MINNEAPOLIS – A Sunday that began with the Packers losing starting QB Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone ended with a 23-10 loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.
With the defeat, the Packers dropped into a tie with the Vikings atop the NFC North at 4-2.
In Rodgers’ place, backup QB Brett Hundley had a rough day against Minnesota’s stout defense. Playing without three starting offensive linemen for a good portion of the second half, Hundley was sacked four times. He completed 18-of-33 for 157 yards with one TD and three interceptions for a 39.6 passer rating.
Rookie RB Aaron Jones had 13 carries for 41 yards and RB Ty Montgomery added 10 carries for 28 yards. WR Jordy Nelson had six catches for 60 yards and WR Davante Adams had five grabs for 54 yards to lead Green Bay’s receivers.
For the Vikings, QB Case Keenum was 24-of-38 for 239 yards with a TD and an INT for a 78.7 passer rating. RB Jerick McKinnon rushed 16 times for 69 yards and a score, adding five receptions for 30 yards and another TD. Fellow RB Latavius Murray had 15 rushes for 28 yards, and WR Adam Thielen had nine grabs for 97 yards.
Here's a recap of all the action.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers exited the game on Green Bay’s second possession with a right shoulder injury, and backup Brett Hundley took over as the first quarter with the Vikings ended scoreless.
The Packers took the ball first, as the Vikings deferred upon winning the coin toss, but Green Bay went three-and-out. Rodgers’ third-down pass was batted at the line of scrimmage by LB Anthony Barr.
The Vikings got two first downs on a 16-yard scramble by QB Case Keenum and a 10-yard run by RB Latavius Murray, but the drive stalled at midfield.
The Packers picked up two first downs on their second drive, but on the next series, Barr hit Rodgers outside the pocket just as Rodgers got rid of the ball, and Rodgers stayed down. He left the game for treatment in the sideline medical tent, as backup QB Brett Hundley came on, and the Packers failed to convert on third down.
As the Vikings’ next series started from their own 16, Rodgers was carted to the locker room. It was announced Rodgers had a right shoulder injury, and his return was questionable.
The Vikings were given two first downs on third-down penalties by the Packers, and then a screen pass to RB Jerick McKinnon went for a touchdown but was called back for an ineligible player downfield. LB Blake Martinez then made a nice open-field tackle of McKinnon on a third-and-5 swing pass, and the Vikings punted from midfield again.
After RB Ty Montgomery gained eight yards on two runs, Hundley’s third-down pass for WR Geronimo Allison was deflected and intercepted by CB Xavier Rhodes. Barr was called for a personal foul after the turnover, so the Vikings began the possession at the Green Bay 42.
LB Jake Ryan was flagged for a horse-collar tackle on McKinnon on the final play of the first quarter, moving Minnesota inside the 30-yard line.
The Packers’ defense got two huge turnovers that both led to scores, and Green Bay was within 14-10 of the Vikings at halftime.
On the first snap of the second quarter, the Vikings caught the Packers in an all-out blitz, and a screen pass to McKinnon went 27 yards for a touchdown. K Kai Forbath’s PAT put the Vikings ahead 7-0.
The Packers still could not get a first down. Hundley was sacked by DE Brian Robison and S Harrison Smith on third down, and Packers LG Lane Taylor was down after the play and being attended to. Taylor walked off slowly under his own power. P Justin Vogel shanked a 26-yard punt out of bounds, and the Vikings started at the Green Bay 42.
McKinnon busted off a 20-yard run on the first play, but Ryan knocked it loose on the next snap, and LB Clay Matthews scooped it up and rumbled nearly the length of the field the other way. Matthews had the ball punched out from behind, but it went out of bounds, and the Packers had the ball at the Minnesota 18.
Justin McCray came in at LG for Taylor, and on third-and-6 from the 14, Hundley found WR Davante Adams for the touchdown. K Mason Crosby’s PAT tied the game at 7 with 10:40 left in the half.
Minnesota answered with a deep ball on its very next play, and Keenum’s pass for WR Adam Thielen was behind the receiver. But Packers CB Josh Hawkins was called for pass interference, good for 42 yards for the Vikings into Green Bay territory. After a successful Green Bay challenge overturned a 14-yard pass to TE Kyle Rudolph, Keenum hit Thielen for 11 yards and Rudolph for 16 for a first down at the Green Bay 15.
A Murray run for 7 and a shovel pass to Rudolph for 6 made it first-and-goal on the 2. On third down, McKinnon took a handoff out of shutgun and powered in for the TD. Forbath’s PAT made it 14-7 Vikings with 7:22 left in the half.
