Packers pull ahead 22-10 at halftime

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The Packers scored on their opening possession, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers drawing Minnesota offsides with a hard count to convert on third-and-4.

Green Bay marched down the field with a series of Aaron Jones’ runs, reversals and short passes underneath. Rodgers completed 7-of-8 passes for 40 yards, including a 15-yard pass to running back Jamaal Williams in which he made one Vikings defender miss to advance to Minnesota’s 10-yard line.

The drive stalled there, with Mason Crosby making a 31-yard field goal to put the Packers on the board with 8:50 remaining in the first quarter.

The Vikings answered back with eight-play, 75-yard drive on their first offensive possession, ending with 1-yard Dalvin Cook touchdown on third-and goal. Cook and Alexander Mattison combined for 28 yards on six carries, while Kirk Cousins completed his only two passes to Adam Thielen for 32 yards.

The first quarter ended with Rodgers hitting Adams on an out route to convert third-and-5 to get the next series moving. Adams had four catches for 39 yards in the first quarter, with Allen Lazard getting Green Bay into scoring territory with a 19-yard carry on an end-around.

Adams opened the second quarter with a 10-yard pickup behind an Allen Lazard block, setting up first-and-goal at the Minnesota 3. Jones’ run up the middle on the next play was initially ruled a touchdown but was overturned upon further review. The Packers would turn the ball over on downs after two incomplete passes and a run for no gain by Jones.

The Packers still got on the scoreboard moments later, with Jaire Alexander sacking Cousins for a safety off a corner blitz to cut Minnesota’s lead to 7-5 and give the ball back to the offense.

Green Bay started its next series at its own 44 after an 18-yard Tyler Ervin return. Rodgers then connected with Adams on a drag route across the middle for 18 yards to venture back into Vikings territory. The drive stalled at the Minnesota 12 after three incompletions, leading to a Crosby 43-yard field goal to put Green Bay up 8-7.

The Packers’ defense continued to dominate on the ensuing possession, forcing a three-and-out. It started with Rashan Gary nearly sacking Cousins before Minnesota’s quarterback leaked out for a 2-yard gain.

Defensive tackle Kenny Clark tackled Dalvin Cook for no gain on stretch play on second down, before Za’Darius Smith recorded his first sack of the season rushing from inside on third-and-8.

Left guard Elgton Jenkins started at right tackle for an injured Billy Turner but had to move back to his usual position after Lucas Patrick exited with a shoulder injury in the second quarter. Veteran Rick Wagner replaced Jenkins at right tackle.

Starting at the Packers’ 40, rookie second-round pick AJ Dillon saw his first NFL carry go for six yards. After drawing Minnesota’s defense offside for the second time in the first half on third-and-3, Rodgers moved the chains again with a sneak on fourth-and-1 from the Vikings’ 39.

Adams caught an 8-yard out on third-and-6 and then pulled down a 24-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers two plays later to extend the Packers’ lead to 15-7.

The Vikings tried to mount an offensive attack with 39 seconds remaining, but Alexander intercepted Cousins on second-and-10 to give Green Bay the ball back at the Minnesota 45. Clark was injured on the play and went to the locker room.

Two plays later, Rodgers hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a 45-yard touchdown against Cameron Dantzler to put the Packers ahead 22-7. The Vikings marched down before halftime to cut the lead to 22-10 with a Dan Bailey 35-yard field goal.

Adams finished the first half with nine catches on 11 targets for 103 yards and the score. Rodgers completed 19-of-28 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns (112.4 rating). Green Bay won time of possession 22:45-7:15.

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Source: https://www.packers.com/news/packers-vs-vikings-in-game-updates-week-1-2020-nfl-season

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