Vikings beat Packers for NFC North title; will play Seahawks in playoffs


The drama was on high Sunday night in Green Bay as the Vikings held off a furious rally by the Packers in a battle for the NFC North division championship.

Unlike the Packers' last-second Hail Mary victory on December 3 over the Detroit Lions, Aaron Rodgers' 50-yard heave into the end zone with no time on the clock was batted down by the Vikings, ending Green Bay's four-year reign as division champs.

Minnesota will open the playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks at TCF Bank Stadium this coming Sunday at noon.

Leading 20-3 in the fourth quarter, the Vikings had to survive a ferocious comeback and near collapse thanks to poor tackling and untimely miscues.

Cordarrelle Patterson's 70-yard kick return ended with him coughing up the football and turning it over to the Packers after he was stripped by Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby. Green Bay, trailing by a touchdown after rattling off 10 unanswered points, failed to score on the ensuing drive, falling just short when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was intercepted in the end zone on a fourth-and-10 pass.

The Xavier Rhodes interception gave the Vikings ball at their own 20-yard-line, only to see Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson fumble a hand-off exchange; Minnesota recovered, with the only drawback being thousands of Minnesota fans suffering heart palpitations.

Building a 17-point lead

The first half was a defensive struggle that ended with Minnesota taking a 6-3 lead into the locker room at the half.

Peterson, who suffered from back spasms in the second half of the game, capped a six-play, 58-yard scoring drive with a three-yard touchdown run – his 11th of the season – to put the Vikings up 13-3 with 10:32 to play in the third quarter.

Peterson finished with 67 yards to win his third career rushing title, finishing with 1,485 yards on the season.

The lead increased to 20-3 when Everson Griffen knocked the ball out of Rodgers' hand and it was returned by Captain Munnerlyn for a 55-yard touchdown.

Rodgers finished 28-of-44 for 291 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception while Teddy Bridgewater threw for only 99 yards on the day, including an ugly interception when he tried to throw the ball with his left hand.

Seahawks coming back to Minnesota

The Vikings earned the No. 3-seed in the NFC and will get a first-round home playoff rematch against the Seattle Seahawks, who devoured the Vikings 38-7 at TCF Bank Stadium on Dec. 6.

The game will kick off at 12:05 p.m. Sunday.

Green Bay had to settle for the No. 5-seed and will open the playoffs on the road against the NFC East champion Washington Redskins.

Next Up

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.


Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.

YouTube TV, FSN

Report: Fox Sports North is becoming Bally Sports North

The rebranding will reportedly happen prior to the start of the MLB season.

walmart mask

Wisconsin Senate votes to end statewide mask mandate

The joint resolution now heads to the Republican-controlled state assembly.

P.J. Fleck

Looks like the Gophers can put Fleck-to-Tennessee rumors to rest

Fleck is annually a hot commodity when coaching jobs open up.

Matt Dumba

Wild drop front end of back-to-back with Kings

The Wild lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

Andrelton Simmons / Minnesota Twins

Twins sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

The former Angels shortstop is a four-time Gold Glove winner.