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Packers win fifth straight, 38-25 over Vikings

Victory sets up NFC North showdown in Detroit


GREEN BAY – The Packers pulled away in the second half to record their fifth consecutive victory, 38-25 over the Vikings on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

The victory improved Green Bay to 9-6 and sends the Packers to Ford Field in Detroit next Sunday to play for the NFC North title.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was the star, completing 28-of-38 passes for 347 yards with four touchdowns for a 136.6 passer rating. Rodgers also rushed for a touchdown, accounting for five TDs in all before getting to rest for the game's last few minutes.

WR Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for 154 yards and two TDs, while rookie WR Geronimo Allison added four grabs for 66 and WR Davante Adams had four catches for 44 yards and a score.

For the Vikings, QB Sam Bradford finished 34-of-50 for 382 yards with three TDs for a 110.6 rating. WR Adam Thielen was his main target with 12 receptions for 202 yards and two TDs. RB Jerick McKinnon was the game's leading rusher with 11 carries for 50 yards.

Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action.

Fourth quarter:

The Packers began the fourth quarter by extending their lead to 31-13 on a 48-yard field goal by K Mason Crosby, his longest of the season.

The Vikings went three-and-out for the second straight drive. DB Micah Hyde muffed the ensuing punt but recovered it himself, and the Packers took over on their own 47.

Green Bay's drive started with a holding penalty, and T Bryan Bulaga exited the game with a shoulder injury, replaced by rookie Jason Spriggs. Rodgers found TE Jared Cook for 30 yards to the Minnesota 33. Passes of 8 yards to WR Jeff Janis and 4 yards to Nelson moved the chains again. After an offside penalty turned third-and-7 into third-and-2 from the 13, Rodgers found TE Richard Rodgers for the TD, extending the Packers' lead to 38-13 with 9:02 to go.

The Vikings got one touchdown back on a 3-yard TD pass from Bradford to WR Stefon Diggs to cap a 13-play, 75-yard drive that consumed 4:42. K Kai Forbath's PAT hit the right upright and was no good, making the score 38-19 with 4:20 left.

QB Brett Hundley came in to replace Rodgers, and the Packers went three-and-out.

Packers LB Nick Perry got his team-leading ninth sack of the season on Minnesota's next drive, but the Vikings converted on fourth-and-12 with a 24-yard pass to Thielen. Bradford capped the drive with an 8-yard TD pass to Thielen with 32 seconds to go. McKinnon was stopped on a run for the two-point try.

The Vikings recovered the onside kick, but Perry got his 10th sack of the season on the final play of the game.

Third quarter:

A scoreless third quarter sent the Packers into the fourth with a 28-13 lead over the Vikings on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

The third quarter started with Packers DT Mike Daniels sacking QB Sam Bradford on the first play. LB Clay Matthews batted down his second pass of the game on third down, and the Vikings had to punt.

The Packers couldn't take advantage, though. QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked on third down by Vikings DE Danielle Hunter and LB Eric Kendricks. Rodgers remained down on the field for a few moments and was tended to by the medical staff, but he got up and walked off under his own power.

The Vikings drove from their own 13 out near midfield, but Matthews drew a holding penalty on T T.J. Clemmings to put Minnesota in third-and-long, leading to a punt. Packers DB Micah Hyde made some nifty moves to return the punt 19 yards to the Green Bay 34.

Rodgers didn't miss any snaps and came right back into the game, but the Packers went three-and-out. The Vikings then went three-and-out themselves from inside their own 20, with CB Damarious Randall knocking away a deep pass for WR Cordarelle Patterson on third down. Hyde returned this punt 11 yards to the Minnesota 44.

Rodgers hit rookie WR Geronimo Allison for 11 yards on third-and-10, as Allison made a diving grab over the middle. Rodgers and Allison converted another third down as Rodgers got away from the blitz and found the rookie for 8 yards and a first down at the 19. But Rodgers was sacked on third down by Kendricks, and the quarter expired with the Packers facing fourth down from the Minnesota 30.

Second quarter:

A turnover by Green Bay's defense was converted into a late TD, and the Packers took a 28-13 lead over the Vikings into halftime on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

The second quarter started with the Vikings facing third-and-9 from the Green Bay 32, and QB Sam Bradford found RB Jerick McKinnon over the middle for the first down, but a personal foul after the play on T Jeremiah Sirles pushed Minnesota back to the Green Bay 37.

