Rodgers, Packers rout Vikings 41-17, control playoff fate
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw a landing cross and ran for a rating, and the Inexperienced Bay Packers continued their inconceivable playoff push by shutting down Justin Jefferson and the Minnesota Vikings in a 41-17 blowout on Sunday.
Keisean Nixon scored on a 105-yard kickoff return and Darnell Savage had a 75-yard pick-6 of Kirk Cousins — considered one of 4 turnovers by the Vikings QB — to assist Inexperienced Bay construct a 27-3 halftime lead. Aaron Jones rushed for 111 yards on 14 carries and A.J. Dillon had a 2-yard landing run because the Packers gained their fourth straight.
Inexperienced Bay (8-8) will attain the playoffs if it beats division rival Detroit at residence in its regular-season finale. A fourth straight postseason berth appeared out of the query after a 1-7 stretch dropped the Packers to 4-8, however they haven’t misplaced since and have benefited from favorable outcomes across the league.
Inexperienced Bay’s newest bit of fine fortune got here earlier Sunday when Washington fell 24-10 at residence to the Cleveland, placing the Packers answerable for their postseason destiny.
The Packers then took care of enterprise by making life depressing for Cousins and Jefferson, the NFL’s main receiver who was held to at least one catch for 15 yards. Jefferson had 9 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening 23-7 victory over the Packers.
Savage, Adrian Amos and Rudy Ford every intercepted passes by Cousins, whereas Kenny Clark recovered a fumble on a strip sack. The Packers transformed every of Cousins’ turnovers into touchdowns.
Cousins went 18 of 31 for 205 yards for the NFC North champion Vikings (12-4). His solely landing cross got here in rubbish time, a 47-yarder to Jalen Nailor that minimize Inexperienced Bay’s result in 41-10.
The Vikings’ Dalvin Prepare dinner was held to 27 yards on 9 carries.
Rodgers went 15 of 24 for 159 yards with a 21-yard landing cross to Robert Tonyan. Rodgers additionally scored Inexperienced Bay’s ultimate landing on a 2-yard scramble.
After a blocked punt by Josh Metellus gave Minnesota first-and-goal on the 1 to assist the Vikings take an early 3-0 lead, the Packers scored the following 41 factors.
That outburst began with the large performs from Nixon and Savage. This marked the primary time the Packers scored on an interception return and a kickoff return in the identical recreation since a 31-23 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 30, 1967.
Nixon’s landing was the Packers’ first off a kickoff return since Randall Cobb’s franchise-record 108-yarder in opposition to New Orleans in 2011. Nixon had a 94-yard kickoff return in a 26-20 Christmas Day victory at Miami, however he left that recreation with a groin damage that stored him from training most of this week.
Inexperienced Bay additionally obtained a stable recreation from veteran kicker Mason Crosby, who went 2 of two on field-goal makes an attempt, together with a 56-yarder that the crossbar earlier than bouncing via to shut the primary half.
The Vikings misplaced two of their beginning offensive linemen to calf accidents within the first quarter: heart Austin Schlottmann proper deal with Brian O’Neill. Schlottmann was beginning instead of Garrett Bradbury, who missed a fourth straight recreation with a again damage.
Chris Reed, who hadn’t performed an offensive snap all season, took over for Schlottmann at heart. Olisaemeka Udoh stuffed in at proper deal with.
The Vikings go to Chicago and the Packers host the Lions subsequent weekend.
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