MINNEAPOLIS – The Packers controlled the bulk of Sunday night's game at U.S. Bank Stadium against the Vikings, posting a 33-10 victory that sets up Green Bay for a win-to-get-in game next week at home vs. Chicago.
The Packers, now 8-8, got the help they needed in the NFC playoff chase earlier Sunday, mainly the Pittsburgh Steelers beating the Seattle Seahawks. So Sunday night's game began with the Packers needing two victories to grab a wild-card spot, and now the first of those two victories is in the books.
The Packers will host the Bears at Lambeau Field next Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS.
The Vikings turned to rookie QB Jaren Hall to make his second NFL start, but he struggled against the Packers. CB Corey Ballentine had an interception off a deflected pass, and LB Preston Smith recorded a strip-sack, recovered by DL Karl Brooks. Both turnovers led to Green Bay touchdowns as the Packers built a 23-3 halftime lead, at which point Hall was benched for Nick Mullens.
Mullens opened the second half with a long drive, but the Packers' defense rose up for a fourth-down stop in the red zone for a turnover on downs. Green Bay's offense responded with a 91-yard TD drive that for all intents and purposes put the game away at 30-3.
Scoring 30-plus points for the second week in a row, the Packers rolled up more than 450 yards of offense while holding the Vikings to a shade over 200. Minnesota had just 82 yards at halftime, the fewest the Packers have allowed in a half all season. Green Bay possessed the ball for 37½ minutes to Minnesota's 22½, putting together scoring drives worth 10 points in the second half that consumed 8:00 and 7:55 on the clock.
For the Packers, QB Jordan Love was 24-of-33 for 256 yards with three TDs and a 125.3 passer rating. WR Jayden Reed had six catches for 89 yards and two TDs, all in the first half, before exiting the game with a chest injury. WR Bo Melton added six catches for 105 yards and a TD, his first in the NFL and his first 100-yard game. TE Tucker Kraft had six catches for 48 yards.
RB Aaron Jones had 20 carries for 121 yards, his second straight 100-yard rushing game.
For the Vikings, Hall was 5-of-10 for 67 yards with an INT for a 32.1 passer rating. Mullens was 13-of-22 for 113 yards with a TD and 87.9 rating. WR Justin Jefferson had five catches for 59 yards, while TE Johnny Mundt had four catches for 39 yards and a TD. RB Ty Chandler had 10 carries for 40 yards.
Here's a recap of all the action:
Packers lead Vikings 10-0 after first quarter
The Packers won the coin toss and elected to receive. Green Bay tried a deep shot on the first play to Jayden Reed, but Love's pass went incomplete. The Packers punted after Love missed Romeo Doubs on a third-and-8 route.
Minnesota started at its own 23 after Daniel Whelan's 54-yard punt. On third-and-2, Preston Smith beat left tackle Christian Darrisaw off the edge to force an incompletion and the three-and-out.
The Packers took over at their own 20 after Ryan Wright's 69-yard punt bounced into the end zone. Green Bay converted the initial first down with a 4-yard out to Doubs on third-and-3.
After a 13-yard pass to Tucker Kraft, the Packers moved to midfield with Love's 6-yard flick to a motioning Reed. With that reception, Reed tied Sterling Sharpe's single-season record for most receptions by a Green Bay rookie (55).
Love converted another third-and-3 situation by threading a 12-yard pass to Bo Melton in the middle of the field. Aaron Jones then broke a 19-yard carry up the left sideline to the Vikings' 18-yard line.
Green Bay struck first with a 34-yard Anders Carlson field goal with 6 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter.
On second-and-7, Minnesota motioned to an empty set against Green Bay's defense, but Hall's pass intended for Johnny Mundt sailed high and Packers cornerback Corey Ballentine grabbed his first NFL interception off the deflection.
On first down at the Minnesota 33, Reed broke Sharpe's record with a 0-yard reception in the flat. On the next play, however, Love connected with Reed on a 33-yard touchdown off a post to put the Packers up 10-0 with 5:10 left in the first quarter.
The Vikings moved the ball to the Green Bay 43, but the Packers stopped Ty Chandler for a 1-yard gain on first-and-5. Hall then threw back-to-back incompletions, including a Ballentine pass defensed on second down. The Packers took over at their 26 after Wright's 30-yard punt went out of bounds.
Dillon gained 11 yards on first down. Melton came wide open off a post for a 28-yard catch to the Minnesota 33. The Vikings then lined up offsides, ending the first quarter.
Packers lead Vikings 17-3 at halftime
The Packers tried a push of Love on third-and-1, but it was spotted for no gain at the Minnesota 24. Green Bay tried a play-action rollout on fourth-and-1, but Love's pass for Melton fell incomplete for the turnover on downs.
