Vikings Down Packers 24-17 in 117th Border Battle

MINNEAPOLIS — Kyle Rudolph had seven catches for 63 yards, including a nifty one-hander in the first half, but the tight end’s most important grab of the night was when he cleanly fielded an onside kick with 2:19 remaining.

Stefon Diggs had eight receptions for 77 yards, including a 30-yard score, but none were bigger than his final catch. The receiver made an impressive adjustment to snare a ball that was a little behind him on a third-and-6 and put away the Packers.

The clutch catch inside the 2-minute warning allowed Minnesota to line up in the victory formation and celebrate a 24-17 win over Green Bay in the 117th Border Battle on Sunday Night Football.

Minnesota (6-4-1, 2-1-1 in the NFC North) would be the fifth seed in the NFC Playoffs if the postseason started next week. The Vikings improved to 2-3-1 when an opponent scores first this season.

Green Bay fell to 4-6-1 and 1-2-1 in the division. The Packers remained winless on the road (0-6 in 2018) and at U.S. Bank Stadium (0-3).

Five games remain in the regular season.

Adam Thielen led all players with 125 yards on eight receptions and had a 14-yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 10-point lead with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins finished 29-of-38 passing for 342 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 129.5 in his first prime-time victory in Purple.

The Vikings gained 416 yards and converted seven of 14 third downs, keeping the ball for 34:37.

Minnesota also limited Green Bay to 254 net yards and 2-for-10 on third downs, allowing just a field goal in the final 44 minutes of the game.

Aaron Rodgers finished 17-of-28 passing for 198 yards with one touchdown and a passer rating of 94.0. He was sacked four times, including twice by Sheldon Richardson and once apiece by Tom Johnson and Everson Griffen.

Minnesota cleaned up the miscues that had harmed the Vikings in previous Sunday night games to the Saints and last week at the Bears, committing zero turnovers.

The Vikings outgained the Packers 280 to 139 in the first half, converting 4-of-7 third downs and limiting Green Bay to just 1-for-4.

Minnesota ran 36 plays and averaged 7.8 yards per play and possessed the ball for 17:30 in the first half. Green Bay averaged 5.8 yards on 24 offensive plays.

Kirk Cousins completed 22 of 26 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 133.0. Adam Thielen led with 78 yards on five receptions, Kyle Rudolph had 63 yards on seven catches, and Stefon Diggs had 62 yards on six catches in the first half.

The Vikings were unable to take the lead, despite moving into field goal range on their final two possessions of the first half.

A 48-yard attempt by Dan Bailey nudged wide left with 4:35 remaining.

The Vikings, however, were able to force a punt and get the ball back with 2:55 left before halftime.

Minnesota advanced to the Green Bay 33 on a 20-yard completion to Thielen and spiked the ball with three seconds remaining.

Bailey kicked it through the uprights on a 51-yard field goal, but officials whistled Rashod Hill for a false start. Bailey’s 56-yard attempt was wide right, and even though the kicker went to the ground after contact, no flag was thrown.

Scoring Drives

Q1, 5:54 remaining

Packers 7, Vikings 0

Davante Adams catches a 15-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby PAT) [7 plays, 68 yards, 3:37 time of possession]

Won the 1-on-1: In addition to catching the touchdown in 1-on-1 coverage against Rhodes, Adams also drew a 26-yard pass interference penalty on Xavier Rhodes.

Q1, 2:53 remaining

Packers 7, Vikings 7

Dalvin Cook catches a 26-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Dan Bailey PAT) [6 plays, 75 yards, 3:01]

Start and finish: The Vikings got Cook involved on a sweep to start the drive before capping the possession with a swing pass to the running back, who caught the ball at the 32 and accelerated past a block by Pat Elflein.

Q2, 14:16 remaining

Packers 14, Vikings 7

Aaron Jones rushes for a 6-yard touchdown (Crosby PAT) [7 plays, 75 yards, 3:37]

No fewer than 6: Green Bay’s shortest gain on the possession was 6 yards, twice. The Packers also had gains of 15, 8, 23, 9 and 8.

Q2, 11:01 remaining

Packers 14, Vikings 14

Stefon Diggs catches a 30-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey PAT) [8 plays, 75 yards, 3:15]

Back to back: After converting a third-and-5 with a gain of 10, Diggs was able to get free after executing a crossing route with Adam Thielen. Packers DB Tramon Williams was tripped up in traffic, allowing Diggs to get wide open.

Q3, 3:27 remaining

Vikings 17, Packers 14

Bailey kicks a 37-yard field goal [7 plays, 25 yards, 3:54]

Positives before negatives: The Vikings offense responded to Harrison Smith’s tackle of Jones for no gain by gaining 31 yards on the next three plays. Cousins had completions of 13 to Cook, five to Diggs and 13 to Thielen before losing 1 on a run and suffering a sack on third-and-7.

View game action images as the Vikings take on the Packers under the lights for Sunday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Q3, 0:27 remaining

Vikings 24, Packers 14

Thielen catches a 14-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey PAT) [4 plays, 31 yards, 1:19]

Buying time: Cousins was able to use his mobility on a roll-out and pull the defender covering Thielen before throwing back toward the middle of the field. Thielen accelerated quickly and built enough steam to make it into the end zone.

Q4, 2:20 remaining

Vikings 24, Packers 17

Crosby kicks a 38-yard field goal [9 plays, 73 yards, 2:31]

Painful conversion: Rodgers found Adams for a gain of 36 on a third-and-10, and Rhodes was injured during the play.

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