Aaron Rodgers and the Packers Handle the Vikings in Rodgers' First Start, 24-19September 8, 2008
Aaron Rodgers was very impressive in his first start for the Green Bay Packers, going 18-for-22 for 178 yards and a touchdown while also accumulating a touchdown run as the Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 24-19.
The Packers were outgained by the Vikings 357-319 but the Vikings were only 1 for 3 in the red zone and Tarvaris Jackson only went 16 for 35 with 178 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
This was Rodgers' first start of his NFL career and his first career win. Rodgers performed much better than expected, but it was against a pass defense that was the worst in the NFL last year. Packers fans shouldn't expect too much more of this, but Rodgers showed that he isn't a mediocre player tonight.
Perhaps the highlight of the game was after Rodgers' 1-yard touchdown run with 6:03 left in which he took his first "Lambeau Leap" into the stands. That gave the Packers a 24-12 lead. The Vikings would score once more, but could not recover the onside kick. The Packers had to give the ball back but Jackson was picked off on Minnesota's last drive.
The biggest play of the game was Will Blackmon's 76-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 17-6 lead in the third quarter. Adrian Peterson gained 103 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown for the Vikings and Ryan Grant gained 92 yards on 12 carries with a long run of 57 for the Packers.