2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Vikings top Packers 37-34; playoff rematch is next

By DAVE CAMPBELL - AP Pro Football Writer
    2012-12-30 20:57

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers weren't satisfied with their NFC North title. They went all out for a better seed, hoping for a one-week break.

Adrian Peterson didn't let them catch their breath. Minnesota's relentless runner will be coming right back at them next week.

Peterson finished 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, powering the Vikings past the Packers 37-34 on Sunday with 199 yards to set up a rematch next weekend in a first-round playoff game.

They'll play on Saturday night at Lambeau Field.

``The road got a little tougher having to play on opening weekend, but we've got a home game and that's why you win the division,'' Rodgers said. ``We get to go back home, and the game will be different. They won't have home-crowd advantage, and hopefully that will make a difference.''

Peterson rumbled off left tackle for a 27-yard gain in the closing seconds, his career-high 34th carry. That set up Blair Walsh's 29-yard field goal as time expired and put the Vikings (10-6) in the postseason after consecutive last-place finishes.

The Packers (11-5) dropped to the NFC's No. 3 seed. Their five-game winning streak against the Vikings ended.

``We're still playing pretty good football. We just need to find a way to play better as a team,'' left guard T.J. Lang said. ``We have a chance to go against these guys next week on our home field, so, yeah, there's going to be a little bit of a fire brewing in our heads and our stomachs to try to get back and get a win.''

Rodgers completed 28 of 40 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions, connecting with Jordy Nelson from 2 yards to tie the game with 2:54 remaining. But Christian Ponder threw for three scores, including one to Peterson, providing the necessary balance.

Ponder went 16 for 28 for 234 yards, including a 65-yard zinger in stride to Jarius Wright midway through the fourth quarter that set up Ponder's third touchdown toss.

Peterson finished with 2,097 yards, becoming the seventh player in NFL history to reach the 2,000 mark. He had to work for it, pulling out all the cutbacks, stutter-steps and spins he could find in his exceptional skill set. His longest run was 28 yards against a defense geared to slow him down, and the first contact often came at, near or behind the line of scrimmage.

Even though the first-round bye remained in the balance the top seed didn't do the Packers any good last season. They went 15-1 and lost their opener at home to the eventual champion Giants, the year after winning three straight games on the road to reach and win the Super Bowl.

``We definitely could've used the bye, but at this point it's win or go home now,'' said wide receiver Greg Jennings.

Rodgers played without injured leading receiver Randall Cobb, so Jennings was the main guy instead, grabbing eight passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. But the Vikings sacked Rodgers five times, recovering a fumble at midfield on one of them that set up a touchdown.

Rodgers has 24 touchdowns, only four interceptions and a 70 percent completion rate over 10 career starts against the Vikings. His poise, arm strength and savvy came through clear against them as much as any other team. Plus, cornerback Antoine Winfield's aggravated hand injury kept him on the sideline for most of the game, a big loss for the Minnesota secondary.

Just as Ponder capably complemented Peterson to give the Vikings a chance, DuJuan Harris came out of nowhere to provide Rodgers some help for the Packers. Green Bay has been proving lately it's not as one-sided an offense as previously believed. Harris rushed 14 times for 70 yards.

With the catch-and-run game they orchestrate so well, finding the soft spots in coverage, the Packers zoomed 80 yards in six plays to pull within 20-17 early in the third quarter. Jennings had a 45-yard gain and the 5-yard grab for a score. He was wide open on both.

But Peterson churned closer to Dickerson on the next drive. Second-and-27? He surged off right tackle and bounced outside for 28 yards. To cap that march, he caught a 2-yard toss from Ponder to push the lead back to 10 points. The ``MVP'' chants from the crowd rang out in earnest after that.

``Adrian Peterson was the focal point, and we didn't do a good enough job,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

NOTES: With Cobb's absence, the Packers went without a 1,000-yard receiver for the first time since 2003. Cobb finished with 954 yards. ... Packers DE Jerel Worthy hurt his left knee in the fourth quarter and left on a cart.

---

Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pat DevlinJun 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Pat Devlin, TE Jacob Maxwell and PK Jeremiah Detmer were waived Thursday, June 18.

Dez BryantJun 18 11:42a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant arrived for the final day of minicamp Thursday, June 18.

Kelvin BenjaminJun 18 11:02a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) showed up 8 or 9 pounds overweight, and head coach Ron Rivera believes Benjamin's hamstring injury could be a result of that. 'It [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsJun 18 09:42a

Free-agent DT Kevin Williams (Vikings) signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints Thursday, June 18. He received a $500,000 signing bonus, which is his only [ More ]

Dez BryantJun 17 06:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to play Week 1 with or without a long-term contract, according to owner Jerry Jones. Jones said he knows how competitive Bryant [ More ]

Tyronne GreenJun 17 05:53p

Carolina Panthers OG Tyronne Green (Achilles') is out for the year with a torn Achilles' tendon he suffered Tuesday, June 16.

Zach SudfeldJun 17 05:23p

New York Jets TE Zach Sudfeld (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, June 17, after being waived/injured Monday, June 15.

Jeremy GallonJun 17 05:13p

Oakland Raiders WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed) was waived from the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, June 17.

Lamar HolmesJun 17 04:33p

Atlanta Falcons OT Lamar Holmes (foot) suffered a broken foot Wednesday, June 17, and will be out indefinitely, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Dorin DickersonJun 17 02:13p

Tennessee Titans TE Dorin Dickerson (Achilles') will undergo season-ending surgery in the near future to repair his ruptured Achilles' tendon.

Le'Veon BellJun 17 02:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell said he has not had the appeal of his three-game suspension heard at this point and does not know when the appeal will be scheduled.

Jacob TammeJun 17 12:43p

Atlanta Falcons TE Jacob Tamme appears to be the leading candidate for the starting tight end job but is being pushed by TEs Tony Moeaki and Levine Toilolo. Head [ More ]

Victor CruzJun 17 09:03a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) is hopeful he'll avoid the Physically Unable to Perform list and is confident he could pass the pre-training camp conditioning test right [ More ]

Davante AdamsJun 16 10:33p

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams has received significant praise from head coach Mike McCarthy and teammates for his development. 'I think Davante has done a great job in [ More ]

Martellus BennettJun 16 08:53p

Chicago Bears TE Martellus Bennett participated in minicamp practice Tuesday, June 16, after skipping the first three weeks of organized team activities. Bennett told reporters he expects to be [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group