Sam Bradford started for the Vikings and picked up 15 yards to Adam Thielen on the initial third-down play of the game, but the Vikings punted and quickly got the ball back. On the Packers’ first play, Captain Munnerlyn forced a Davante Adams fumble and Andrew Sendejo recovered, but he fumbled it back to the Packers when trying to return it.
Instead of a scoring opportunity on the 5-yard line for the Vikings, the teams exchanged punts, but Jeff Locke’s attempt was blocked, setting up the Packers near midfield, where the worst series of Terence Newman’s Vikings career ensued.
Newman was called for a 40-yard pass interference penalty while trying to cover Adams, setting up the Packers on the 4-yard line. Two plays later, Newman was called for holding in the end zone. And, two plays after that, Trae Waynes bit on a play fake and Aaron Rodgers found Jordy Nelson wide open for a 1-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 5:39 to play. That's the way the first quarter ended after a Danielle Hunter sack forced a third-down Packers punt.
The Vikings started the second quarter with the ball near midfield, but after Adrian Peterson was stuffed for the fifth time in the game, Norv Turner put the drive in Bradford’s hands. He threw nine straight times, completing passes of 19 yards to Kyle Rudolph and 12 yards to Thielen. Despite consecutive false starts on Andre Smith and Brandon Fusco, Bradford kept the drive going with an efficient passing game, eventually hitting Rudolph for the 8-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7.
The teams exchanged punts until the Vikings got something going, first in the ground game for a first down, then hitting Stefon Diggs for a 44-yard pass into Packers territory, but the drive stalled there before Blair Walsh capped it with a 46-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead with 27 seconds left in the half, a lead Minnesota took to the locker room.
The Vikings continued their strong defense to start the second half. After an exchange of punts, the Packers avoided a turnover when Everson Griffen stripped Aaron Rodgers of the ball, but when Captain Munnerlyn couldn’t recover it, it remained with the Packers when Jared Cook recovered. However, four plays later, the Vikings got a fourth-down stop and took advantage.
Bradford hit Diggs for a 46-yard gain and four plays later hit him for a 25-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 17-7 lead.
It wouldn’t stay a 10-point lead for too long. A defensive pass interference penalty on Waynes and later a 39-yard pass to Nelson with Waynes in coverage put the Packers on the 4-yard line. After a loss, Aaron Rodgers scrambled 10 yards for a touchdown to pull the Packers within three points, as the game moved to the fourth quarter.
The Packers were on the move again in the fourth quarter, but this time the Vikings got the needed turnover. After moving into Minnesota territory, Rodgers was trying to buy time and Brian Robison hit the ball from behind and Shamar Stephen recovered. However, a third-down sack brought the Vikings’ ensuing drive to an end.
The Packers took over with 4:38 to play and Rodgers went to work, hitting Randall Cobb for 14 and Davante Adams for 13. But as the Packers worked to midfield, Waynes redeemed himself with a third-down interception to allow the Vikings to nearly milk the time off the clock for a 17-14 win in Bradford’s first start as a Viking.
Kalil was questionable on the injury report after suffering a hip injury last week and didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday.
However, a couple of other starters were inactive – DT Sharrif Floyd (knee) and CB Xavier Rhodes (knee) – along with TE MyCole Pruitt (knee). Also inactive as healthy scratches were WR Jarius Wright, LB Kentrell Brothers, LB Edmond Robinson and C Nick Easton. Robinson and Easton were on the injury report during the week but weren’t listed on Friday.