By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Professional Soccer Author
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Rodgers took full benefit of the younger cornerbacks and the empty stadium in Minnesota, starting his thirteenth season as Inexperienced Bay’s beginning quarterback by passing for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns to steer 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 Inexperienced Bay had its manner with a Minnesota protection renovated this 12 months out of salary-cap necessity as hefty new contracts got to quarterback Kirk Cousins and working again Dalvin Prepare dinner.
Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a landing for the Packers, who posted their highest rating in opposition to the Vikings since a 44-31 victory on the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013.
Prepare dinner rushed 12 occasions 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 within the last minute of the primary half. Jaire Alexander, who additionally recorded a security on an untouched cornerback blitz within 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 show for the ball, a 45-yard landing that gave Inexperienced Bay a 22-7 lead with 11 seconds left within the first half.
Shocked by his group’s choice to draft quarterback Jordan Love within the first spherical, the 36-year-old Rodgers made it clear he is nowhere near being carried out. He accomplished 32 of 44 passes, and a number of other incompletions had been throwaways when no one 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 in the course of the offseason, leaving coach Mike Zimmer with a tall process this 12 months.
What did not assist the protection was the absence of a go rush, with two-time Professional Bowl defensive finish Danielle Hunter on the mend with a reported neck damage 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 near disrupting a throw by Rodgers, who was sacked 12 occasions within the earlier three full video games he performed at U.S. Financial institution Stadium. This was the primary full sport he performed in Minnesota with out being sacked.
There could also be no sport on this constructing stranger than this one, one of many NFL’s strongest rivalries staged with out the at all times vigorous 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. Only a smattering of jersey-clad followers strolled round exterior earlier than kickoff, with no stay music or smoking meats alongside the principally empty streets.
The Vikings locked arms in the long run zone for a recorded efficiency of “Elevate Each Voice and Sing,” the Black nationwide anthem now being performed throughout the NFL. 9 family members of George Floyd, together with three brothers and one sister, had been then acknowledged on the video board as they gathered across the Gjallarhorn within the higher concourse. The image of Norse mythology, sounded by a star 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 Might 25 when a white police officer pressed his knee in opposition to his neck for almost eight minutes.
Packers: RT Billy Turner (knee) did not play, initially changed by Elgton Jenkins. When LG Lucas Patrick (shoulder) was pressured out within the second quarter, Jenkins moved again to his unique spot and free agent addition Rick Wagner entered at RT. Then within the fourth quarter, RG Lane Taylor (knee) was taken off on a cart with what seemed to be a critical damage, bringing rookie Jon Runyan in. … DT Kenny Clark (groin) was harm within the second quarter throughout Alexander’s interception and did not 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 within the first month of his rookie 12 months.
Packers: Host Detroit subsequent Sunday.
Vikings: At Indianapolis subsequent Sunday.
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