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MINNEAPOLIS — Once Kirk Cousins and the

  • Minnesota Vikings took the lead on Green Bay [url=]Alexander Mattison Jersey Womens[/url] , they played with a fierce refusal to let it go.They held onto the ball with the same determination.More Packers coverageBucks’ Wes Matthews loves Wisconsin, is a Vikings fanPreview: Packers look to slow Vikings’ revitalized run gameTop Tweets: Yelich thanks fans for support after season-ending injuryAmos sparks rebuilt Packers defense in debutPackers to be tested again by familiar foe in Zimmer, VikingsCousins bounced back from his worst game of the season with 342 passing yards and three touchdowns without a fumble or an interception, and the Vikings overcame some early gaffes to outlast the depleted Packers for a 24-17 victory on Sunday night.Completing 29 of his 38 attempts, Cousins found Dalvin Cook , Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen for scores. Diggs and Thielen had eight receptions apiece.“It just kind of shows his character, shows what kind of player he is, to be able to just not really care what people talk about him, not really care about what happened last week,” Thielen said of Cousins, adding: “The throws he was making, his full game was really impressive. That’s what you expect out of him.”Sheldon Richardson had two sacks to lead the defense’s game-long stifling of Aaron Rodgers, and the Vikings (6-4-1) pushed the Packers (4-6-1) further back in the NFC wild card race.The Vikings won a night game for the first time this season after losing to the top three teams in the NFC: to the Rams in Los Angeles, at home to the New Orleans Saints and at Chicago in a two-interception game by Cousins against the first-place Bears. The Vikings entered the weekend with the fourth-most turnovers in the NFL, and Cousins has been charged with 13 of the 16 giveaways. Coach Mike Zimmer was so impressed by the way Cousins played against the Packers that he gave him the game ball in the locker room afterward .“Last week left a bad taste in our mouths,” Cousins said, “and the chance to come back on Sunday night football against a division rival at home was a great opportunity, and I’m glad we made the most of it.”Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Davante Adams and Aaron Jones scored on a short run for a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, but the Packers fell to 0-6 on the road this season and 1-5-1 against the Vikings in their last seven meetings. Their final seven possessions produced only one field goal, with five punts and one turnover on downs.“We’ve all got to play better, myself included,” Rodgers said. “Started off the game nice. We had a couple good drives. We’re rolling there. We hit our unfortunate typical lull and didn’t get it going again.”With Randall Cobb out (hamstring) for a sixth game this season and rookies Equanimeous St. Brown (elbow) and Trevor Davis (hamstring) forced out in the second half [url=]Alexander Mattison Minnesota Vikings Jerseys[/url] , Rodgers didn’t have much to work with down the field. Left guard Lane Taylor (quadriceps) departed in the first half and left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) was sidelined in the second half, leaving the protection shaky at best. Rodgers finished 17 for 28 for 198 yards, without a turnover.The Packers failed to move the chains on eight of 10 third downs. Jones was stuffed on fourth-and-inches by Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter and Eric Kendricks midway through the third quarter, giving the Vikings the ball at the Green Bay 44. That set up a 37-yard field goal by Dan Bailey for Minnesota’s first lead of the game.“We’re definitely not in the position, record-wise, we thought we would be in coming into the year or even after this game. We thought we could get the victory. But unfortunately we ran out of gas,” Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. “We’re beat up, no doubt about that. But give them credit: They put in a full four quarters.”SLOW STARTThe Vikings outgained the Packers 280-139 in total yardage in the first half, but they had to settle for a tie at the break. About to go for it on fourth-and-inches on the opening drive following a timeout to strategize, they were penalized for 12 men on the field and had to punt.Diggs collided with Thielen when Jaire Alexander crashed their pick play on the second possession, and after Diggs tried to circle back the other way with an ill-fated salvage attempt he lost 10 yards on that reception to lead to another punt.Bailey’s wide left 48-yard try wasted another highlight-reel catch by Thielen in between Alexander and Josh Jones that went for 33 yards. Later in the second quarter, after some mismanagement of the clock, the Vikings had to hustle to set up a 51-yard kick for Bailey. That one was good, but Rashod Hill was called for a false start. The 56-yarder sliced right, the fifth straight missed field goal against the Packers after rookie Daniel Carlson went 0 for 3 in Green Bay and was cut the next day.PACKED AND HAPPY HOUSEThe announced attendance of 66,872 was the largest for the Vikings in three years at U.S. Bank