Walsh kicks Vikings into playoffs as Packers fall, 37-34


MINNEAPOLIS -- Talk about your barn-burners.

Blair Walsh hit a 29-yard field goal as time expired to kick the Minnesota Vikings into the postseason as an NFC Wild Card as they defeated the Green Bay Packers, 37-34, Sunday at Mall of America Field. Walsh also kicked field goals from 54-yards and 37-yards out.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder threw three touchdown passes and Adrian Peterson rushed for a touchdown.

To see full game highlights, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

Peterson, who gained 199 yards on the day, finished with 2,097 yards -- the second-most in an NFL single season, but nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's record of 2,105 yards.

"It's a bittersweet feeling," Peterson said after the game. "It is what it is. It wasn't meant to happen, or it would have happened. Ultimately we came in here tonight and accomplished the ultimate goal, and that was getting a win and punching our ticket to the playoffs."

To see Peterson's news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

To see Peterson's game highlights, CLICK HERE.

Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, two to Greg Jennings and one each to James Jones and Jordy Nelson. Mason Crosby also hit a 51-yard field goal to account for the Packers' scoring.

Ponder, in perhaps his finest game, was 16 of 28, throwing for 234 yards, including two key fourth quarter plays. The first was a 65-yard strike to Jarius Wright. The pass was the longest for Ponder this season, and opened the Vikings' drive after the Packers had tied the score at 27-27.

"I don't have the arm strength to make that throw, but somehow I did it," Ponder said.

In the next series, Ponder hit Michael Jenkins for a 25-yard strike on a third-and-11 play at the two-minute warning. Had the Vikings not made that play, the Packers would have gotten the ball back, with the score tied 34-34 at the time.

"He's playing at a high, high level, and we needed that," coach Leslie Frazier said of Ponder's play. "He did a terrific job."

To see Frazier's news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

To see Ponder's news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

The Vikings, who finished the season at 10-6, travel to Green Bay next Saturday to face the Packers in the first round of the playoffs. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. central time on NBC-TV.

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