Halftime: Vikings score 13 unanswered points, lead Packers at Lambeau
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With a 2-8 record in November, the Minnesota Vikings' annual trip to Lambeau Field was rightfully advertised as a dud with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers out.
But the Vikings received promising showings from rookies Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson in Sunday's first half. Running back Adrian Peterson's one-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left before halftime gave the Vikings a 13-7 lead at intermission.
Packers third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien used a pump fake and a video-game like spin move to evade Vikings' defenders en route to a six-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for the 7-0 lead.
Kicker Blair Walsh converted on 36- and 47-yard field goal attempts before Peterson's touchdown made it 13 unanswered points for the Vikings before half. Rhodes recorded three pass deflections in the first half, including on back-to-back plays on receiver James Jones to stall a Packers' second-quarter drive.
Linebacker Audie Cole got the start for linebacker Erin Henderson, who is inactive after missing practice all week due to a personal matter. Cole recorded a sack on the first play of his first career start as the Vikings brought Tolzien down twice in the first half.
Patterson continued his reign as the NFL's leading return man after his 57-yard return help set up a Vikings' field goal in the first quarter. He led all receivers with four catches for 25 yards on seven targets.
Receiver Greg Jennings (Achilles) was active after being listed as questionable for his return to Lambeau Field. The former Packers receiver was not targeted on quarterback Christian Ponder's 14 pass attempts in the first half.
Ponder missed on just three attempts, one landed in the arms of cornerback Davon House, who dropped the interception. Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford also dropped an interception thrown his way by Tolzien.
Peterson's second-quarter fumble remains the only turnover in the game as the Vikings forced four punts. Packers punter Tim Masthay did not have to punt in the 44-31 win at the Metrodome on Oct. 27.