What a day to be at the greatest stadium in the NFL, not only as a fan or an ex-NFL player who was lucky enough to play at Lambeau Field, but as part of Low Budget Tours' (Less for More) annual pilgrimage to Green Bay. We were fortunate to be part of the 70,505 people who were there for the inaugural game of the newly remodeled Lambeau Field.
There were so many positive things to take from this game, from the great victory on the road to the defensive play, especially in the first half. The defensive backs were especially impressive, holding the explosive Packers offense to 95 yards and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre to a 26.8 passer rating in the first half. Another unique occurrence was seeing the Vikings believe in themselves when they took the field at Lambeau. That wasn't necessarily the case at the beginning of last season. With Bryant McKinnie and Greg Biekert — along with all the 2003 free-agent acquisitions and draft choices — in training camp, they all had a chance to experience the tough work ethic created around this year's camp. It showed on this opening day at Lambeau.
I can't tell you how big this win is to kick off the season. Beating Green Bay in the opener, in Lambeau, at the inaugural kickoff for the renovated stadium was enough, but the icing to that beautiful cake was watching so many Packers fans leave early. They never expected the Packers to come back and actually have an opportunity to win this game. I've never seen it happen to this hardy group, but maybe they couldn't take the heat.
And how about the great deception the Vikings used to start the game? The opening kickoff was a fake reverse. Then, during their first offensive play, they ran a reverse to Kelly Campbell, good for 15 yards. And then they ran another fake reverse two plays later. Doing these little things so early in the season creates a great situation because each opposing defensive team has got to be aware of those nuances when they prepare not only for the Vikings' powerful offense, but an offense also loaded with trick plays. Now, for some more icing on this cake: With 13 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and leading by 16 points, you could watch the awareness of All-Pro Randy Moss staying in bounds after making a catch to work the clock. On the next play, Daunte Culpepper ran for a first down and slid in bounds to keep the clock running. And, on the third consecutive play, Culpepper backed away from the center as the snap count might have occurred with too much time remaining on the play clock. It's nothing but positives, as LBT once again will take full credit for bringing home a Vikings victory.
Lurtsema's Reaction: So Many Positives
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