The debut of the new $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium was positively majestic Sunday night. However, it was Sam Bradford’s debut as the Vikings’ starting quarterback that stole the show.
Bradford threw for two touchdowns and the reigning NFC North Champs harassed Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers enough to claim a thrilling 17-14 victory and remain on top of the division.
With Bradford under center, the Vikings’ red zone efficiency also took a step in the right direction.
The Vikings ran four plays in the red zone (four pass and 0 runs) on one possession and scored one touchdown. Bradford was 4-for-4 in the red zone. The Packers had eight offensive snaps in the red zone (four pass and four runs) on three possessions, scoring two touchdowns.
Red Zone Notes:
Thanks to a blocked punt and a pass interference penalty by Terrence Newman, the Packers reached the red zone first. With no score in the game and just under six minutes to play in the first quarter, the Packers knocked on the door with a 1st-and-goal from the four yard line.
The Vikings’ run defense rose to the occasion, holding Eddie Lacy in check on his first two red zone rushing attempts. However, a well designed play action pass on third down fooled Trae Waynes as Jordy Nelson escaped in the flat for an easy touchdown.