The Green Bay Packers fell just short in their season finale against the division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson also falls just short in his pursuit of the single season rushing yards record; he missed the record by nine yards in the Vikings 37-34 victory.
The Vikings’ win gives them a playoff birth and because the 49ers won their game, the Packers fall to the three seed. This means that the Packers and Vikings will do it all again next week in the first round of the playoffs.
In this game, the Vikings jumped out to a 13-0 lead and were really in control of every aspect of the game. The Vikings were moving the ball, mostly through Adrian Peterson, and their defense was shutting down the Packers offense, forcing three and outs and pushing Rodgers from the pocket on several occasions.
The Packers cut the Vikings lead to 13-7 after a drive that was capped off with a touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. But the Vikings answered with another touchdown. The Packers quickly added a field goal at the end of the half to only be down 20-10.
The second half of the game was back and forth, with both teams scoring several times but the Packers never lead in this game and every time the Packers scored, the Vikings had an answer.
Green Bay tied the game up with a sick back-shoulder pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. All the Packers defense had to do was hold Adrian Peterson and the Vikings offense for three minutes and the game would go into overtime.
But the game belonged to Vikings, who used a 25-yard pass play to get into field goal range, and then used a 26-yard run from Peterson, which meant that Blair Walsh only had to hit a 29-yard field goal for the win.
Green Bay played a solid game; they just fell behind too fast in that first quarter and the Vikings capitalized by taking a lead and never letting the Packers take the lead. Aaron Rodgers finished the game with 365 yards passing and four touchdowns. He did have a fumble that lead to a Vikings score and was sacked five times. The Packers got some sort of rushing game from DuJuan Harris but it wasn’t much of a factor in the second half.
But this was the Vikings game all the way through. They had everything to lose if they didn’t win this game because it meant missing the playoffs, and they play very well at home, especially this season. Also Adrian Peterson just wasn’t going to be stopped this game and even Christian Ponder did his part to make sure the Vikings won this game.
Minnesota played better throughout the whole game. The Packers had a slow first quarter but really ramped the offense up, especially in the second half. The Packers will need to find any way to slow down Peterson for the playoff game, but they have nearly a week to do that.
When the Packers and Vikings have their rematch, it will be in Lambeau and it will be a playoff game, which means that one mistake could lead to the Packers going home for the rest of the season. So the Packers will have to tighten up their play and get ready to make a playoff run.
Step number one? Figure out any possible way to slow down Adrian Peterson.