The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football with a final score of 17-14. After quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a gruesome knee injury prior to the start of the season, Mike Zimmer said nobody should count out the Vikings. On Sunday, they demonstrated why Zimmer’s statement was true.
Minnesota beat the Titans in Week 1 on turnovers, and against the Packers, the defense was just as aggressive. The Vikings forced four fumbles, and Green Bay managed to recover all but one of them.
The Vikings harassed Aaron Rodgers all night, sacking him five times and limiting him to 213 yards and one touchdown. Trae Waynes added a late-game interception on a Rodgers pass intended for Davante Adams, which sealed the win for Minnesota.
Unfortunately, Minnesota’s defensive aggression also showed in the number of penalties it committed, which was a disadvantage for the Vikings. In the first quarter, Minnesota cornerback Terence Newman was flagged for a defensive pass interference penalty that gave the Packers 40 yards. Just one play later he was penalized again for defensive holding.
The Vikings kept rolling despite injuries to quarterback Sam Bradford, who returned to the game with a bruise on his non-throwing hand, and running back Adrian Peterson, who was ruled out of the game with a knee injury. Green Bay had been very successful in containing Peterson, limiting him to just 19 yards on 12 carries.
Despite the injury, Bradford finished the game with 286 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. It was the most passing yards by any starting Vikings quarterback in their debut with the team.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was also fundamentally important to Minnesota’s offensive success. contributed 182 receiving yards and one touchdown.
If the Vikings keep playing like this, especially on defense, they'll certainly be able to hold their own.