Bradford then hit TE Kyle Rudolph for 21 yards for a first down at the 16, but the Packers' defense got the stop. LB Clay Matthews pressured Bradford into a throwaway on second down, the Vikings took a delay of game, and then Bradford's third-down pass to WR Stefon Diggs came up 2 yards short of the marker. K Kai Forbath hit his second field goal of the game, this one from 26 yards, to make it 14-6 with 12:30 left in the half.

The Packers then went three-and-out for the first time on the day. Two runs by RB Ty Montgomery gained 9, but then QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled to his right and threw behind Montgomery near the Vikings sideline, and the Packers had to punt.

For Green Bay's defense, CB LaDarius Gunter exited the game with an elbow injury. His return was announced as questionable.

The Packers got the ball right back. After a 16-yard pass to Vikings WR Charles Johnson, Minnesota C Nick Easton flubbed a shotgun snap. The ball rolled out of his hand and stayed on the ground, with Packers DT Kenny Clark recovering at the Minnesota 42.

The offense wasted no time. Rodgers hit WR Jordy Nelson for 33 yards on the first snap of the series to make it first-and-goal on the 9. After Rodgers scrambled for 7 yards, he found Nelson for a 2-yard TD, and the Packers moved ahead 21-6 with 8:11 left in the half.

Minnesota came right back, though. On the second snap of the next drive, Bradford found Thielen behind CB Quinten Rollins down the sideline, and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix took a poor angle on the play. Thielen caught the pass and walked in for a 71-yard touchdown, and the Vikings were within 21-13 with 7:24 to go before halftime.

The Packers picked up two first downs, but Minnesota's pass rush took over from there. Back-to-back sacks by DE Danielle Hunter and LB Eric Kendricks forced Green Bay to punt, and the Vikings took over on their own 39.

After Minnesota drove across midfield, LB Clay Matthews drilled Bradford from behind and knocked the ball out. Packers DT Mike Daniels recovered, and Green Bay got the ball on its own 46 with 54 seconds left in the half.

Rodgers immediately hit WR Geronimo Allison for 32 yards to the Minnesota 22. On second down, a 14-yard pass to Nelson made it first-and-goal on the 6. Then Rodgers took it from there, spinning away from the blitz and running the final 6 yards for the TD, giving the Packers a 28-13 lead with 24 seconds left.

Rodgers finished the first half 19-of-22 for 268 yards with three passing TDs and one rushing TD.

First quarter:

Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson made a little history in the first quarter on Saturday at Lambeau Field, and the Packers jumped out to a 14-3 lead over the Vikings.

The Packers received the opening kickoff after the Vikings deferred and got across midfield on pass completions of 15 yards to WR Jordy Nelson and 10 yards to RB Ty Montgomery. But the drive stalled there and P Jake Schum's punt from the Minnesota 39 went for a touchback.

Green Bay's defense opened with a three-and-out. A short pass on third down was dropped near the first-down marker by Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon, and after a 10-yard punt return by Packers DB Micah Hyde, Green Bay took over on its own 39.

QB Aaron Rodgers quickly went to work. Passes of 19 yards to WR Davante Adams and 15 yards to rookie WR Geronimo Allison got the Packers into scoring range. Then on third-and-4 from the Minnesota 21, Rodgers hit Nelson over the middle, and Nelson cut back to the middle and outraced the defense to the goal line for the TD. K Mason Crosby's PAT made it 7-0 with 7:13 left in the quarter.

The touchdown was the 58th connection from Rodgers to Nelson, passing the 57 by Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman for the franchise record. It was also Nelson's 62nd career TD reception, moving him past Donald Driver into third all-time in franchise history, behind only Sterling Sharpe (65) and Don Hutson (99).

The Vikings responded quickly. McKinnon had a 20-yard reception and 11-yard run before WR Adam Thielen caught consecutive passes of 11 and 17 yards to make it first-and-goal on the 10. But after a 6-yard run by RB Matt Asiata, QB Sam Bradford threw high for Thielen in the end zone, and his third-down pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage by LB Clay Matthews. The Vikings settled for a 22-yard field goal by K Kai Forbath to make it 7-3 with 3:37 left in the quarter.

The Packers got going again, as Rodgers hit a wide-open Nelson for 48 yards on the first play of the next series, all the way to the Minnesota 26. On third-and-4 from the 20, Rodgers connected with Adams on a back-shoulder throw at the pylon for the TD, and the Packers led 14-3.

The Vikings got right back into scoring range as Thielen caught a 5-yard pass on third down to move the chains and then hauled in a 32-yarder downfield to the Green Bay 33.

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