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Photo - Adam Bettcher (Getty Images)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - The final “Border Battle” between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings underneath the wonderful white teflon roof of the Metrodome didn’t disappoint! Even with 64,134 on hand, the excitement didn’t last long.
The festivities got off to a bang as Vikings rookie kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson took the evening’s opening kickoff to the end zone for a 109-yard kick off return giving Minnesota an early 7-0 lead.
But the Packers didn’t take long to strike back. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the Pack on a methodical 14 play, 90 yard drive that ended the kind of precision touchdown pass that only Aaron Rodgers can make, connecting with wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The Packers took 7:37 off the clock and went 4-for-4 on third down conversions as they knotted it up at 7-7.
It was the Packers who struck first in the second quarter with a 30-yard field goal from Mason Crosby. The very next drive saw Blair Walsh and the Vikings answer back with a 36-yard field goal of their own but it was the Packers who found the end-zone first. On their next drive in the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers made his second impossible throw of the night to Jordy Nelson. Making the catch, Nelson slipped a Chad Greenway tackle and took the pass 76-yards and into the end zone giving Green Bay a 17-10 lead with just over three minutes left in the half.
With a chance to even it back up, the Vikings stalled at their own 40 where rookie punter Jeff Locke booted it 50-yards and into the waiting hands of Micah Hyde. As if you can’t already see where this is going, Hyde housed the punt for a 93-yard punt return touchdown extending the Green Bay lead to 24-10 as both teams prepared to head into half time.
But wait…the Vikings still had the ball with 1:30 left on the clock. With the offense still struggling, Greg Jennings was interfered with on a deep route and the Vikings were all of the sudden in business inside the redzone. Two plays later it was Adrian Peterson fighting his way into the end zone to pull the Vikings within a score, at 24-17 heading into the half.
Starting with the ball in the second-half, the Packers didn’t change their tune one bit. After Blair Walsh kicked it out the back of the end zone, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on an 80-yard touchdown drive (capped off by a 1-yard Eddie Lacy TD run) that spanned the first 8:10 of the second half.
Given their chance to match the drive, the Vikings netted -6 yards and took only two minutes off the clock.
The rest of the fourth quarter was a bit of a blur as my view was obstructed by the stream Vikings fans heading towards the exits. That said, the quarter included a 74-yard Packers touchdown drive, loads of Packers possession time and a Toby Gerhart touchdown and a Christian Ponder rushing TD, both of which barely count because nobody stuck around to see it.
In other depressing news, Green Bay punter Tim Masthay had a well deserved night off as the Packers didn’t punt a single time all night long.
At the end of the night, it was an ugly homecoming for he Vikings who fell to the right arm of Aaron Rodgers and the powerful legs of Eddie Lacy by the final score of 44 - 31 in favor of Green Bay. The final time of possession was even worse, 40:54 for the Packers and 19:06 for the Vikings.
With the loss, the Vikings fall to 1-6 while the Packers advance to 5-2.