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The Minnesota Vikings defeated NFC North rivals the Green Bay Packers 37-34 at Mall of America Field to earn themselves the final NFC Wild Card position.
All eyes were on Adrian Peterson, who entered the game 208 yards away from Eric Dickerson’s rushing record. Peterson had an extremely effective game but fell nine yards shy of the record. Peterson carried the ball for a career high – 34 times for 199 yards and one touchdown. Peterson also had one reception that was a touchdown.
Vikings quarterback, Christian Ponder played mistake free football to help Minnesota win a fourth straight game and clinch a spot in the playoffs. He completed 16 of 28 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. His three touchdown passes was a season high along with his 120.2 passer rating.
Rookie wideout Jarius Wright caught an eight yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the first half. Ponder connected with Wright again in the fourth quarter on a 65 yard bomb, that later resulted in a Michael Jenkins three yard touchdown catch.
Wright led the Vikings with three catches for 90 yards along with his touchdown. Also wideout Michael Jenkins had three catches for 37 yards along with his touchdown grab.
As for the Packers, they were unable to take a lead the entire game and found themselves fighting back until the final whistle.
Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers completed 28 of 40 passes for 365 yards and four touchdown passes. His 365 passing yards was a season best and it was the fourth time this season he threw at least four touchdown passes.
Rodgers favorite target was wideout Greg Jennings. Jennings caught eight passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns and his big performance helped the Packers stay competitive the entire game. Wideout, James Jones was the recipient of Rodgers second touchdown pass in the third quarter. Rodgers and wideout Jordy Nelson connected on a two yard back shoulder pass to tie the game 34-34 with less than three minutes to go.
Green Bay was led on the ground by back, DuJuan Harris. Harris had 14 carries for 70 yards. Although, having some success the Packers were forced to throw the ball because they were trailing the entire game.
With the loss the Vikings snapped Green Bay’s 12-game winning streak over the NFC North division.
The Packers are now the No. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs and will face the No. 6 seed Vikings next week in the Wild Card Round.
Image Courtesy : Minnesota Vikings