Final

Vikings 10

(10-6, 3-5 away)

Packers 24

(11-5, 7-1 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:00 PM ET, January 5, 2013

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 3 0 0 710
GB 7 10 7 024

Top Performers

Passing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 274 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 22 CAR, 99 YDS

Receiving: M. Jenkins (MIN) - 3 REC, 96 YDS, 1 TD

Packers advance after beating Christian Ponder-less Vikings

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Deep on offense and scary-good on defense, the Green Bay Packers were way too much for the Minnesota Vikings.

Maybe everyone else in the NFC, too.

Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and the Packers reminded everyone of how dangerous they can be when they're at full strength Saturday night, overwhelming the Vikings 24-10 in an NFC wild-card game that was never really close.

"Our defense played great," Rodgers said. "Our defense tonight played at a championship level and that's what you need in the playoffs."

John Kuhn scored two touchdowns, DuJuan Harris added another and Rodgers connected with an NFL playoff-record 10 receivers as he threw for 274 yards in his first playoff victory at home. Defensively, the Packers (12-5) finally managed to contain Adrian Peterson and were all over Vikings backup Joe Webb, pressed into service because of Christian Ponder's triceps injury.

Peterson was held to 99 yards -- an improvement after gaining 199 and 210 in the first two games against Green Bay. It was only the second time in the last 11 games that he was held below 100 yards. Webb, who hadn't thrown a pass all season, was sacked three times and off target all night. His only highlight was a 50-yard scoring pass to Michael Jenkins late in the fourth quarter, but it was far too late for the Vikings (10-7).

"No disrespect to Ponder, but ... it's about one guy and that's Adrian Peterson," said Woodson, who played his first game since breaking his right collarbone Oct. 21. "Our main focus, whether it was Ponder or Webb, was to keep 28 (Peterson) from getting off. And if we were going to keep him from getting off, put the ball in the quarterback's hands, whatever quarterback it was, we felt good about what was going to happen."

With a little over a minute left, Packers fans began taunting the Vikings (10-7) with chants of "Nah-nah-nah-nah ... goodbye." The win snapped a two-game losing streak at Lambeau Field in the playoffs, and sent the Packers to San Francisco next Saturday for an NFC divisional game with the 49ers. The teams met in the season opener, with San Francisco winning 30-22.

"A lot has happened since we played San Francisco," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We're a different team."

This was the third game in six weeks between Green Bay and the Vikings, and second in six days. The Packers' loss in Minnesota last weekend cost them the No. 2 seed in the NFC, along with a bye this weekend, and left them looking -- dare we say it? -- vulnerable going into the playoffs. But with Woodson back and Rodgers having all four of his top receivers for, essentially, the first time since Sept. 30, Green Bay looked like a team that could make the kind of deep run it did two years ago when it won the Super Bowl.

Rodgers used so many different options other NFL quarterbacks must have been drooling. He went with Harris on Green Bay's first scoring drive, mixed it up between James Jones, Tom Crabtree and Greg Jennings on the second, and had 22- and 23-yard completions to Jordy Nelson before Kuhn scored on a 3-yard run that put the Packers up 17-3 just before the half.

And pretty much everyone got in on the fun on the last score, a 12-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up more than 5½ minutes. Rodgers connected with Jones on a 19-yard completion to put the Packers in Vikings territory, then connected with Harris for 14 yards two plays later to reach the red zone. Rodgers threw incomplete on second and third downs, but just when the Packers thought they'd have to settle for a field goal, the Vikings were whistled for 12 men on the field, giving Rodgers another crack at the end zone.

He found Kuhn for the 9-yard score, and the game was all but over.

"That was tough. We were down seven and they went and scored and they were coming out of the half, too, getting the ball, too, and they got it and scored again," Antoine Winfield said. "Can't do that against the Green Bay Packers."

Harris, who didn't play in the first game against Minnesota this season because he'd only been elevated from the practice squad a day earlier, led the team in receiving (five catches for 61 yards) and rushing (47 yards on 17 carries). Jennings and Jones had four catches each and Nelson had three before hobbling off late in the fourth quarter.

