The Vikings first trip to the playoffs since 2009 seemingly ended as soon as it began as the team fell 24-10 to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Saturday night.
Forced to start quarterback Joe Webb over Christian Ponder due to a elbow injury sustained in last weeks game against the Packers. The result was not pretty as the Vikings could not overcome mental errors and the adjustments on defense and offense by the Packers. After rushing for 409 yards against the Packers in two games, Adrian Peterson could not get loose and carried the ball 22 times for a pedestrian (by his standards) 99 yards.
The opening drive saw the Vikings march down the field to set up a Blair Walsh field goal. With Webb known more for his running ability than his arm, the Vikings offense seemed to move the ball at will on the ground. Defensively, the team forced a three and out in the Packers first opportunity, then had a stop on third down on Green Bay's second drive but were flagged for a penalty when Kevin Williams lined up offsides. The result of the penalty was a first down and the Packers scored their first touchdown later on the drive.
Rodgers finished the game 23-of-33 for 274 yards and one touchdown but it was DuJuan Harris who ultimately stole the show. Harris rushed 17 times for 47 yards and scored a touchdown, also found plenty of space in the underneath passing game. Harris led the team with five receptions for 53 yards.
Webb did find Michael Jenkins late in the fourth quarter for a 50 yard touchdown when Jenkins slipped behind the defense and stood all alone. It was too little too late as the Vikings would inch no closer.
After finishing their previous two seasons with a total of nine wins, the Vikings surprised the league finishing with 10 wins including four straight to gain an entry into the playoffs. The Vikings and Packers played three times in 34 days with the Packers winning both games at Lambeau and the Vikings winning in the final week of the regular season in a win or go home game.
The Packers will face San Francisco next week in the divisional round of the playoffs.