The expectations for the Minnesota Vikings weren’t terribly high as they went into Lambeau Field to complete their home-and-home season series with the Green Bay Packers. For the first time in a while, the purple managed to meet those expectations.
Aaron Rodgers accounted for five Green Bay touchdowns, and the Vikings made a couple of key turnovers that the Packers capitalized on en route to defeating Minnesota 38-25 on Sunday afternoon. The loss officially ends Minnesota’s post-season hopes for the 2016 season. . .a season that they started with a five-game winning streak.
Green Bay got on the board first after the teams exchanged punts on their first possessions. The Packers’ offense sliced through the Minnesota defense, and Aaron Rodgers found Jordy Nelson for a 21-yard touchdown pass to stake the home team to a 7-0 lead.
Minnesota answered on their next drive with a 22-yard field goal from Kai Forbath to make the score 7-3 in favor of Green Bay. The Packers answered Minnesota’s field goal with another touchdown, as Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 20-yard touchdown pass, and the score was quickly 14-3.
On their next possession, Minnesota could only manage another field goal, as Forbath was good from 26 yards. The Vikings got themselves to 4th-and-2 on the drive, but Mike Zimmer elected to take the points rather than go for it.
Green Bay added another touchdown midway through the second quarter, following a turnover on an awful snap by center Nick Easton. Green Bay took advantage of the turnover, and Rodgers connected with Nelson again on a 2-yard score to make the score 21-6 with half of the second quarter remaining.
Minnesota answered with authority on the next possession, as Bradford found Adam Thielen on the second play of the drive for a 71-yard touchdown, the Vikings’ longest play from scrimmage of the season. The extra point from Forbath made the score 21-13, and the Vikings were back in it.
That didn’t last long, though, as the Vikings’ next possession ended by a strip-sack of Bradford by Clay Matthews that was recovered by the Packers. A few plays later, Rodgers handled things himself as he ran it into the end zone from six yards out, and what could have been a real momentum shifter for the Vikings ended up as a positive for Green Bay, as they went into the locker room with a 28-13 lead.
The third quarter went by with no points being scored, but the Packers tacked on three more on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 48-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. The Packers added even more to their lead midway through the fourth quarter, as Aaron Rodgers found Richard Rodgers from 13 yards out to make the score 38-13. Minnesota added a late touchdown when Sam Bradford connected with Stefon Diggs to make the score 38-19 after Forbath bounced the extra point off the right upright. Minnesota added another late touchdown as Adam Thielen got into the end zone again with 32 seconds left in the game to make it 38-25. The Vikings recovered the onside kick, and that’s how things ended at Lambeau Field.
Statistically, if you had some members of the Minnesota Vikings in your fantasy football lineup, you probably had a pretty good day. Sam Bradford completed 34-of-50 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Adam Thielen had a huge afternoon, as he recorded the third 200-yard receiving performance in Vikings history, racking up 202 yards and two scores on 11 receptions. Jerick McKinnon had 50 yards on 11 carries to lead the Minnesota running “attack.”
Aaron Rodgers just ripped the Vikings’ defense on Sunday afternoon, as he put up 347 yards and four touchdowns on 28-of-38 passes, and also added a rushing touchdown. Jordy Nelson did most of the damage, as he caught nine passes for 154 yards and two scores. The Packers, as a team, rushed for just 40 yards on 15 carries.
The Vikings fall to 7-8 on the season, and after getting off to a 5-0 start, will need a victory over the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 17 just to get back to .500 on the season. The Packers increase their record to 9-6, and regardless of what happens between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, they will have a winner-take-all game for the NFC North in Detroit on New Year’s Day.
The Minnesota Vikings postseason dreams are officially dead, following a loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Christmas Eve. Thanks to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game here at The Daily Norseman.