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Rudolph Snags 1st Vikings Touchdown In U.S. Bank Stadium

MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Vikings even started Friday's practice in U.S. Bank Stadium, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater lobbed a pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph in the end zone.

The completion wasn't a set play or even a drill, but the two jokingly celebrated as if they had put six points on the board.

The duo made the celebration official Sunday against San Diego as Rudolph hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater late in the second quarter.

It was Minnesota's first touchdown in its 1.75-million-square foot facility and gave the Vikings a two-point lead they wouldn't relinquish in a 23-10 victory.

"It's a preseason game so in about 10 days it won't count anymore," Rudolph said. "But I'll always have the first touchdown with Teddy in this building."

Rudolph's milestone touchdown ended his day as he caught three passes for 56 yards.

The score came during a two-minute drill in which Bridgewater connected on "three huge throws," according to Rudolph, the third of which was lofted right over the head over San Diego linebacker Manti Te'o.

"It was good for us to get that work," Rudolph said of the pressure situation. "We hadn't had a two-minute situation in the preseason.

"We do it all the time in practice but to get some live action in it, it was good for us," he added. "I don't think we

could have executed it any better, starting with Teddy back in the pocket."

Rudolph also made sure to bring up the fact that he caught the touchdown pass over Te'o, his former college teammate at Notre Dame.

"I've caught quite a few of those balls over Manti's head in my day," Rudolph said with a laugh. "It felt just like college.

"No, that's Teddy," he added. "He does an incredible job with his eyes and puts the ball only where I can get it."

Added Bridgewater: "I put it right where I wanted to. Kyle's a big target, so he makes throwing the ball across the middle a lot easier."

Rudolph's score atoned for an earlier mistake in which he fumbled in San Diego territory, a play he said was on him as he tried to fight for extra yards against a pair of Chargers.

Bridgewater said he and Rudolph chatted on the sideline after the turnover.

"Kyle was hard on himself when he came off the field," Bridgewater said. "I went over to him, gave him a thumbs up and said, 'Hey man, we're going to come back to you and make a play to you.'

"He did just that," Bridgewater added.

Rudolph said the atmosphere inside U.S. Bank Stadium was electric. He also knows that should he score during the regular season, he'll have to keep working on his touchdown celebration. 

"We can get used to winning here," Rudolph said.

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