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Teddy-Less Vikings Fall To Packers

View images from Thursday's game at Lambeau Field between the Vikings and Packers.

The Vikings started slowly and struggled with key penalties and turnovers early in a 42-10 loss to the Packers in Green Bay Thursday night.

Vikings first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater was unable to make his second career start at quarterback because of the ankle injury he suffered during the go-ahead drive five days earlier in a win against the Falcons.

Christian Ponder became the third player to start at QB for Minnesota in just the fifth game of the season. Matt Cassel opened the year atop the depth chart but suffered a season-ending foot injury at New Orleans in Week 3 and was replaced during that game by the rookie Bridgewater, who threw for 317 yards and rushed for a TD against the Falcons.

Green Bay seized control of this Border Battle early. The threat of the pass helped Eddie Lacy rumble for gains of 18, 29 and 6 yards on the first three plays off the Packers' second possession, and Aaron Rodgers ended it a play later with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb.

The success Green Bay had running on that possession positioned the Packers to strike with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson four plays later for a 14-0 lead.

Minnesota's defense forced three straight punts on Green Bay's next three possessions, but the Packers picked off Ponder twice in a span of three plays. Ponder's first pass that resulted in a turnover was affected by Luther Robinson, causing the ball to go directly to Julius Peppers, and the eight-time Pro Bowler returned it 49 yards for a touchdown.

Jamari Lattimore returned an interception of Ponder to the Minnesota 20, and Rodgers found second-round pick Davante Adams for an 11-yard TD. It was the 200th career passing TD for Rodgers and first scoring catch for Adams.

The Vikings tried to answer, crossing midfield on a 13-yard carry by Matt Asiata, but he fumbled near the end of the run to end Minnsota's best scoring opportunity in the first half.   

The Vikings allowed only six first downs to the Packers in the first half but trailed 28-0 at intermission.

Lacy added touchdown runs of 11 and 10 yards in the third quarter, capitalizing on a defense that missed Chad Greenway, the Vikings' leading tackler for the past six seasons, for the second straight week because of rib and hand injuries.

Minnesota scored on the first play of the fourth quarter when Ponder spotted an opening in the middle of the field, tucked the ball and ran it in untouched from 6 yards. The score capped a seven-play, 62-yard drive.

Three plays later, Vikings safety Harrison Smith recorded his second interception in as many weeks. Smith's nab gave Minnesota the ball at the Green Bay 30, and Blair Walsh added a 26-yard field goal.

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