Home Musical score Packers vs Vikings score: Justin Jefferson explodes, Aaron Rodgers gets little help as Minnesota rolls

Packers vs Vikings score: Justin Jefferson explodes, Aaron Rodgers gets little help as Minnesota rolls

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The Packers entered the NFC North showdown on Sunday with the Vikings looking to kick off their fourth straight march to a division title. They came away looking like one of the most questionable contenders in the conference, losing 23-7 to their rivals. While reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers was strong most of the time, his post-Davante Adams supporting cast left a lot to be desired. Minnesota, meanwhile, rolled early and often with the ball in their hands, with star receiver Justin Jefferson exploding for a handful of big plays as part of a more passing-focused offense from new coach Kevin O’Connell. .

Here are some instant takeaways from Sunday’s big Vikings win:

Why the Vikings won

They have one of the best skill sets in the NFL. Justin Jefferson remained a highlight reel as the team’s primary target, consistently finding wide-open space to hit nearly 190 receiving yards and a pair of scores. And his quarterback, Kirk Cousins, was almost flawless in attacking Kevin O’Connell, averaging nearly 9 yards per attempt. Dalvin Cook was closer in this game, but his speed also showed. Defensively, new coordinator Ed Donatell’s unit was arguably equally impressive, with new linebacking duo Jordan Hicks and Za’Darius Smith applying heat to Rodgers and safety Harrison Smith headlining the line. goal and pulling out a deep ball in the first half of A stem.

Why the Packers lost

You guessed it: Rodgers had no one to throw at. It’s been a concern since the team dealt with Adams, but the concern was warranted watching Rodgers try — and often fail — to extend plays, only to find no one splitting on the court. When AJ Dillon, whose toughness at one point threatened to bring Green Bay back, is your first receiver, that’s a problem. Rookie Christian Watson was the obvious culprit, dropping a potential TD bomb, but the front office is the biggest source of the problem. The Packers line was also shoddy at times. As for the “D,” he held his ground when it mattered late, but only after allowing Jefferson to waltz where he wanted and give Minnesota a big lead.

Turning

You could say Watson’s fall in the first game of the Packers’ first offensive series set the wrong tone for Green Bay’s day, but the tide really turned in the Vikings’ favor when Rodgers threw a desperate shot at Randall Cobb just before halftime. Down 17, he desperately needed a big play, but Harrison Smith easily outplayed Cobb on the pop ball for the pick, sending the Packers down three scores and with no offensive rhythm to fall back on. .

Game of the game

Give it to Jefferson, who somehow found a field full of green grass on a crossover road late in the second quarter, then went the extra mile to score his second touchdown of the daytime :

And after

The Vikings (1-0) head to prime time for a Monday Night Football matchup with the Eagles (1-0), who edged the Lions in a 38-35 homecoming at Detroit. The Packers (0-1), meanwhile, will reach the “Sunday Night Football” stage for another NFC North game, this time with the Bears (1-0), who upset the 49ers in sloppy conditions.