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5 Takeaways: Vikings Play From Behind in Loss to Packers

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings have a formula for how they want to win games: run the ball, play strong defense and control the clock.

Minnesota's 2020 season opener did not go according to plan Sunday, as the Vikings held the ball for just 18:44 in a 43-34 loss to the Packers.

Green Bay, on the other hand, had its offense on the field — and its defense on the bench — for a comfortable 41:16.

The lopsided time of possession numbers also helped tilt the scoreboard, too. Minnesota allowed its most points under Head Coach Mike Zimmer and the most at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The 43 points scored by Green Bay with the fifth-most the Vikings have allowed in a Border Battle.

Here are four more takeaways from Sunday:

1. Thielen starts hot yet again

Adam Thielen has had plenty of success in recent Week 1 games, and continued that trend again Sunday.

The wide receiver tallied six catches for 110 yards and two scores to pace the Vikings offense. His touchdown receptions were 37 and 19 yards, respectively.

Including Sunday, Thielen now has 24 receptions for 412 yards and three scores in his past four season openers.

Here's a breakdown of his previous Week 1 performances:

2017 vs. Saints: nine catches for 157 yards

2018 vs. 49ers: six catches for 102 yards

2019 vs. Falcons: three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown

2020 vs. Packers: six catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns

2. A dismal 2nd quarter

The Vikings led 7-3 early in the second quarter when Minnesota's defense made a terrific fourth-down stop at its own 1-yard line.

But things quickly went south for the rest of the quarter, as Kirk Cousins was sacked for a safety just two plays later.

The Packers kicked a field goal for an 8-7 lead soon after, and Minnesota's offense lost five total yards and took a sack on the ensuing three-and-out.

Rodgers threw a 24-yard score to Davante Adams and then a 45-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling before the half was over as Green Bay ripped off 19 unanswered points.

3. No answer for Alexander

The Vikings didn't have an answer for Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who was involved in a pair of game-changing plays Sunday.

Alexander sacked Cousins on a blitz midway through the second quarter to record his first career safety and first solo sack.

The former first-round pick later intercepted Cousins with just over 30 seconds left in the first half. Two plays later, the Packers scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass.

It was Alexander's fourth-career interception and first against the Vikings.

4. 3-for-3 on 2-pointers

The Vikings were successful on all three, 2-point plays Sunday.

Dalvin Cook had a pair of 2-point runs in the fourth quarter, following Thielen's first score and Cook's 7-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.

Thielen added the final 2-point play after his 19-yard touchdown with 81 seconds left in regulation.

The Vikings did not have any 2-point conversions in 2019, missing out on both tries.