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Associated Press, Published January 05 2013

Packers eliminate Ponder-less Vikings

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. – This rematch was a mismatch.

And the rest of the NFC might want to take note.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers showed how dangerous they can be when they’re at full strength Saturday night, overwhelming the Minnesota Vikings 24-10 in an NFC wild-card game that was never really close.

“Playoff victories are always ones that are very special,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Tonight’s win definitely starts and ends with our defense.”

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 elbow injury.

Peterson was held to 99 yards – an improvement after gaining 199 and 210 in the first two games. 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).

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 sends the Packers to San Francisco next Saturday.

“The main thing was to come out and help this team get a big win,” said Charles Woodson, playing in his first game since breaking his right collarbone Oct. 21.

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.

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.

Minnesota 3 0 0 7 – 10

Green Bay 7 10 7 0 – 24

First Quarter

Min – FG Walsh 33, 9:26.

GB – Harris 9 run (Crosby kick), :28.

Second Quarter

GB – FG Crosby 20, 3:25.

GB – Kuhn 3 run (Crosby kick), :38.

Third Quarter

GB – Kuhn 9 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 9:25.

Fourth Quarter

Min – Jenkins 50 pass from Webb (Walsh kick), 3:39.

A – 71,548.

Min GB

First downs 17 20

Total Net Yards 324 326

Rushes-yards 29-167 31-76

Passing 157 250

Punt Returns 3-25 4-17

Kickoff Returns 3-73 2-28

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-0

Comp-Att-Int 11-30-1 23-33-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 3-23 3-24

Punts 5-49.6 8-37.8

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0

Penalties-Yards 4-30 2-10

Time of Possession 27:02 32:58


RUSHING: Minnesota, Peterson 22-99, Webb 7-68. Green Bay, Harris 17-47, Rodgers 2-12, Grant 7-7, Cobb 2-6, Kuhn 3-4.

PASSING: Minnesota, Webb 11-30-1-180. Green Bay, Rodgers 23-33-0-274.

RECEIVING: Minnesota, Jenkins 3-96, Rudolph 3-42, Simpson 2-21, Wright 2-13, Peterson 1-8. Green Bay, Harris 5-53, G.Jennings 4-61, J.Jones 4-51, Nelson 3-51, Kuhn 2-15, Grant 1-16, Crabtree 1-10, Finley 1-10, Cobb 1-7, Taylor 1-0.