Aaron Rodgers powers Packers past Vikings in NFC wild-card game
Green Bay, WI, United States (4E Sports) – Aaron Rodgers threw for 274 yards and a touchdown while fullback John Kuhn tallied two scores as the Green Bay Packers defeated a depleted Minnesota Vikings side, 24-10, in the NFC wild-card game Saturday at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers completed 23 of 33 passes and hit a playoff record 10 receivers while running back DuJuan Harris had 47 yards on 17 carries as the Packers advanced to the divisional round against the San Francisco 49ers next Saturday at Candlestick Park.
Rodgers also became the first Packers quarterback to win a playoff game at Lambeau Field not named Brett Favre since Lynn Dickey in 1982 postseason.
With the win, the Packers avenged their 37-34 season-ending loss to the Vikings and got an opportunity to get back at the 49ers, who defeated Green Bay, 30-22, in its opening game.
The Packers win was aided by the loss of starting quarterback Christian Ponder to an elbow injury he sustained in the victory over Green Bay last week.
Joe Webb started in Ponder’s place but completed just 11 of 30 passes for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked three times by the Packers’ defense.
Webb became the first quarterback in 20 years to start a playoff game without starting any games during that regular season since Frank Reich did so for Buffalo. Reich, however, led the Bills to their famous comeback victory over Houston in 1993.
The Packers defense also successfully limited rushing champion Adrian Peterson to just for 99 yards. Peterson rushed for 199 and 210 yards in the Vikings’ first two games against the Packers.
The Viking struck first in the first quarter with Blair Walsh burying a 33-yard field goal but Harris responded with a nine-yard run to put the Packers ahead, 7-3.
In the second period, Mason Crosby hit a 20-yard field goal and Kuhn added a three-yard run for a 17-3 Green Bay lead at the break.
In the third, Kuhn caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to extend the Packers lead to 24-3.
The Vikings finally put a touchdown on the board when Webb hit Michael Jenkins with a 50-yard touchdown pass for the final score.