Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Final Grades, Analysis for Minnesota

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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Final Grades, Analysis for Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-34 on Sunday afternoon at Mall of America Field to win their fourth straight game and qualify for the NFC playoffs as the sixth seed.

The Vikings will have a rematch against the Packers at Lambeau Field next weekend in the first round of the playoffs.

Adrian Peterson gave a convincing final argument as the league MVP, rushing for 199 yards on a career high 34 carries and scoring a pair of touchdowns.

Peterson finished the season with 2,097 yards, finishing just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's season rushing record, but can walk away smiling as his brutally hard running eventually wore down the Packers defense at got the Vikings the win and the playoff berth.

Nobody would have expected the Vikings to win a shootout with the Packers and they'd do well to avoid one next weekend, but the Vikings got enough contributions on both sides of the ball to come out on top Sunday.

Final Score:

Minnesota Vikings 37 Green Bay Packers 34

Blair Walsh drilled a 29-yard field goal as the clock ran out to give the Minnesota Vikings a 37-34 win over the Green Bay Packers and send the Vikings into the playoffs as the sixth seed in the NFC.

Adrian Peterson ripped through the Packers defense on the last drive, but finished nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's season rushing record, finishing with 2,097 yards on the season.

Stay with us for fourth quarter grades and then final grades and analysis.

Minnesota Vikings 34 Green Bay Packers 34

Aaron Rodgers slices up the Vikings secondary on a 11 play, 78-yard drive that's capped off by a 2-yard touchdown throw to Jordy Nelson to tie things up in Minneapolis with just under three minutes to play.

Rodgers is picking on A.J. Jefferson and Marcus Sherels as the Vikings secondary is currently missing both Antoine Winfield and Harrison Smith who have been hurt.

MInnesota Vikings 34 Green Bay Packers 27

The Minnesota Vikings answer a Packer's field goal with a touchdown to grab a 34-27 lead with just under eight minutes to play.

Christian Ponder found Michael Jenkins in the end zone from 3 yards out to put the Vikings back in the lead.

The Vikings moved 79 yards in seven plays for the go-ahead score that was aided immensely by a 15-yard personal foul on Packers corner Tramon Williams that gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs on the red zone.

End of 3rd Quarter

Minnesota Vikings 27 Green Bay Packers 24

This game is getting crazy very quickly. 

Aaron Rodgers hits James Jones with an 8-yard touchdown pass that is initially ruled a fumble and a turnover to the Vikings. Packers coach Mike McCarthy threw his red flag on a play that was already being reviewed. The review calls it a touchdown and the Packers are given a 15-yard penalty for the challenge flag.

Minnesota Vikings 27 Green Bay Packers 17

The Vikings convert a Packers turnover with a huge touchdown to push their lead back to 10 points, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to Adrian Peterson. Peterson was wide open after taking a play fake from Ponder who rolled to his left.

Peterson set up the score with a 28-yard run deep into Green Bay territory.

Minnesota Vikings 20 Green Bay Packers 17

The Packers waste no time tightening things back up to start the third quarter, marching 80 yards in just six plays, capped off when Aaron Rodgers found Greg Jennings all alone in the end zone from five yards out.

Rodgers hooked up with James Jones on a nice 30-yard run and catch that moved the ball into Vikings territory.

Halftime Score:

Minnesota Vikings 20 Green Bay Packers 10

Mason Crosby drills a 51-yard field goal to end the first half and pull the Packers to within 10 points of the Vikings at the break.

Rodgers shook off a late sack by the Vikings Everson Griffen and hit Jermichael Finley with a big gain that put the Packers in field goal range with two seconds left on the clock.

Minnesota Vikings 20 Green Bay Packers 7

The Minnesota get perhaps their biggest touchdown of the season, an 8-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to Jarius Wright that pushes the Vikings lead back to 13 points with just over a minute left in the first half.

The drive was set up by a 41-yard kickoff return by Marcus Sherels.  

Minnesota Vikings 13 Green Bay Packers 7

Aaron Rodgers hits a wide open Greg Jennings in the end zone for the Packers first score of the day, a touchdown from 3 yards out that cuts the Vikings lead to six.

Jeremy Ross set up the Packers with great field position with a 32-yard punt return.

The Packers offense held the ball for over five minutes as they moved 42-yards in 12 plays to keep the game close in the second quarter.

Minnesota Vikings 13 Green Bay Packers 0

Blair Walsh converts from 37 yards out to push the Vikings lead to 13-0.

The Vikings gained 34 yards on an 11-play drive that was highlighted by a 6-yard run by Adrian Peterson on fourth and one and then a 10-yard completion from Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph on third and seven.

End of First Quarter:

Minnesota Vikings 10 Green Bay Packers 0

Adrian Peterson caps off the Vikings second possession with a 7-yard touchdown run to stake the Vikings to a 10-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.

Peterson already has 61 yards rushing and needs just 147 more to break Eric Dickerson's single season record.

Minnesota Vikings 3 Green Bay Packers 0

The Packers and Vikings are underway at Mall of America Field and the Vikings have jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a 54-yard field goal by Pro-Bowl rookie kicker Blair Walsh.

Christian Ponder threw for two first downs and Adrian Peterson ran for another during the opening drive of the game.

Game Preview:

The stakes couldn't be much higher for the Minnesota Vikings as they get set to host the Green Bay Packers in the season finale on Sunday at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis.

Win and the Vikings are in the playoffs, more than likely setting up a rematch against the Packers at Lambeau Field next weekend. The Vikings could lose Sunday and still qualify for the playoffs, but it would be a long shot, as they'd need three other teams—Chicago, Dallas, and the New York Giants—to lose as well.

A win over their arch-rival on the final Sunday of the regular season would cap off a tremendous turnaround campaign for the Vikings, who are looking for their 10th win of the season just a year after bottoming out at 3-13.

The Packers have much to play for as well, as a win over Minnesota would clinch a first-round bye and extend their NFC North winning streak to 13 games.

Both teams enter Sunday's game on hot streaks—the Packers having won four straight and nine of their last 10, while the Vikings have won three straight games to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the game's biggest subplot. Peterson needs to rush for 102 yards to become the seventh player to crack the 2,000 yard barrier and he needs 207 yards to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. Peterson rushed for 210 yards against the Packers on December 2, so it is certainly possible.

The NFL MVP Award may come down to the last week of the season as well, as Peterson and Peyton Manning seem to be running neck and neck through 15 games.

You can see that game at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX. Also, stay with us all day long for instant grades and analysis for the Vikings. 

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