Packers fall to Vikings 34-31 on last-second field goal


Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, right, catches a 23-yard touchdown pass ahead of Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes (21) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 34-31. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WFRV) – Aaron Rodgers threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns, but the Packers couldn’t complete a second half comeback against the Vikings, falling 34-31 on a game-winning 29-yard field goal by Greg Joseph.

Minnesota drove 64 yards in 2:06 on the final drive after a Darnell Savage interception was overturned by replay review. The Vikings improved to 5-5 with the win, trailing the Packers by two-and-a-half games in the NFC North.

Green Bay trailed 16-3 in the first half and 23-10 in the third quarter, each time finding comebacks on Rodgers’ arm. Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling combined to catch 11 passes for 238 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

After losing the coin toss, the Packers got the ball on their opening drive. Rodgers hit Adams for 37 yards on a shallow crossing route on the first play from scrimmage, and when the drive stalled, Mason Crosby nailed a 54-yard field goal for the first points of the game.

The Vikings answered with a field goal on their next drive. Late in the first quarter, Kirk Cousins connected with Justin Jefferson (8 receptions, 169 yards, 2 touchdowns) on a 56-yard bomb down to the one-yard line. Dalvin Cook scored a play later to give Minnesota a 9-3 lead.

Crosby missed a 32-yard field goal on the first drive of the second quarter, and Minnesota responded with a quick touchdown drive to extend to a 16-3 lead.

The teams traded three-and-outs before Rodgers embarked the offense on a nine-play, 74-yard drive, capping the march with a 25-yard strike to Josiah Deguara on a scramble drill. The catch marked Deguara’s first career touchdown.

Minnesota opened the second half with a 14-play scoring drive to make it 23-10, but the Packers responded. A masterful play-calling drive by Matt LaFleur ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams, cutting the lead to 23-17.

The Vikings quickly marched into Green Bay territory, but the Packers defense bowed up, ending the drive with a Preston Smith strip sack near midfield and forcing a Minnesota punt.

Beginning at their own six-yard line to start the fourth quarter, the Green & Gold took seven minutes off the clock on a 94-yard drive, featuring a 26-yard catch-and-run by Equanimeous St. Brown (54 total yards).

The key sequence of the drive was a wild one inside the Vikings red zone. Facing an expiring shot clock and a blitz look on third-and-six, Rodgers turned to call timeout – but the ball had already been snapped. The reigning MVP turned, snagged the snap with his fingertips, and lofted it to a wide open Davante Adams in the end zone for a 24-23 lead.

Cousins and the Vikings strung together another long drive, and with Cousins facing safety pressure on third down, he lofted a prayer to Jefferson. The standout sophomore answered, snagging the 18-yard touchdown over rookie corner Eric Stokes. Cook waltzed in for the two-point conversion to give the Vikings a 31-24 lead with 2:17 to play.

As Rodgers has shown this season, 2:17 is too much time to leave a reigning MVP and a top 10 offense – but the Packers only needed nine seconds. On the first play of the drive, he hit Valdes-Scantling on a deep ball over the middle, streaking behind the defense for a 75-yard touchdown and tying the game at 31.

Cousins and the Vikings offense took over with 2:08 to play, and after an offsides call on first down, Cousins lofted a deep ball to Jefferson on first-and-five. Darnell Savage, who dropped an interception earlier in the game and had another called back due to a roughing the passer penalty, appeared to snag the key pick, but replay review overturned the ball after it grazed the U.S. Bank Stadium turf.

Minnesota converted big pass plays to Cook and Adam Thielen before Cook broke off a 12-yard run inside the Green Bay 10-yard line.

Cousins took a knee three times to run out the clock, and Joseph kicked the 29-yard game-winner with no time left.

The loss dropped Green Bay to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the division. The Packers return to Lambeau Field next Sunday for a battle with the Los Angeles Rams (7-3).

Injury bug bites again

Packers offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins went down with a left knee injury in the second half and was subsequently ruled out. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network later reported the Packers are “fearing” an ACL tear, but no indications of anything official have come out as of Sunday night.

Jenkins will undergo an MRI and further testing.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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