Final

Vikings 19

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Packers 24

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

7:00 PM ET, September 8, 2008

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 0 3 3 1319
GB 0 10 7 724

Top Performers

Passing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 178 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 19 CAR, 103 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: G. Jennings (GB) - 5 REC, 91 YDS

Rodgers throws TD, rushes for score in 1st start as Packers beat Vikings

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Dancing to avoid pass-rush pressure on third-and-goal, the leader of the Pack zinged an off-balance rocket through airtight coverage to his fullback for a touchdown.

It was the kind of throw No. 4 had made time after time.

Turns out No. 12 can do it, too.

Fast Facts

• Each of the last four QBs dating back to December 1999 to make their first career NFL start on Monday Night Footbal have all won in their debut (Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Scott Covington, and Shaun King).

• The Packers got their 49th win on kickoff weekend, second-most all-time.

• Adrian Peterson had 19 rush attempts for 103 yards and a TD. It was his seventh career 100-yard rushing game, second against Green Bay.

-- ESPN research

And Aaron Rodgers added a few things Brett Favre rarely did in his final few years in Green Bay on Monday night, scrambling for first downs and plunging into the end zone on a quarterback sneak to clinch a 24-19 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Given all the drama of Favre's unretirement saga at the beginning of training camp, Rodgers was relieved to get his first regular-season start out of the way. Still, he seemed to be enjoying life as the starter.

"Tonight, knowing I was going to get the first snap was pretty special," Rodgers said. "And running out of the tunnel to the electric atmosphere that we had, it was a pretty special night."

And what about that "Lambeau Leap" he performed after scoring on the QB sneak in the fourth quarter?

"I've been dreaming about that for four years, to be honest," Rodgers said.

Rodgers -- who spent most of the past three seasons backing up Favre after the Packers drafted him in the first round in 2005 -- passed his first real test Monday, going 18-of-22 for 178 yards with passing and rushing touchdowns.

He got help from punt returner Will Blackmon, safety Atari Bigby and running back Ryan Grant to claim the Packers' fifth straight victory in a bitter division rivalry -- one that became even more intense when the Packers accused the Vikings of tampering with the then-retired Favre in the offseason, a charge that was dismissed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell but hardly forgotten by either side.

"I'm happy we won, and that he played well," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "That's what's important. I don't really get caught up in all the other things. And it's important for him not to, too."

Rodgers didn't put on the feast-or-famine show that became Favre's trademark.

But he was effective. And, at times, pretty darn entertaining.

Most important, he walked off the field a winner for a team and fan base that had been cheering the same starting quarterback since 1992 and watched in disbelief as an ugly divorce between Favre and the Packers played out in camp.

Now Favre is playing for the New York Jets and Rodgers seems to have won over the fans -- at least for this week. The Vikings' own quarterback questions, however, remain unanswered.

Tarvaris Jackson, who hadn't played since after injuring his knee in an Aug. 16 preseason game against Baltimore, was 2-of-7 for 16 yards in a rough first half.

He seemed to find his rhythm in the second half, directing two fourth-quarter scoring drives. But he was intercepted by Bigby to end the Vikings' hopes of a comeback.

"It was just too wide open for me not to complete that pass, point-blank," said Jackson, who finished 16-of-35 for 178 yards with a touchdown and an interception. "I just knew we were going to win."

And it wasn't much of a debut for new Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, who didn't sack Rodgers or even register a tackle.

"This is one of like the least productive games I've ever had in my life," Allen said. "And I'm not going to let that happen again."

Now the Vikings will have to wait until Nov. 9 for another shot at beating the Packers.

"I'm sick of losing to them," said running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown. "Any team, but especially Green Bay."

Allen thought the Vikings missed an opportunity after getting to Rodgers and the Packers early.

"We were shutting him down," Allen said. "And then they hit a couple of big plays and they got a momentum swing."

Rodgers shrugged off a shaky, penalty-filled start to heave a 56-yard pass to Greg Jennings on the first play of the Packers' third possession to set up first-and-goal.

The Packers stalled on the goal line, but Rodgers found fullback Korey Hall for a touchdown on third-and-goal to give the Packers a 7-3 lead in the second quarter.

Later, with the Packers leading 10-6 in the third quarter, Blackmon's 76-yard punt return extended the Packers' lead to 11 going into the fourth quarter.

But Jackson answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice on fourth-and-1. A 2-point conversion attempt failed, and the Packers led by five.

Grant then broke free for a 57-yard run and came up just shy of the goal line. Rodgers was stuffed on his first attempt at a quarterback sneak but plunged into the end zone on the second try.

Jackson then led the Vikings on an 11-play drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Peterson, cutting the Packers' lead to 24-19 with 2:39 remaining.

An onside kick attempt bounced out of bounds but the Vikings forced the Packers to punt, giving the ball back to Minnesota at its own 31 with 1:51 remaining. With the Vikings driving near midfield with under a minute remaining, Bigby stepped in front of Jackson's pass for an interception to put the game away.

Jackson blamed himself, but Vikings coach Brad Childress said there was plenty of blame to go around.

"We put ourselves in a position to come back up the field and win, and unfortunately the only turnover of the game ended it," Childress said. "I think it's all about for us developing consistency. We really lost this thing as a team."

Game notes


Rice's touchdown catch with 14:12 left in the fourth quarter ended a long offensive scoring drought for the Vikings at Lambeau Field. Their last offensive touchdown came with 46 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the teams' 2005 meeting -- a span of more than 12 quarters. ... Green Bay's five-game winning streak is the longest in the Packers-Vikings series since the Packers won five straight in the 1983-85 seasons. ... Minnesota's Cedric Griffin blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt to end the first half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIN
GB
1st Downs2115
Passing 1st downs
76
Rushing 1st downs
108
1st downs from penalties
41
3rd down efficiency
7-164-10
4th down efficiency
2-20-0
Total Plays6949
Total Yards355317
Yards per play5.16.5
Total Drives1011
Passing168178
Comp-Att
16-3518-22
Yards per pass
4.78.1
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-100-0
Rushing187139
Rushing Attempts
3327
Yards per rush
5.75.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-42-3
Penalties9-4212-118
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession32:0127:59

Passing Leaders

MINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Jackson16/351785.1111-10
GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rodgers18/221788.1100-0

Rushing Leaders

MINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Peterson191035.4134
Jackson9657.2019
GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Grant12927.7057
Rodgers8354.4121

Receiving Leaders

MINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Mills34916.3023
Berrian33812.7024
GBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jennings59118.2056
Driver4389.5025

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERMINGB
minFG13:40Ryan Longwell 37 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 51 yds, 2:57
30
gbTD10:12Korey Hall, 1 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 62 yds, 3:28
37
gbFG3:26Mason Crosby 42 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 63 yds, 4:15
310
THIRD QUARTERMINGB
minFG10:55Ryan Longwell 27 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yds, 4:08
610
gbTD6:54Will Blackmon, 76 yd punt return (Mason Crosby kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 76 yds, 0:00
617
FOURTH QUARTERMINGB
minTD14:19Sidney Rice, 23 yd pass from Tarvaris Jackson(Tarvaris Jackson pass to Sidney Rice for 2pt conversion failed)
Drive info: 15 plays, 79 yds, 7:23
1217
gbTD6:05Aaron Rodgers, 1 yd run (Mason Crosby kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 77 yds, 2:31
1224
minTD2:43Adrian Peterson, 3 yd run (Ryan Longwell kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 3:24
1924