"We have some stuff to work on," Rodgers said. "We've got to help our defense out more, close a team out like that. Tough test next week back in San Francisco."

Hey, at least the Packers are still playing. That's more than the Vikings can say.

Ponder was hurt last weekend when Morgan Burnett slammed into him on a blitz. Though initially thought to be an elbow injury, Ponder said it was actually a deep bruise in his right triceps. It limited his flexibility along with his power and, though it is better, there simply wasn't enough time to recover with the short, six-day turnaround.

After testing the arm before the game, the Vikings decided to go with Webb, whose only playing time this year was a couple of handoffs at the end of a blowout of Tennessee in early October.

"I can play with pain. The biggest thing is the loss of flexibility," Ponder said. "I couldn't get the ball in the position to where I could throw it normally and lost a lot of power and everything. It wouldn't have been wise to play."

It was the first time since Buffalo's Frank Reich in 1993 a quarterback had started a playoff game after not starting during the regular season, according to STATS Inc. And, in the first series at least, he seemed to have caught the Packers off guard. That or they were too busy trying to bottle up Peterson, who bulldozed them for 409 yards in their first two games, to pay attention.

With what seemed like every Packers defender focused on Peterson, Webb converted a third-and-3 with a 17-yard pickup. His 5-yard run four plays later put the Vikings at the Green Bay 13. But Webb's first pass of the night went into the ground, and the Vikings were forced to settle for Blair Walsh's 33-yard field goal that gave them a 3-0 lead.

But the Packers quickly settled down and Webb and the Vikings never stood a chance. Especially with Peterson not allowed to roam free as he's done against the Packers in the past.

"The energy level was at an all-time high," Woodson said. "This week, like last week, we buzzed around. But this week we made the tackles, we didn't allow (Peterson) to get through the line of scrimmage and get yards after first contact. We just kept putting heat on them. That was the difference."

Game notes


With two sacks of Webb, Matthews joined Reggie White as the only Packers to have two or more sacks in two postseason games. ... Minnesota had 157 of its 324 yards in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of hand. ... Kuhn is the only player in the NFL to score a touchdown in each of the last four postseasons. ... Mason Crosby's 20-yard field goal in the second quarter was his sixth straight in the postseason, a Packers record. ... Vikings S Harrison Smith left the game briefly with a left knee injury, but was able to return. Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said after the game he was fine.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIN
GB
1st Downs1720
Passing 1st downs
616
Rushing 1st downs
112
1st downs from Penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
5-143-14
4th down efficiency
0-21-1
Total Plays6267
Total Yards324326
Yards per play5.24.9
Total Drives1211
Passing157250
Comp - Att
11-3023-33
Yards per pass
5.27.6
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks - Yards Lost
3-233-24
Rushing16776
Rushing Attempts
2931
Yards per rush
5.82.5
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-13-4
Penalties4-302-10
Turnovers30
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:0232:58

Passing Leaders

MINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Webb11/301806.0113-23
GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rodgers23/332748.3103-24

Rushing Leaders

MINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Peterson22994.5018
Webb7689.7017
GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Harris17472.819
Rodgers2126.0010

Receiving Leaders

MINRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Jenkins39632.01505
Rudolph34214.00233
GBRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Jennings46115.30326
Harris55310.60166

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMINGB
minFG09:26Blair Walsh 33 Yd 30
gbTD00:28DuJuan Harris 9 Yd Run (Mason Crosby Kick) 37
SECOND QUARTERMINGB
gbFG03:25Mason Crosby 20 Yd 310
gbTD00:38John Kuhn 3 Yd Run (Mason Crosby Kick) 317
THIRD QUARTERMINGB
gbTD09:25John Kuhn 9 Yd Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick) 324
FOURTH QUARTERMINGB
minTD03:39Michael Jenkins 50 Yd Pass From Joe Webb (Blair Walsh Kick) 1024

Research Notes

Joe Webb has completed 35.2% of his throws more than 10 yards downfield in his career, the worst percentage among 60 QBs with at least 50 such passes since 2010. Ponder has completed 41.7% of such passes this season, fifth-worst in the league.

ESPN Stats & Information