Stadium. A handful of Minnesota players were introduced in the first quarter with Paul Bunyan’s Axe, the trophy the Gophers repossessed from the rival Badgers in Wisconsin on Saturday to end a 14-game losing streak. Randy Moss kept the crowd fired up in a halftime ceremony to receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring.INJURY REPORTPackers: In addition to the carnage on offense, SS Kentrell Brice aggravated an ankle injury in the first quarter and was knocked out of action in the third quarter with a possible concussion. CB Kevin King and CB Bashaud Breeland were already inactive with injuries.Vikings: RT Brian O’Neill left in the third quarter for evaluation for a possible concussion. … CB Xavier Rhodes limped off with an apparent injury to his right hamstring in the fourth quarter.UP NEXTPackers: Host Arizona (2-9) next Sunday afternoon.Vikings: Play at New England (8-3) next Sunday afternoon. The kids from Kansas City’s inner-city football program were already in the kind of happy-go-lucky mood that comes with a modest holiday shopping spree when they lined up to take a picture.Some were laughing. All of them were smiling.Then their idol stepped out from his hiding place and the screaming started.Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had taken time out of his day off Tuesday to show up at Dick’s Sporting Goods and surprise the kids from KC United. He took photographs, signed autographs and presented the team’s founder, local pastor Adrian Roberson, with $5 [url=]Minnesota Vikings Jerseys 2019[/url] ,000 to fund next season.“I have no words for it,” said Roberson, who broke into tears.Mahomes is arguably the hottest player in the NFL this season, his record-setting performance as a first-year starter helping the Chiefs to a 9-2 record. And not surprisingly, that has caused the demands on his time to skyrocket, from the unending interview requests to meet-and-greets and other events.Somehow, the 23-year-old quarterback has managed to take everything in stride.“I don’t know if it does something for me. It’s just part of being in this community,” Mahomes said the following day, before stepping onto the practice field to prepare for Sunday’s trip to Oakland.“This community loves football and they love each other,” Mahomes continued. “It’s more than just football. It’s being a good person and giving back to the community.”Mahomes has certainly ingrained himself in the community.He threw out a first pitch at a Royals game over the summer. He was the grand marshal for the NASCAR race, wearing a cutoff jersey from the T-Bones, the local minor league baseball team. He pops up at stores, concerts and restaurants as if he was anybody else, even sitting front row at Sprint Center last week to watch his college, Texas Tech, play in the Hall of Fame Classic basketball tournament.When he showed up at a Verizon store on Monday for a meet-and-greet, store officials were worried the crowd would be too large and asked that his appearance not be publicized. Several hundred people still found out, forming a line that snaked around the building as they awaited his arrival.“I feel the excitement and I feel the love not only for me but for the Kansas City Chiefs,” Mahomes said. “It’s special. This is a special place. There’s great people here. That’s one of the main reasons I love playing for this team.”VON’S KITSVon Miller is leading a $200,000 initiative to provide protective kits to first responders in mass shootings and improve local law enforcement relations.The donation from Miller, his teammates and the organization to SHIELD616, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit organization [url=]Replica Olisaemeka Udoh Jersey[/url] , will provide more than 125 advanced protective kits for police and firefighters responding to active shooter or mass shooting situations.“It’s been 300 mass shootings this year, and I’ve only heard about four. When I was hit with that information, it really hit home for me,” Miller said. “I’ve got personal ties with Colorado — of course, we had the shooting here at the theater my second year in the league — and really heavy ties in Dallas. It was what, two years ago that we had the shooting there.”Miller said his best friend is a police officer in Arlington, Texas, “so I can help him and some of his colleagues with some of these vests. It’s a real cool deal, the 616 initiative.”Miller spoke up at a team meeting last week to get his teammates on board with the initiative, and nearly 20 players pitched in, as did team president Joe Ellis, general manager John Elway, and coach Vance Joseph.SHIELD616 kits include a ballistic vest and helmet, along with a wound trauma kit, that upgrade standard equipment to protect against automatic weapons and assault rifles.The initiative also allows for donors to contact the first responders they are helping protect to foster ongoing relationships, the Broncos said.“It takes the unification of an entire community to not only better protect our first responders with physical armor, but to break down barriers between first responders and the citizens they serve,” said SHIELD616 President Jake Skifstad, a former police officer who founded the organization in 2015.