight appearances, together with postseason video games, since he was a wholesome scratch in the primary month of his rookie 12 months.
Packers: Host Detroit subsequent Sunday.
Vikings: At Indianapolis subsequent Sunday.