GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Green Bay Packers pulled out a victory on a day to honor the team’s late great champion Bart Starr.
The final at Lambeau Field was 21-16.
After starting out the game with three touchdowns and a 21-point lead against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ offense froze up. The Vikings were able to put up 16 points, but self-inflicted wounds in the form of penalties and turnovers prevented them from taking advantage of the Packers’ offensive struggles.
The Packers defense took on the challenge. They racked up three takeaways—including a huge interception in the end zone by Kevin King.
Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Geronimo Allison all picked up TDs Sunday.
Jones had more than 20 carries and topped 100 yards.
A special halftime ceremony honored legend Bart Starr. Packers Hall of Famer Brett Favre escorted Cherry Starr and Bart Starr Jr. to the field for a celebration of No. 15. Cherry Starr shed tears as the team and the NFL remembered her late husband on the 50-yard line. CLICK HERE to watch the ceremony.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in Green Bay for the game. He was seen chatting with Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur before the game.
Make sure you watch Cover 2 at 10:35 p.m. The Action 2 Sports team will have highlights and post-game reaction. Packers RB Jamaal Williams joins us in studio. Action 2 Sports director Chris Roth will moderate Cover 2 On the Clock with ESPN's Rob Demovsky, ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde, and WTAQ's Mark Daniels. It's must-see viewing for Packers fans.
The Packers fail to convert on 3rd down. JK Scott punts. Flags are down on the return. Vikings hit with the penalty and start at their 23.
The Packers defense comes up strong again. Vikings punt.
"The Packers have only blown a 21-point lead three previous times in franchise history and it hasn't happened since November 1983 against the Falcons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. They lead 21-16 with 11:48 to go after being up 21-0," says Rob Demovsky.
The Packers are called for holding and punter JK Scott is back again to punt.
Packers S Raven Greene is out of the game with an ankle injury.
"LaFleur's play calling was creative in building the lead, it's gone stale since, need something unique to finish," says Mark Daniels.
“LaFleur just brought the entire offense on the sideline and had a big speech," says Matt Hietpas.
The Packers have had nine-straight drives without a point since opening the game with three touchdowns.
The Packers defense comes up big again. Kevin King intercepts Cousins in the end zone.
The Packers offense fails to take advantage of the turnover and go three-and-out.
The defense saves the day again and the Packers take over with just over three minutes. RB Aaron Jones picks up a 1st down and tops 100 yards of rushing for the game. He's had more than 20 carries.
Rodgers connects with Davante Adams for another 1st Down.
The Packers punt with a few seconds left. They hold on to the game with a 21-16 victory.
The Packers sit at the top of the division after defeating the Bears and Vikings.
Packers S Raven Greene is injured at the start of the 3rd. He's carted off the field with an apparent foot or ankle injury.
The Packers defense holds the Vikings to three-and-out.
Aaron Rodgers connects with Davante Adams to convert on third down. Rodgers winces and flexes his right hand after the throw.
Rodgers fumbles on a low snap and the Vikings take over at the 42.
"Packers have failed to capitalize on early momentum. Low snap and fumble had Minnesota in business, but Packers defense has only given up two big plays all game. Let’s see what transpires," says Dave Schroeder.
Kirk Cousins connects with Stefon Diggs for a 47-yard touchdown. The refs call Diggs for unsportsmanlike conduct for taking his helmet off while on the field. The penalty pushes back the extra point. Tony Brown blocks extra point. Packers - 21 Vikings - 16.
"Jaire [Alexander] committed a terrible error, only tried to play the ball, should have also played receiver, gave that TD away, could gave easily broken it up if that were his first goal," says Dave Schroeder.
Rodgers is sacked for the first time in the game. Packers are forced to punt.
The Packers challenge a 30-yard reception from Cousins to Adam Thielen. The ruling stands. It's a catch. The Packers have one time out left.
The Packers defense comes through again and the Vikings punt.
Packers RB Aaron Jones runs it in for a two-yard touchdown. Mason Crosby hits the extra point. Packers - 21 Vikings - 0.