Hall started to find his rhythm on the Vikings' next possession, completing a 13-yard pass to Justin Jefferson and a 20-yarder to Jordan Addison to the Green Bay 39.
On second-and-6, Isaiah McDuffie and Colby Wooden combined for the sack of Hall for a loss of 10 yards. It was Wooden's first NFL sack, but McDuffie sustained a concussion on the play.
After a 9-yard pass to Mundt, Greg Joseph made a 54-yard field goal to cut Green Bay's lead to 10-3 with 9:25 left in the first half.
Jones gained three yards on the first play of the Packers' next series but Green Bay gained five more yards off a holding penalty on Harrison Phillips. After a 6-yard Jones run, Reed made a toe-tapping 15-yard reception to move the ball across midfield.
A 4-yard pass to Kraft and a 5-yard Jones run set up third-and-1 at the Minnesota 24. Jones converted with an 8-yard run up the middle. Jones went to the sideline after the play and was getting looked at by team trainers.
An illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty on Jones' carry set the Packers up for first-and-goal at the Minnesota 3. Two plays later, Love scored on a keeper to push the Packers' lead to 17-3 with 3:59 left in the half.
The two-minute warning beckoned after the Packers send six and Quay Walker sacked Hall for a loss of 10 yards on second-and-6. Hall missed Addison high on fourth down.
The Packers went three-and-out after being called for holding on first down. Minnesota took over at its 39 with 39 seconds left in the half. Preston Smith got the strip sack of Hall on second-and-2, with Karl Brooks recovering the ball at the Vikings' 37.
A 12-yard pass to Doubs opened the drive and Reed then broke several tackles on a crosser en route to a 25-yard touchdown. Carlson missed the extra point, leaving it 23-3 with eight seconds left in the half.
Packers lead Vikings 30-3 after three
The second half began with the Packers announcing Reed was questionable to return with a chest injury.
Kene Nwangwu returned the kickoff 46 yards to the Minnesota 3. Nick Mullens replaced Hall at quarterback to start the second half.
The Vikings moved the ball to the Green Bay 32. Back-to-back penalties pushed them back to first-and-20, with the Packers then calling a slot blitz for Keisean Nixon.
Nixon and Devonte Wyatt combined for a sack of Mullens for a loss of eight. The Vikings converted on the first down, though, with a 14-yard pass to Mundt and a 21-yard completion to Jefferson on third-and-14.
Nixon tackled Chandler for a 1-yard loss on a third-and-3 check down at the Green Bay 8. The Vikings unsuccessful went for it on fourth-and-4, as Mullen's pass for Jefferson in the end zone went incomplete.
Jones broke a 26-yard run up the middle on the Packers' first play. Love converted on third-and-9 from the Green Bay 36 with a 14-yard pass to Malik Heath down the middle.
A 10-yard pass to Kraft on a fade and a 9-yard check down to Jones moved the ball to the Minnesota 30. Back-to-back Dillon and a Jones dive converted the next first down.
On third-and-1, Melton came across the back of the end zone and caught the 9-yard touchdown to push Green Bay's lead to 30-3 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter. Melton's first career touchdown capped a 13-play, 91-yard drive that lasted eight minutes.
Packers rout Vikings 33-10, improve to 8-8
The fourth quarter began with Samori Toure muffing Wright's punt, which the Vikings recovered at the Green Bay 7. Minnesota scored two plays later on a 5-yard TD pass to Addison to cut the Packers' lead to 30-10 with 14:06 left in regulation.
Jones gained four yards on his next carry, as he surpassed 100 rushing yards for the second straight week. Melton picked up the first down on the next play with an 8-yard stop route.
Doubs caught a 12-yard pass off a slant to move across midfield. Jones split the A-gap between Elgton Jenkins and Josh Myers for an 11-yard pickup to the Minnesota 33.
Love converted a third-and-7 with an 11-yard pass to Melton. The 13-play, 57-yard drive ate 7:55 off the clock and ended with a 37-yard Carlson field goal to make it 33-10 Green Bay with 6:11 remaining.
The Vikings worked the way down to the Green Bay 10 before being faced with fourth-and-4. Keisean Nixon nearly intercepted the pass, resulting in the turnover on downs.
Sean Clifford replaced Love on the next series, the rookie fifth-round pick's first appearance since Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. Center Josh Myers was injured during the series and replaced by Jon Runyan at center.
Clifford hit Melton for a 37-yard completion on third-and-6 and Green Bay kneeled out the victory.