MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WFRV) – For the second straight opener, the Green Bay Packers couldn’t get over the hump away from home.

This time, however, it may have greater implications in the NFC North Division.

The Minnesota Vikings built a 17-0 halftime lead at U.S. Bank Stadium, wide receiver Justin Jefferson set a career high with 184 receiving yards to go with two touchdowns, and the Packers (0-1) couldn’t finish a pair of key drives in a 23-7 loss to their division rivals.

Green Bay had a scarce few opportunities to put points on the board in a somewhat disjointed offensive performance, but when the Packers had their chances, they failed to convert multiple times.

After Minnesota took a 7-0 lead with a 75-yard opening drive, the Green & Gold tried to get it back in one shot – and almost did.

On Green Bay’s first offensive play from scrimmage, quarterback Aaron Rodgers lofted a perfect ball to rookie wide receiver Christian Watson on a go-route. The second-round pick from North Dakota State almost surely would’ve scored, leading Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson by three steps at the time the ball arrived.

Instead, Watson dropped it – an omen for what would play out over the next three hours in Minneapolis.

Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, Green Bay strung together a nine-play, 79-yard drive down to the Vikings’ one-yard line. But on a run-pass option on fourth and goal, Rodgers handed the ball off to AJ Dillon, who was stuffed at the goal line by a convoy of purple jerseys, including former Packer Za’Darius Smith.

The Vikings turned that fourth-down stop into another score, converting a short field goal to make it 10-0.

Just before half, as the Packers’ offense sputtered, Minnesota found life again. Harrison Smith picked off Rodgers for the quarterback’s first interception against an NFC North opponent since 2019, giving the ball back to a surging Vikes offense.

From Green Bay’s 36-yard line on the ensuing possession, Kirk Cousins dropped back and found a wide open Jefferson streaking over the middle for his second touchdown of the game. Replays indicated the Vikings’ third-year receiver exploiting zone coverage, and the Packers couldn’t get within 10 yards of Jefferson before he hauled in the football and eventually snuck inside the pylon for the score.

Trailing 17-0 at half, the Packers got the ball to start the second – but things didn’t improve. A swarm of purple jerseys sacked Rodgers on a first-down play inside Minnesota territory, causing the MVP to fumble and knocking out starting left guard Jon Runyan Jr. with a concussion.

Vikings kicker Greg Joseph booted a career-long 56-yard field goal to extend the lead to 20-0.

Green Bay finally got the offense going on the following drive, with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combining for 46 yards on the possession and Dillon eventually punctuating the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Trailing 23-7 with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter, Rodgers and the Packers offense put together a lengthy drive – 57 yards into the Minnesota red zone.

But on both third and fourth downs, each with a yard to go, Rodgers went to the air – the first on a shallow out to Watson and the second on a hole shot to tight end Robert Tonyan Jr. at the goal line. Both passes fell incomplete to seal the game’s fate.

Green Bay returns to action next Sunday night against the Chicago Bears (1-0) at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is set for 7:20 p.m. CT.