4:15 PM ET, October 21, 2001
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- No matter how good they are, the Green Bay Packers just can't seem to play well in the Metrodome.
Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper leaves behind Santana Dotson as he runs for a 14-yard TD in the fourth.
I don't think you can say that yet.
The Vikings always play well against the Packers at home. Minnesota gets up for this game because it's a big rivalry. If the Vikings become more consistent, string some quality games together and play well on the road -- then you can say they're back among the NFC favorites.
Dennis Green has to be happy that he found a running game today in Doug Chapman (90 yards on 22 carries). And the key skill guys -- Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Daunte Culpepper -- all made big plays. Plus, the defense really stepped up.
But the jury's still out on whether the Vikings can sustain this. For instance, can they beat the Bears? They lost 17-10 at Chicago in Week 2. We'll find out when the Bears visit Minnesota on Nov. 25.
ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.
"It was apparent they wanted the football game more today than we did," Favre said.Culpepper was 18-for-27 for 184 yards through the air and ran nine times for 70 yards. The rushing touchdown was his fifth of the season. Doug Chapman, subbing for the injured Michael Bennett, had the best game this year by a Vikings running back -- 90 yards on 22 carries. The Packers, even with the help of two first-quarter fumbles by the Vikings, were terrible in the first half. Ahman Green had 4 yards on eight carries. Favre and Green were frustrated by a bigger Vikings defensive line that included the recently acquired Stalin Colinet at end and Fred Robbins playing most of the snaps at nose tackle. Favre, in the shotgun for much of the half, twice had to retrieve errant snaps deep in his own backfield. "He wasn't comfortable," Vikings defensive end Lance Johnstone said. "He made some bad decisions." Backpedaling in his own end zone late in the first quarter, he threw the ball directly to Kailee Wong -- who returned the interception 27 yards for his first career touchdown and a 14-0 Vikings lead. "A game like this gives us confidence," Wong said. "We know we're a good defense, but we want to be just as good as our offense is." Earlier, the Packers' Chris Akins forced a fumble by hitting Troy Walters while he fielded a punt. That gave Green Bay a first-and-10 at the Vikings 16. But Robbins leveled Green for a loss on fourth-and-1, and Minnesota took over. The Packers started the second quarter at their own 46, but the drive stalled when William Henderson was stuffed on third-and-1. Ryan Longwell's 42-yard attempt sailed wide left _ his second miss of the half.Gary Anderson added a pair of field goals in the final four minutes of the half to give the Vikings a 20-0 halftime lead. Culpepper's 34-yard run on a draw play to the Green Bay 8 with 23 seconds left set up the second kick. Green Bay looked like it might jump right back in it in the third quarter when a 61-yard run by Green set up a 2-yard touchdown pass from Favre to a wide-open Bubba Franks that cut the lead to 20-7. "The opening of the second half made a great statement for us," Packers coach Mike Sherman said. "Then that was the end of it." After nearly blowing a 31-6 lead in last week's win over Detroit, the Vikings put the game away this time with a 14-play, 73-yard drive that took 9:34 off the clock. Jim Kleinsasser muscled his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to make it 35-7. "The guys said, 'Hey, we need to finish and learn from last week,"' Vikings tight end Byron Chamberlain said.Game notes
The Vikings lead the teams' series 40-39-1. ... Randy Moss, who has been limited by a lingering injury to his right ankle, made several tough catches -- twice getting pancaked by Darren Sharper -- and had eight receptions for 73 yards. ... Green Bay SS LeRoy Butler, who started his 113th consecutive game, was carted off in the first half with a bruised chest and didn't return. ... Bill Schroeder, the Packers' leading receiver, was inactive with a sprained ankle. ... This was Green Bay's most lopsided loss in the regular season since a 36-14 defeat at Dallas on Oct. 3, 1993.