The major storyline of the week was the inability of the Packers to contain the NFL’s leading rusher Adrian Peterson. Peterson, who finished the season just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s record for rushing yards in a single season. In the two previous match ups, Peterson ran for 210 yards and 199 yards respectively.
The Packers defense promised that they would hold Peterson under that mark heading into their Wild Card match up. Peterson did rush for 99 yards on 26 carries, but the Packers did a solid job containing the league’s sixth 2,000 yard rusher.
The Packer offense showed up in a big way for this one as well. John Kuhn’s three-yard scamper with 30 seconds left in the first half drained any momentum that Minnesota might have had in the game. Kuhn also caught another TD from Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter. Rodgers spread the ball to 10 different receivers in this complete team win. It looks as if Green Bay is going to mount another Playoff run, and look to be a aery dangerous team in the process.
The bigger story for the Minnesota Vikings was the absence of Christian Ponder in this contest. Joe Webb, the team’s back-up Quarterback, had not thrown a pass all year. Ponder had kept his team in contention in both regular season contests with his ability to throw effectively while handing the ball off several times a game. Webb’s inability to throw the ball meant that the vaunted Packers defense could focus in on Peterson.
After defeat loomed large for the Vikings, they did what got them out of trouble all year, handing the ball to their star player with hopes that he could bail them out. Unfortunately, Peterson’s magic had run out on that night.
After the game, Peterson told the press that the team “missed Ponder” and that they were “unable to get anything going in the passing game, and it showed.”
Though Webb did throw a late TD to make the score line look close, the Vikings were never really in contention throughout this contest. Ponder’s injury really changed the complexion of this game from the get-go. Minnesota does have a young group of talented players to groom and will look to remain competitive in the NFC North again next year. Peterson will also look to continue his amazing success running the football after major surgery to both his ACL and MCL just one year ago.
Green Bay will go head-to-head with the San Francisco 49ers on January 12th. The game will be shown on FOX and will begin 8 p.m. EST.
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