Game notes: Moss kept in check

Defense frustrates star wide receiver

MINNEAPOLIS – Randy Moss flexed his muscles early on against the Packers, but Green Bay's defense got the upper hand on the star wide receiver in the long run.

Using an aggressive defense focused on rattling Moss, the Packers held him to six catches for 87 yards. Considering he got 53 of his receiving yards on two catches in the Vikings' first series of the game, including a 43-yard touchdown catch, the Packers were pleased with the way they defended him.

"We just tried to be as physical as possible, a lot of press coverage,"  said cornerback Al Harris. "You can't really shut a guy like that down. If you limit his big plays that definitely gives you a better chance to win."

Moss had 9 catches for 150 yards on one touchdown in the Vikings' 30-25 win over the Packers in the season opener. So, limiting him Sunday night was the focus of coordinator Ed Donatell's scheme, even if it meant conceding rushing yardage.

"You might have saw them get a couple chunks of running yardage because we were investing our coverage on him," said Donatell. "We kept him for the most part pretty quiet after that. That was our plan. That's what we needed to do to win the football game."

The Vikings rushed for 125 yards and had 198 yards pass.

But by the second half, Moss was getting visibly frustrated, at times, which meant the Packers' plan was working well.

"We were focusing on the things we needed to do to make sure we got our offense back on the field," said cornerback Mike McKenzie. "Obviously he didn't catch many passes in the second half. Anytime an offensive player like Randy is not getting catches, I'm sure there is some frustration."

Moss has 52 catches for 878 yards and nine touchdowns for the season.
 

Injury update: A number of Packers were injured but none appeared to be serious. Wide receiver Robert Ferguson suffered a mild concussion in the second quarter when he was hit in the jaw while playing special teams. He returned to play on special teams in the second half but did not play from scrimmage.

Fullback William Henderson took a shot to the face with 7:12 left in the second quarter, but returned to play.

Middle linebacker Nick Barnett left the game midway through the third quarter with a leg cramp and had to go to the locker room to receive fluids intravenously before returning. During the time he was out he was replaced by Torrance Marshall.

Defensive back Michael Hawthorne was shaken up tackling Michael Bennett with 4:17 left in the third.

Antonio Chatman suffered a neck stinger on kickoff return with 2:21 left in third quarter. Chatman ran square into the back of Chukie Nwokorie and fell to the turf.

Defensive end Chukie Nwokorie injured his right knee near the end of the game.

Did not suit up: The following players were not included on the Packers' 45-man game-day roster and did not suit up for the game: fullback Nick Luchey, safety Curtis Fuller, linebacker Marcus Wilkins, offensive linemen Brennan Curtin and Marcus Spriggs, defensive tackle Rod Walker and defensive end Jamal Reynolds. Quarterback Craig Nall was the designated third quarterback.

Extra points: Sunday night's attendance of 64,482 in the Metrodome is a Vikings record, topping the previous total of 64,471 against Green Bay on Nov. 22, 1998. ... Vikings Pro Bowl running back Michael Bennett, a Milwaukee, Wis., native and former star at the University of Wisconsin, played for the first time this season since injuring his foot in a freak treadmill accident in training camp.


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