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Aaron Rodgers, Packers Eyed as NFC Playoff Sleeper by Fans After Demolishing Vikings

Erin WalshJanuary 2, 2023

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 01: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing a touchdown pass during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on January 01, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images)
Kayla Wolf/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41-17 on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field and are still very much alive in the NFC playoff picture after improving to 8-8 on the season.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 15 of 24 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown in the win, but Green Bay's defense and special teams were the highlight of the day.

Cornerback Keisean Nixon returned a kick return 105 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to give the Packers a 7-3 lead before safety Darnell Savage Jr. intercepted Kirk Cousins and returned the ball for a touchdown to give the team a 14-3 lead in the opening frame.

Green Bay Packers @packers

1️⃣0️⃣5️⃣ YARDS TO THE HOUSE! 🏠<br><br>TOUCHDOWN <a href="https://twitter.com/keiseannixon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@keiseannixon</a> 🙌 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MINvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MINvsGB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a><br><br>📺 CBS <a href="https://t.co/FNlbAotCdd">pic.twitter.com/FNlbAotCdd</a>

Green Bay Packers @packers

🚨 PICK-SIX ALERT 🚨<br><br>TOUCHDOWN <a href="https://twitter.com/darnellsavage_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@darnellsavage_</a> 🙌 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MINvsGB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MINvsGB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoPackGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoPackGo</a><br><br>📺 CBS <a href="https://t.co/DYXyoPvxst">pic.twitter.com/DYXyoPvxst</a>

The Green Bay defense finished the game having forced four turnovers. They also limited Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson to one catch for 15 yards, and Minnesota totaled 346 yards of offense.

Following the win, the Packers were touted as playoff sleepers by NFL Twitter:

Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

(The Vikings should lose next week to avoid playing the Packers in the first round).

Jason McIntyre @jasonrmcintyre

Packers soaking up all of the oxygen in the playoff discussion and that's fine.<br><br>Quietly, Chargers are pounding the Rams, 31-10. Straight Fire listeners know

Ian Kenyon @IanKenyonNFL

The Packers were 4-9 and are somehow on the brink of a "run the table" season. Magic.

Brooke Pryor @bepryor

The Packers looked DOA midway through the season. Now? They'll enter Week 18 on the brink of making the playoffs. <br><br>Aaron Rodgers is really going to do this isn't he?

Nate Wimberly WBTV @NateWimberly

The Green Bay Packers might be that team you DON'T want to play IF they make the playoffs.

Doug Russell @DougRussell

Jinxes be damned, the Packers are just absolutely kicking the Vikings asses in every phase of this game. <br><br>This is gonna be an interesting week in Green Bay!

Eliot Shorr-Parks @EliotShorrParks

Packers are reaching "Don't want to see them come to Philadelphia" territory for playoffs <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Eagles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Eagles</a>

Greg Williams @GregWilliams28

Everyone: The Packers are dead. It would take a miracle for them to make the postseason.<br><br>Aaron Rodgers: <a href="https://t.co/CLlyxbz81d">pic.twitter.com/CLlyxbz81d</a>

Christian Stoinev @CAStoinev

I'm so scared of the Packers and the Lions if we see them in the playoffs. And all the pressure will be on the Vikings too. But, if the Packers or the Lions happen to beat San Francisco, then we're hosting them anyway. I'm actually rooting for us to get the 3 seed

Scott Walker @ScottWalker

The <a href="https://twitter.com/Vikings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@vikings</a> are a good team. The <a href="https://twitter.com/packers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@packers</a> just woke up today and showed the world that they are ready to make it to the <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a> playoffs.

Mark Gunnels @MarkAGunnels

The Packers are really about to make the playoffs after all. Wow.

After starting the season 4-8, the Packers have rattled off four straight wins to keep themselves in the playoff picture. If they defeat the Detroit Lions next weekend in their regular-season finale, they'll be into the postseason.

If the Packers do reach the playoffs, they'll be one of the most difficult teams to play against in the NFC. Led by Rodgers on offense, Green Bay is capable of making a deep playoff run.