“It’s priceless to see complete strangers invest in the safety of first responders, changing their lives and the lives of their families,” Skifstad said. “We are humbled and proud to see that Von Miller, his teammates and the Broncos are utilizing their God-given leadership gifts and influence to not only better protect our protectors [url=]Olisaemeka Udoh Jersey nfl draft[/url] , but to also help build positive community relations.”Joseph said he was proud of Miller for leading the initiative.“Von is a special person. He wants to help people,” Joseph said. “He’s a great teammate and he’s great in the community. This is huge for Von to provide resources for our first responders. Obviously there have been a number of shootings in our country. It’s a huge issue.”DAK THE DUCKLINGDak Prescott’s first game with Drew Brees on the other sideline was a chance for the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year to reflect on the Pro Bowl trip they shared during that magical year for the Dallas quarterback.Prescott had just led the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13 wins, while Brees got his 10th Pro Bowl nod following his record fifth 5,000-yard season. New Orleans had missed the playoffs for the third straight year, all 7-9 finishes. Prescott, who grew up in Louisiana, wasn’t thinking about those Saints records. He was thinking about Brees’ records.“You do everything you can,” Prescott said when asked if he picked Brees’ brain during those few days together. “Like a little duckling. You just follow Drew Brees and just figure out what he does, how he does stuff. I was thankful to have him. Drew opened up and he shared some things.”Prescott also noticed how Brees responded to those three straight losing seasons. With the 39-year-old having one of his best seasons in 2018, the Saints are on the verge of their second straight trip to the playoffs after winning 11 games last season.“He’s taking care of his body, has done all the right things,” Prescott said. “Especially facing adversity, facing the middle of his career and some people were saying he wouldn’t do what he has done now. It just speaks to the character of that guy.”HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?The Minnesota Vikings have been at the forefront of the creativity around the league since the celebration rules were relaxed last season to allow for more group play in the end zone.In a game at Chicago last year, the Vikings initiated a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” (or “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck,” as it’s called in Minnesota) after a touchdown reception by Kyle Rudolph. In their game against Green Bay last weekend, Dalvin Cook‘s catch, run and score prompted the assembly of a purple-colored limbo line.Cook exuberantly motioned his teammates over, as offensive linemen Tom Compton and Rashod Hill stood facing each other and wide receiver Adam Thielen was hoisted in the air to serve as the bar. Cook [url=]Minnesota Vikings Jerseys 2019[/url] , wide receiver Stefon Diggs and offensive lineman Brian O’Neill each strutted through, with their backs bent backward to try to slide underneath Thielen without touching him.“It was supposed to be the lightest guy on the field. Diggs was supposed to be up there, but Dalvin really wanted to do it, so I jumped up,” Thielen said.Said Cook: “I knew Diggs needed to be the one that comes behind me, because he’s more of the dancer.”Quarterback Kirk Cousins was impressed, though not enough to find a place in line.“When I heard they were going to do it I thought, ‘That one is going to be a tough one to pull together in 10 seconds,'” Cousins said. “But they did it. It was pretty good.”GETTING THEATRICALMiami Dolphins defensive end Andre Branch says he’s going to start flopping to draw the attention of officials when he’s held.“I saw J.J. Watt fall over, so I’m going to start doing that,” Branch said. “It’s time for me. I’m pulling out the Vlade Divac.”His latest source of frustration: Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo wasn’t called for holding Branch on a key play late in the Colts comeback win over the Dolphins last week.The video replay was tough to swallow, Branch said.“I jumped and I got pulled back,” he said. “That was the play of the game.”ALLIANCE QBSSome pro football washouts as quarterbacks might have another avenue back to the NFL: They now have teams in the Alliance of American Football.The Alliance, with eight teams that will begin play the week after the Super Bowl, conducted a four-round draft of only quarterbacks. Josh Johnson, who has made many stops in the NFL, was the top selection, by San Diego.Other players who have been on NFL rosters, whether in the regular season or preseason, were selected or protected by their regional franchise and will head to a league training camp in early January. Among those were Aaron Murray and Matt Simms by the Atlanta Legends; Garrett Gilbert and Stephen Morris by the Orlando Apollos; B.J. Daniels by the Salt Lake Stallions; Christian Hackenberg and Zach Mettenberg by the Memphis Express; and Scott Tolzien by the Birmingham Iron.
      January 7, 2020 3:41 AM CET