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Waynes Caps Roller-coaster Night With Crucial Interception

MINNEAPOLIS — Up, down, up, down. Trae Waynes epitomized the life of a defensive back through four quarters on Sunday night.

But on a night when the Vikings cornerback had his share of both good and bad moments, he saved his best for last.

Click here to watch a replay of the Vikings first-ever regular season victory over the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium with NFL Game Pass.

Waynes' key interception of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with less than two minutes helped put the stamp on Minnesota's 17-14 win over Green Bay on Sunday Night Football.

"That's football," Waynes said of his roller-coaster evening. "You're going to have ups and downs, but you just have to keep playing and have a short memory."

Waynes' uneven night began early, as he allowed a 1-yard touchdown pass that put Green Bay up 7-0.

Things didn't get easier, as he was whistled for three total penalties, including two in a four-play span early in the third quarter.

But Waynes battled back against one of the league's best quarterbacks, getting the best of Rodgers late in the fourth quarter.

With Green Bay facing a third-and-14, Waynes stayed with wide receiver Davante Adams on a double move and undercut the throw.

Waynes' first career regular-season interception helped put the prime-time game on ice.

"The interception he made was huge," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "He competed good all night. He knocked some balls down, he had some pass interferences, obviously, and then there were a couple balls that were caught on him.

"It's all part of a learning process. The great thing about it was that he fought and competed," Zimmer said. "In the end there, that was a great play."

Added Waynes: "I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. "I read, 'Pass.' I was lucky enough to make a play."

Waynes, a first-round pick in 2015, played sparingly on defense last season while leading Minnesota in special teams tackles.

But Waynes' teammates recognized his work ethic behind the scenes as he put in the effort and dedication to make a play like Sunday night's interception come to fruition.

"I'm extremely proud," said veteran cornerback Trae Waynes. "I saw him when he first got here and just tried to work with him, work with him, work with him.

"He's been like a sponge just asking for information, knowledge and asking questions," Newman added. "That's what I like. I spend every day with him. I can see him growing personally as a football player but also as a person."

Newman said he and Waynes chatted all night about what to expect from Rodgers and the Packers, especially when they went after the former Michigan State standout in single coverage.

Waynes said after the game that he'll continue to work on drawing less penalties, all while keeping his composure in pressure situations.

"It means a lot," Waynes said of the NFC North win. "But at the same time, there's a lot more football to be played.

"It's not the last game of the season," he added. "We're going to see them again, so we have to keep playing."

Just like he did Sunday night.

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