The Green Bay Packers held their very own future of their arms: Win the remaining two video games of the season and get in.
They’ll test Week 17 off their listing.
Inexperienced Bay confirmed out for his or her dwelling followers at Lambeau Discipline on Sunday, dominating the Minnesota Vikings, this 12 months’s NFC North champs, 41-17, to maintain their playoff desires alive.
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Main as much as the sport, there was numerous hype surrounding these two groups as has been the case for fairly a while on this historic rivalry.
Minnesota clinched the division title final week. The Packers gained three straight to get again into playoff competition. And naturally, Packers prime cornerback Jaire Alexander known as Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson’s efficiency the primary time these two groups matched up this 12 months – 9 catches, 184, two touchdowns – a fluke.
So, with tensions excessive at kickoff, this was a recreation that was pegged to be one. However no one anticipated what transpired for the Packers.
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It wasn’t a fantastic begin because the Vikings blocked a punt that landed them close to the purpose line, although they weren’t capable of punch it in for a landing. As an alternative, Greg Joseph plugged a really quick area purpose to get the Vikings on the board first.
Then, it was all Packers from there and it started with a 105-yard kickoff return by Keisean Nixon, the primary of his profession. It didn’t appear like Nixon ought to’ve introduced the ball out in any respect, however he clearly had a sense and it was well worth the lengthy dash down the gridiron.
Later within the first quarter, the Vikings had strong area place after the Packers couldn’t convert on fourth down. However Kirk Cousins threw a decide to Darnell Savage on their very own try at a fourth-down conversion, and he took it 75 yards to the home to make it a 14-3 recreation.
That’s when the rails fell off for the Vikings. The subsequent drive was a missed area purpose by Joseph, which the Packers became one among their very own. Cousins was then picked off once more on a deep ball meant for Jefferson. Adrian Amos took that one away.
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Robert Tonyan would discover the tip zone on the following drive from a fairly Aaron Rodgers cross, and after Joseph missed his second area purpose of the night time, Mason Crosby ended the primary half with a bomb from 56 yards to make it 27-3 at halftime.
Within the second half, extra turnovers plagued the Vikings, as their first two drives resulted in catastrophe. First, Cousins was strip sacked by Kenny Clark, who recovered the ball in Packers territory. Then, simply after the Packers made it 34-3 when A.J. Dillon punched in his sixth speeding landing in 5 video games, Cousins threw one other interception on the primary play of the following drive.
Rodgers capped off a strong recreation with a speeding landing himself to make it 41-3, and even with time left, this one was over. The Vikings had two charity touchdowns on the finish of the sport, however it didn’t matter: The Packers have been transferring on with an opportunity to make the playoffs if they will get the Detroit Lions in Week 18.
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Rodgers completed 15 of 24 for 159 yards and one landing, whereas gathering that speeding rating as properly. Aaron Jones seemed more healthy on this recreation, totaling 111 yards on 14 carries. Allen Lazard led the receiving corps with 59 yards on 5 catches.
As for the Vikings, Cousins completed 18 of 31 for 205 yards, one landing and three interceptions, whereas Nick Mullens ultimately got here in for him. The Packers have been capable of swallow up Dalvin Prepare dinner, who had simply 27 yards on 9 carries.
Oh, and Alexander lived as much as his phrases about Jefferson: The NFL’s prime broad receiver on the stat sheet had simply 15 yards on one catch (5 targets). After a cross breakup, Alexander was even seen doing Jefferson’s signature “Griddy” dance.
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However, on the finish of the day, the Vikings are solely enjoying for seeding whereas the Packers are hoping they will take down Detroit, who can also be trying to sneak into the playoffs.
Minnesota is now the No. 3 seed within the NFC after the San Francisco 49ers prolonged their win streak with an additional time victory towards the Las Vegas Raiders. They are going to tackle the Chicago Bears in Week 18.