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Zimmer, Vikings Adjusting to 'Home, Sweet Home'

MINNEAPOLIS — Home, sweet home.

Vikings fans saw Head Coach Mike Zimmer mouth the words on the mammoth HD video boards at U.S. Bank Stadium but heard the voice of Vince Neil to the tune of the Mötley Crüe power ballad.

It was an entertaining moment and well-received by the home-game-record crowd of 66,143 in the first game at the 1.75-million-square-foot, sparkling new venue.

They also had a chuckle earlier in the video when Zimmer interrupted Chad Greenway, Kyle Rudolph and construction workers lip-synching the song with arms silently crossed.

Zimmer's team put up more good plays than bad plays on the video boards during the game, scoring two touchdowns and forcing four turnovers in a 23-10 victory over the Chargers.

"Lots of new experiences here in U.S. Bank Stadium," Zimmer said in the postgame interview that is visible from the Delta Sky360 Club.

Zimmer said he was adjusting to where the timeouts are displayed on the scoreboard and walking through fans in the club on the way from the locker room to the field.

View images from the third preseason game of 2016 as the Vikings took on the Chargers.

"Fireworks and getting used to the big screen, I guess a little bit. I mean, it's a beautiful place; it's just getting used to everything."

Here are reactions from some Vikings players on their first game in the new stadium:

"It feels good, like this is our home," Blair Walsh said. "It doesn't feel like we're playing in someone else's, and we can really make this a home-field advantage, especially if we can get the crowd we did today. I'm sure we will. It will be fun."

Charles Johnson, who opened this preseason in Cincinnati, about 15 minutes from his Kentucky hometown, agreed that the stadium already feels like home.

"The fans supported us and were loud at times. I'm excited," Johnson said. "It echoes a little bit more. It was loud, nice."

Cordarrelle Patterson was the first Vikings player to touch the football on a play inside the stadium when he returned the opening kickoff 28 yards. Patterson was in the right place at the right time, scooping up a fumble in the end zone two plays after a San Diego fumble.

"We talked all week, well two years, and we couldn't wait until U.S. Bank Stadium opened," Patterson said. "We wanted to show the fans something they've been waiting for, so why not come in the first preseason game and give the fans something they've been waiting for."

Running back Jerick McKinnon, who took the first run play of the game 35 yards, said it was an "amazing experience."

"Fans were out there, a new home-crowd record, just about sold out," McKinnon said. "That's what it's all about, the new stadium that the Wilfs put together, and the fans coming out and showing strong support as always. It was good to get out there and showcase what we've got."

The significance wasn't lost on rookies, either. First-round pick Laquon Treadwell and second-rounder Mackensie Alexander enjoyed their home debuts.

"It definitely was a regular-season vibe. I really don't know how it feels yet, but it felt good just to be out there with the crowd cheering and the fans very excited," Treadwell said. "The team was amped, and we got out here with a win. That's good for our fans, and that's good for us moving on and moving forward.

"I think every player felt that vibe and that presence of the fans, and most importantly, that unity as a group," Treadwell added. "We played together, we played well and we played hard all the way to the end."

Alexander recorded his second interception of the preseason but also managed to take in his surroundings.

"The stadium is phenomenal – how it's set up, where we go through, anxious to get out on the field – oh man, that's beautiful," Alexander said. "The fans were phenomenal, they were great. The yelling was so cool, and the camera was so clean and so clear. It was like, 'Man, can it get any clearer?' It was all just awesome."

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