Packers' Darnell Savage misses a tackle and Dalvin Cook scores on a 75-yard run. Packers -21 Vikings - 7.
"It was the Packers' first time since 2014 with a TD on each of the first three offensive possessions of the game, but Dalvin Cook's 75-yard run shows it's not over," says Rob Demovsky.
Davante Adams fumbles and the Vikings take over. The Packers defense shuts down Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and the offense. Vikings punt.
The Packers are unable to convert on 3rd and 1 and JK Scott punts.
The Vikings go three-and-out and punt.
Rodgers airs out a perfect pass to Davante Adams but Harrison Smith is there and its incomplete. Vikings defense holds strong. JK Scott punts.
Packers defense shines again as Preston Smith picks off Kirk Cousins.
"Preston Smith with terrific series, sniffed out play-action and forced incomplete, then snares tipped pass for interception," says Chris Roth. Preston Smith will be our guest on next week's Cover 2.
Aaron Rodgers has not been sacked in the first half.
The Packers try to go for it on 4th down, but fail to convert. "Sure looked like Rodgers thought it was a first down and not fourth and 1," says Rob Demovsky.
"I have never seen that before. I’ve seen Rodgers think he had offsides and not get it, but he thought he had a first down and ran fourth down play they got stuffed," says Dave Schroeder.
Vikings QB Kirk Cousin connects with Chad Beebe and then with Stefon Diggs for a three-yard touchdown. The Packers challenge the play and win due to offensive pass interference. TD is off the board.
Packers' Jaire Alexander continues to shine--knocking pass away from Diggs.
Vikings kicker Dan Bailey hits the field goal. Packers - 21 Vikings - 10.
The Packers waste and opportunity to score prior to the end of the half. Vikings take over with 30 seconds to go. Vikings are hit with pass interference. First half ends.
"Oh boy, Rodgers caught barking towards LaFleur on broadcast.....have at it Twitter (just remember we don't know what was said or why)," says Chris Roth.
The Vikings win the coin toss and defer.
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams open the game with a 39-yard reception.
Rodgers connects with RB Aaron Jones for 6 yards, then goes to him again for 15 yards.
Cover 2 guest RB Jamaal Williams finishes off the opening drive with a 15-yard touchdown on a screen pass. Mason Crosby hits the extra point. Packers - 7 Vikings - 0. Cover 2 panelist Rob Demovsky says that was Rodgers' first opening TD drive against the Vikings since 2013.
Chris Roth says it took the Packers offense five drives against the Bears to rack up 75 yards. Today it took five plays.
The Vikings eke their way into field goal territory, but kicker Dan Bailey misses a 47-yarder. Packers - 7 Vikings - 0
"Lambeau Field is simply a house of horrors for Vikings field goal kickers, to the chagrin of their coach Mike Zimmer," says Dave Schroeder.
The Packers take over and quickly find themselves at 3rd and. Rodgers converts with a 13-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Rodgers and Adams connect twice on third downs and move into the red zone. "Packers have converted more third downs on this drive than they did last Thursday night," says Mark Daniels.
Rodgers connects with Geronimo Allison for a 12-yard touchdown. Crosby hits the extra point. Packers - 14 Vikings - 0.
"Matt LaFleur and Rodgers taking advantage of depleted Vikings secondary, Adams abusing MIN slot defenders early," says Chris Roth.
Kenny Clark sacks Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and Dean Lowry recovers the fumble. Packers take over.
The Packers wrap up the quarter with 167 yards and two touchdowns.
Davante Adams has four catches for 81 yards.
Packers fans are breathing a sigh of relief to see David Bakhtiari active on the O-line. He was questionable earlier this week.
These are the players who won't be suiting up:
WR Darrius Shepherd
RB Dexter Williams
CB Kadar Hollman
LB Oren Burks
G Cole Madison
G Lucas Patrick
DL Kingsley Keke
CB Mackensie Alexander
CB Mike Hughes
LB Ben Gedeon
G Pat Elflein
T Olisaemeka Udoh
DT Jalyn Holmes
DT Armon Watts