In the biggest game of the year, with a slim hope of an NFC North division title on the line, the Minnesota Vikings played what might have been their worst game of the season against a division rival.
Despite their defense collecting three first half turnovers, the Vikings could only generate 10 points, as they fell to the Green Bay Packers by a final score of 23-10 on Monday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings got on the board first, following an Eric Kendricks recovery of an Aaron Jones fumble. The Vikings had a first-and-goal at the 10 following the recovery, but had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Dan Bailey to take a 3-0 lead.
Green Bay tied the score with two minutes remaining in the first quarter on a 42-yard field goal from Mason Crosby.
Minnesota got an interception from Anthony Harris on the first play of the second quarter and were set up near the Green Bay 30.
That set up the first touchdown of the evening, as Kirk Cousins found Stefon Diggs for a 21-yard touchdown, and the Vikings took the lead, 10-3.
Diggs touchdown pic.twitter.com/Vk4maRPRK5— Arif Hasan, nondenominational holiday supporter ⛄ (@ArifHasanNFL) December 24, 2019
Crosby cut the lead to four with a 33-yard field goal with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter to make the score 10-6, Vikings.
Minnesota got their third turnover of the first half, courtesy of Harrison Smith stripping Davante Adams with Kendricks recovering again.
Unfortunately, the Vikings could not cash in, as they misfired on a trick play on 3rd-and-4 and Cousins could not connect with Adam Thielen on fourth down.
Green Bay cut the lead once more going into the locker room at halftime, as Mason Crosby connected on a 19-yard field goal to make it 10-9 at the half.
After an interception by Cousins, the Packers took the lead for the first time on the night on a 12-yard touchdown run by Aaron Jones. A two-point conversion attempt was successful, as Rodgers found Geronimo Allison to give the visiting team a 17-10 lead.
The Packers iced the game with just under six minutes to go in the game, as Jones took another handoff from Rodgers and went through the left side, tightroping the sideline and going all the way for a 56-yard touchdown. Crosby missed the extra point, but the lead for the Packers was still increased to 23-10.
The offense was just awful by every single measure tonight. Kirk Cousins completed just 16-of-31 passes for 122 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He was under siege all night long, as the Packers collected five sacks, including 3.5 by Za’Darius Smith. The Vikings’ leading receiver on the night was Stefon Diggs with three catches for 57 yards.
The run game generated pretty much nothing as well, as Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah combined for just 55 yards on 15 carries.
The loss means that the Packers have won the NFC North, and they are still alive for any of the top three seeds in the NFC. They will finish the season on Sunday at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions. The Vikings are now locked into the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs and will finish the season at home against the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
That’s it for an absolutely ugly game from U.S. Bank Stadium, as the Vikings fall to the Packers on Monday Night Football by a final score of 23-10. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!