At the start of the NFC North title game, the Green Bay Packers won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half, meaning that the Minnesota Vikings got the football first. Mason Crosby put his foot to the ball, and the result was a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 20-yard line. Adrian Peterson got the call on the first two plays of the game, gaining 11 yards and a first down. The drive stalled out when a pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Jerick McKinnon came up a couple of yards short of a first down, and the Vikings were forced to punt the ball away. The Vikings brought on Jeff Locke to punt the ball away. . .and then ran a fake to Adam Thielen, who went around the left side of the formation for a huge 41-yard gain down to the Green Bay 25-yard line.
Unfortunately, three consecutive incompletions from Bridgewater brought the drive to an end, and the Vikings had to call on Blair Walsh for a field goal attempt. Walsh connected from 39 yards out, and the Vikings found themselves out to an early 3-0 lead.
The ensuing kickoff from Walsh resulted in a touchback, giving the Packers the ball at their own 20 to start their first possession of the night. The Packers started off with Eddie Lacy doing what he tends to do when he sees the Vikings. . .chewing up yardage, as his first two carries went for 12 yards and a first down. The Packers' offense got a few more yards, but failed to convert their first third down opportunity of the evening and found themselves facing fourth and inches. The Packers kept their offense on the field, and Lacy converted with a second effort for the first down.
The Packers then moved into Minnesota territory, as Aaron Rodgers found Richard Rodgers for an 18-yard gain to the Vikings' 34-yard line. Three run plays later, the Packers found themselves inside the Vikings' red zone at the 19-yard line. Rodgers then found James Jones to get the Packers to the 11, but the Vikings' defense made the Packers face another fourth down. This time, they called on Mason Crosby for a field goal attempt, and he was good from 28 yards out to tie the score at 3-3.
Jerick McKinnon actually returned the ensuing kickoff for the Vikings, taking it to the Minnesota 24-yard line. The Vikings went three-and-out on their possession, and wound up having to punt the ball away. This time, Jeff Locke actually got to kick it away, and blasted a big punt down to the Green Bay 16-yard line. A penalty on the Packers kept the ball at that spot, and as we move to the second quarter of play, the Packers are facing a 2nd-and-1 from their own 25-yard line.
The NFC North title game is tied, 3-3, after one quarter of play at Lambeau Field. Can the Minnesota Vikings win their first NFC North title since 2009? Come hang out with us for the second quarter of play!