MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Cordarrelle Patterson set an NFL record with a 109-yard return on the opening kickoff and Aaron Rodgers threw for 80 yards and a touchdown as the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers were tied 7-7 after the first quarter on Sunday night.
Rodgers was 6 for 6 on third downs in the first quarter, including an 11-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson to help the Packers take some of the air out of the Metrodome after Patterson started things with a bang.
Adrian Peterson had 12 yards on three carries and Christian Ponder completed one pass for 9 yards in Minnesota's only offensive series of the quarter.
Patterson nearly stepped out of the back of the end zone when fielding the opening kickoff, then flew straight up the gut and went untouched to light up the dome. Micah Hyde was the only Packer to have a chance at bringing down Patterson, but he missed him, and the speedy rookie easily got the corner on kicker Tim Masthay to go the distance.
Three players had 108-yard returns, the most recent being Baltimore's Jacoby Jones against Dallas last season. It also tied the record for longest play in NFL history, matching the 109-yard touchdown return of a missed field goal by Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie against the Vikings in the Metrodome in 2007.
It was the perfect scenario for the Vikings and Ponder, who regained his starting job thanks to a concussion for Josh Freeman.
Patterson's second kick return for a TD fired up the home crowd, but did little to rattle Rodgers. The cool-headed Packers quarterback drove Green Bay right down the field, completing 6 of 7 passes, including a perfectly thrown pass to Nelson in the back of the end zone to tie the game.
Rodgers completed 10 of 12 passes in the quarter, which is nothing new against Minnesota.
In 12 career games against the Vikings, Rodgers has completed 70.7 percent of his passes for a 116.4 quarterback rating, the best mark against one opponent since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970. With Rodgers leading the way, the Packers have turned this once-heated rivalry into an entirely one-sided affair. They have won six of their last seven against the Vikings, including the 24-10 victory in the playoffs last year.
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