GREEN BAY, Wis. — Terry Allen couldn't hide or fret for long Sunday. His new coach with the Minnesota Vikings, Dennis Green, wouldn't let him.
Allen bounced back from an overtime fumble, breaking loose on a 45-yard run to set up the game-winning 25-yard field goal by Fuad Reveiz, and the Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers, 23-20, in a meeting of rookie head coaches.
"It would have been easy for the coach to get down on me," said Allen, who rushed for 140 yards in 12 carries. "But I think he knows a lot about football. He knows a running back is going to fumble sometimes.
"I'm glad he did it. Maybe it's a character builder for me."
The Vikings weren't as dominant as they were while outscoring four exhibition opponents, 140-6.
The Packers tied the score, 20-20, on Chris Jacke's 24-yard field goal with 1:57 left in regulation. Then the overtime became a series of slips and errors on a field that was slick because of a fourth-quarter rain.
But Allen, who fumbled after a 17-yard gain earlier in overtime when he was stripped by Lewis Billups, found his footing on a draw play, carrying to the Packer 11 after weaving through the Green Bay defense.
"Did I think I was going all the way?" said Allen, who also had a 51-yard run to set up a fourth-quarter touchdown. "I was too tired to go all the way. All we were trying to do was get the ball down there and kick the field goal.
"I felt bad when I fumbled. I had to come back for myself and my team."
Green's first NFL coaching victory came at the expense of his good friend, Mike Holmgren. Both coached with the San Francisco 49ers under Bill Walsh.
Green Bay's Don Majkowski completed his first pass of overtime for his 13th consecutive completion, but had a pass intercepted and threw four incompletions on his next five attempts. After Allen's run, Viking quarterback Rich Gannon carried for two yards before Reveiz kicked his third field goal of the game with 4:40 left.
The Vikings took a 20-17 lead in the final quarter on Gannon's second touchdown pass of the game to Hassan Jones, a four-yarder between two defenders set up by Allen's 51-yard run.