The Packers immediately went three-and-out, as Smith came on a blitz and sacked Hundley on third down. Vogel’s punt took a good bounce, and PR Marcus Sherels was tackled for a loss on the return, so the Vikings started on their own 18.
The Vikings got going again on a 20-yard pass to Thielen that was upheld after a Green Bay challenge, taking away the Packers’ last challenge of the game. On the next play, LB Blake Martinez tipped Keenum’s pass into the arms of CB Damarious Randall, and his second interception in as many weeks gave the Packers the ball in Minnesota territory.
Hundley then found WR Jordy Nelson with a beautiful back-shoulder throw on third down, good for 26 yards and a first-and-goal on the 8. On third down, Hundley dumped the ball off over the middle to Montgomery, who juggled it while diving for the goal line. The initial call of catch and touchdown was overturned, and the Packers had to settle for a 26-yard Crosby field goal. The kick brought the Packers within 14-10 with 1:51 left in the half.
An 11-yard run by McKinnon and 18-yard pass to WR Laquon Treadwell got the Vikings across midfield. After another first down at the Green Bay 30, Vikings T Mike Remmers was called for a facemask against Packers LB Kyler Fackrell, moving the ball back to the 45. On the next snap, Treadwell was flagged for a blindside block on Packers CB Lenzy Pipkins, moving Minnesota back another 15 yards.
After the Vikings got back to midfield, they tried a fourth-down Hail Mary pass on the final play of the half, and it was incomplete.
The Vikings added a field goal in the third quarter and took a 17-10 lead over the Packers into the fourth.
The Vikings started the second half with a strong drive. Passes of 6 yards to Thielen and 15 to Rudolph both moved the chains. Then on third-and-7, Keenum swung a short pass to McKinnon, who made CB Josh Hawkins miss in the open field and picked up the first down. After a 23-yard pass to Thielen got the Vikings into the red zone, Green Bay’s defense stiffened. A third-down pass over the middle for Rudolph was broken up by S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and the Vikings settled for a 36-yard Kai Forbath field goal. Minnesota led 17-10 with 9:35 left in the quarter.
As the opening drive of the third quarter was concluding, the Packers announced Rodgers has a broken collarbone and might miss the rest of the season. Also, RT Bryan Bulaga left the game, as McCray moved from LG to RT and Lucas Patrick came in at LG on the offensive line.
Hundley got the Packers moving with a third-down completion to WR Randall Cobb. After a 9-yard pass to Nelson, rookie RB Aaron Jones was stopped on two straight runs, bringing up fourth-and-inches. The Packers tried to draw the Vikings offside but took a delay of game, and Vogel’s punt was fair-caught at the Minnesota 17.
Minnesota got going again on a 25-yard pass to Treadwell, who made a leaping, one-handed catch in front of Hawkins. McKinnon ran twice for 10 yards, and an 8-yard pass to Treadwell set up third-and-2 from the Green Bay 35. Keenum hit Rudolph on a play-action boot for 9 yards to the 26, and on the ensuing third down from the 24, he found Thielen for 7 yards to set up fourth-and-1 from the 17 as the quarter expired.
On the first snap of the fourth quarter, Forbath made a 35-yard field goal, boosting Minnesota’s lead to 20-10.
The Packers picked up one first down on a pair of Jones runs, but on third-and-2 from the Green Bay 45, Smith made a diving, one-handed interception of Hundley’s pass, and Minnesota had the ball in Packers territory again.
On that series, the Packers lost yet another starter on the offensive line, as LT David Bakhtiari aggravated his hamstring injury and departed. He became the third starter up front, along with Bulaga (concussion) and Taylor (knee/ankle), to leave the contest. It forced McCray to move over to LT, with Ulrick John coming off the bench to play RT.
After the turnover, Minnesota went three-and-out, but Forbath was good from 53 yards out, increasing the Vikings’ lead to 23-10 with 10:47 left.
The Packers went three-and-out, as Hundley’s third-down pass for Nelson along the sideline was broken up by Smith. Minnesota’s offense then had its own three-and-out and was punting from its own 10-yard line, but a big boot by Ryan Quigley and a penalty on WR Trevor Davis’ return put the Packers back on their own 34-yard line when they had a chance for much better field position.
Hundley kept the Packers alive by completing a short pass to Nelson to convert on fourth-and-4 from the 40. He followed that with an 11-yard completion to Nelson into Minnesota territory. But on the ensuing fourth-and-10, Vikings DE Everson Griffen sacked Hundley, and Minnesota took over with 5:32 to go.
The Packers got it back again, and Hundley put together his best drive of the day, all the way into the red zone. But his third-down pass was deflected coming out of his hand and floated to Waynes for an interception with 15 seconds to go.