Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
It all comes down to this. In more ways than one.
The Green Bay Packers need a win to clinch a first-round bye, but have already clinched at least a home game for Wild Card Weekend.
The Minnesota Vikings need a win to reach the postseason.
Adrian Peterson needs 207 yards to tie Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark (2,105 yards). He needs 102 yards to reach the 2,000-yard mark.
It's a big game for both sides.
Check back here throughout the game for live updates and analysis.
These two teams will meet next weekend for the Wild-Card round. Minnesota showed it could battle Green Bay at Lambeau Field and defeated the Packers at Mall of America Field today.
In both those games Adrian Peterson rushed for over 175 yards, something that shouldn't be expected but shouldn't be ruled out either. He's having an unheard of season and that should continue next week.
Get excited people. It should be another great game next week.
FINAL: Vikings 37, Packers 34:
The Minnesota Vikings are headed back to the postseason following a 3-13 season and finish 2012 with a 10-6 mark.
Adrian Peterson played his tail off and gave himself a great shot to break the single-season rushing mark, but fell 9 yards short of the Eric Dickerson mark.
Peterson told Pam Oliver on the Fox broadcast after the game that it was all about getting to the playoffs. And I genuinely believe him. But he definitely wanted that record. It was evident.
For the Packers, they played well. Their offense took too long to get moving and the defense was too cautious at the end of the game. There were too many holes for Christian Ponder to pick at. Even he, as an inadequate quarterback, could find receivers with good enough throws (see the wide open pass to Michael Jenkins).
1:54 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 34:
Is this a coming of age game for Christian Ponder?
That was a nice throw to find Michael Jenkins, although it didn't hurt that Jenkins was wide open. He still had to make it nonetheless. There have been plenty where he hasn't hit wide open receivers.
2:00 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 34:
Well, it's definitely your time Christian Ponder. On third and 11, there's no way the Vikings hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson on this one. He's very good, but tough to expect an 11-yard rush.
2:54 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 34:
This will be a phenomenal finish, whichever way it goes.
Christian Ponder came through once for Minnesota, but can he do it again? His history says he won't, which means Minnesota needs a big Adrian Peterson run (or two) to spark the offense with under three minutes to go. That would likely push Peterson past Eric Dickerson's mark of 2,105 yards.
The Packers still have the edge at this stage of the game because of Aaron Rodgers' arm. If it comes down to a field goal, then the Vikings have the edge.
Blair Walsh trumps Mason Crosby all day long.
2:57 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 27: A.J. Jefferson not only made too much contact with Jordy Nelson during his attempt to make a reception but Jefferson never made a play on the ball.
That's one of the easier pass interference calls for an official to make.
4:40 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 27:
Where Viking receivers drop fingertip reception attempts, Green Bay receivers haul them in.
Aaron Rodgers makes good throws, but his receivers make good grabs. It's a two-way street. It was a nice catch by Greg Jennings to pick up that first down.
5:25 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 27:
That was an unbelievable call by Mike McCarthy to have his offense go for it on that fourth and 2. It was a phenomenal play by Jarrett Boykin to make that catch despite the pass interference committed against him.
7:35 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 27: Vikings will miss Antoine Winfield THAT MUCH more with the game on the line and Aaron Rodgers in a position to win the game.
A.J. Jefferson and Marcus Sherels aren't the best guys to have out there in the secondary with the game on the line.
7:54 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 34, Packers 27: Christian Ponder makes the biggest pass of his career with that touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins.
In Week 14 that would have been picked off.
9:27 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 27: Refs made the right call on that hands to the face. Tramon Williams was certainly up in Jerome Simpson's grill in an illegal manner.
Vikings bailed out by a Packer losing his cool.
Minneapolis media members react to Christian Ponder's 65-yard completion:
12:00 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 27: Well, I didn't see that monster play to Jarius Wright coming.
When Christian Ponder sat in the pocket for an extended period of time all I could think was, "Interception." Ponder doesn't perform well in that type of situation.
He showed otherwise on that 65-yard completion, which was his longest of the season.
Fourth Quarter 12:21 - Vikings 27, Packers 27: It's come down to this. It's all tied up in Minneapolis, which gives the Green Bay Packers the edge.
Green Bay has the offensive personnel to reel off points in bunches, while Minnesota relies on Adrian Peterson to break off a miraculous run for its quick points.
ADVANTAGE: Green Bay.
13:30 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 24: Antoine Winfield is out with a broken arm. Marcus Sherels is NOT qualified to be playing on the field on this day.
Sherels is overly tentative and appears afraid of contact. On a recent reception by Jermichael Finley, Sherels was VERY hesitant to stick his neck out to make a play.
14:15 Fourth Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 24: This is exactly the situation the Vikings didn't want to be in.
The Packer offense is rolling. The receivers are getting open and making plays while Aaron Rodgers is finding them.
The defense is on its heels and the offense hasn't done much as of late.
1:51 Third Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 24: Why the Vikings are trying to get overly cute with Christian Ponder is beyond me. Adrian Peterson is the workhorse. Adrian Peterson is the offense.
Let him run wild.
2:04 Third Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 24: It seems silly that you can throw the challenge flag and get away with it if the play is already under review but you cannot get away with that if the refs haven't begun the review process yet.
The NFL should get its rules to be more uniform. Lions coach Jim Schwartz is fuming somewhere.
2:04 Third Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 17: This drills the nail on the head.
2:04 Third Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 20: Look for that fumble to be overturned and for the Packers to retain possession.
Report that Jerome Felton has been taken to the locker room to be checked for concussion-like symptoms. That's not good news for a Minnesota team that needs its best lead-blocker available to pave the way for Adrian Peterson.
4:06 Third Quarter - Vikings 27, Packers 17: The Vikings NEEDED that touchdown. They were backpedaling very quickly and were in a position to fall behind.
The Packers need a response, and I have no doubt one will come.
5:19 Third Quarter - Vikings 20, Packers 17: If the Vikings are smart when this drive is on the line they will go to Adrian Peterson.
6:11 Third Quarter - Vikings 20, Packers 17: That right there was Jerome Felton's best non-blocking play of the season. It was just his third reception of the season and Minnesota needed.
And that fumble by Adrian Peterson should be overturned. Minnesota will get the ball back and still be driving on the Packers.
8:17 Third Quarter - Vikings 20, Packers 17: You don't see Aaron Rodgers commit too many turnovers. Great pursuit by Brian Robison to make that play possible.
Minnesota needed that, badly.
The momentum was all in Green Bay's favor at that point and showed no sign of stopping. The Green Bay offense has its act together.
The Minnesota offense is on warning.
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