Vikings raid Lambeau Field to defeat Packers, win division

Mon Jan 4, 2016 12:47am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Green Bay's four-year reign atop the NFC North is over after the Minnesota Vikings used a strong defensive effort to beat the struggling Packers 20-13 at Lambeau Field on Sunday to capture the division title.

The Vikings (11-5) won a third consecutive game to earn the third seed in the NFC playoffs and they will host the sixth-seeded Seattle Seahawks (10-6) next weekend.

Meanwhile, Green Bay (10-6) lost its second game in a row, fell to fifth seed and will play next weekend at Washington. The Redskins (9-7) won the NFC East.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers helped Green Bay rally from a 20-3 deficit to pull within seven points with 5:35 remaining in regulation.

Vikings returner Cordarrelle Patterson then broke into the clear on the ensuing kickoff but kicker Mason Crosby stripped the ball around the Green Bay 30 and Packers safety Micah Hyde recovered at the 23.

The Packers appeared poised to complete the comeback when a 17-yard catch-and-run by wide receiver Randall Cobb, a 37-yard long ball to wide receiver James Jones and a 13-yard screen to fullback John Kuhn made it first-and-goal at the 10.

The rally was to stall there, however, when a completion for no yards, a three-yard sack by defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and an incompletion made it fourth down from the 13.

After the Packers burned their second timeout, Rodgers' end-zone pass to Jones was intercepted by Xavier Rhodes.

The Vikings almost gave the Packers another chance on the next play from scrimmage, with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson botching the exchange, but the latter pounced on the loose ball.   Continued...

Jan 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Vikings beat the Packers 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports