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3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings vs. Packers

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings outlasted the rival Packers 17-14 on Sunday Night Football to claim a victory in the first regular-season game ever at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Here are three statistical reasons why Minnesota became one of seven teams in the league and two in the NFC to open 2-0 (Philadelphia also has a shot to do so against the Bears on Monday Night Football).

70.7 — Passer rating for Aaron Rodgers, which is his lowest ever in 17 regular-season games against the Vikings. Rodgers was 20-of-36 passing for 213 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Vikings defense eventually sacked him five times and forced a career-high three fumbles by the two-time NFL MVP, including one by Brian Robison that was collected by Shamar Stephen.

After that play, Rodgers was just 3-of-7 passing for 30 yards with an interception by Trae Waynes (rating of 16.1).

The Vikings have improved in passer rating allowed in five games under Head Coach Mike Zimmer, going from 138.7 to 109.7 in a pair of losses in 2014, followed by 86.9 and 80.8 in a loss and division-clinching win in 2015.

Sam Bradford posted a passer rating of 121.2 that was fueled by 22-of-31 passing for 286 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers. It was the fifth-highest rating by a quarterback in his first start with the Vikings.

2.8 — yards per carry allowed to Green Bay's running backs (53 yards on 19 carries). Rodgers was able to scramble three times for 29 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown, but the Vikings defense stymied an opponent's running backs for a second straight week.

Eddie Lacy had 12 carries for 50 yards, but James Starks was limited to just three yards on seven attempts.

The stinginess followed an effort in Tennessee in which Minnesota only allowed 2.5 yards per carry on the combined efforts (18 carries for 45 yards) of 2014 NFL rushing champ DeMarco Murray and former Heisman winner Derrick Henry.

The Vikings ground game also struggled, totaling 22 carries for 30 yards (1.4 per carry), and Adrian Peterson suffered a knee injury.

5 to 1 — Minnesota's Jeff Locke tied a franchise record by having five punts downed inside an opponent's 20-yard line in one game, compared to one such boot by Green Bay's Jacob Schum.

Field position and defense are always going to be staples of Zimmer's team, and Locke's night helped force the Packers to travel great distances against their nearby rival.

Locke finished with seven punts for 273 yards (39.0 average) with a net average of 38.7, but his night and that of the coverage team was even better if a blocked punt that traveled 3 yards and netted 1 is removed. On the other six punts, Lock averaged 45.0 per punt, and none of them were returned by the Packers.

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