NFL

Jefferson's big day lifts Vikings to rivalry win over Packers, Barkley shines in Giants triumph

By Sports Desk September 11, 2022

The Minnesota Vikings earned an important divisional win at home in Week 1, defeating the Green Bay Packers 23-7 after a massive game from star receiver Justin Jefferson on Sunday.

Jefferson was named second-team All-Pro last year in his second season in the league, and he showed against the Packers why many feel he could be the top wide receiver in the entire league.

He had three catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on the first drive alone, before going on to finish with gaudy figures of nine catches for 184 yards and two scores.

While Jefferson was the offensive star, the Vikings' defense was the reason they won the game, holding the Packers scoreless in the first half to head into the long break leading 17-0.

With Aaron Rodgers' former top target Davante Adams traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in the offseason, he struggled to move the ball downfield. While Adams racked up 10 catches and 141 yards from 17 targets in his Raiders debut, no Green Bay receiver finished with more than Romeo Doubs' four catches for 37 yards from five targets, although running back A.J. Dillon did reach 46 receiving yards after some garbage-time action.

Coming off back-to-back league MVP awards, Rodgers finished a disappointing 22-of-34 for 195 yards, throwing one interception and no touchdowns. He was also sacked four times by the impressive Vikings pass rush, including one by former Packers edge rusher Za'Darius Smith.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins enjoyed a clean start to the season, going 23-of-32 for 277 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions, while top running back Dalvin Cook was strong with 20 carries for 90 yards.

Barkley announces return to form in Giants win

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley had not scored a touchdown since Week 4 of last season, but he found form again in style as he carried his side to a 21-20 win on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

Barkley, the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, had been questioned about if he would ever return to his best, but he looked like the old Barkley against the Titans as he piled up 164 yards and a touchdown from 18 carries, while adding six catches for 30 yards through the air.

As well as dominating through the middle stages of the contest, he also delivered in a big spot to decide the game, converting a two-point conversion after Daniel Jones threw what ended up being the game-winning touchdown with one minute to play.

The Titans got the ball back and worked their way into field goal range, but with a chance to hit a walk-off game winner, Randy Bullock pulled the 47-yard kick left to gift the win to the Giants.

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