Packers trounce Vikings, set up clash with 49ers

Sun Jan 6, 2013 12:21am EST
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(Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers eased into the second round of the National Football League playoffs with a comfortable 24-10 win over a Minnesota Vikings team that was dealt a huge blow before the game even started.

Vikings starting quarterback Christian Ponder had a throwing session during warmups but was declared inactive with a bruised right elbow in a surprise announcement about 90 minutes before the NFC wild-card game began.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers completed 23-of-33 passes for 274 yards and one touchdown and the Packers stymied a Minnesota passing game that was forced to start quarterback Joe Webb, who had not attempted a pass in the regular season.

"Yesterday he improved enough to where you began to think ‘maybe' but today when we took him out it just wouldn't have been smart to play him. We made a decision to go with Joe," Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier told reporters.

The coach added that swelling on Ponder's elbow restricted his throwing motion.

"Some of the things we asked him to do, he wasn't good at getting them done. Things we needed him to do if we were to put him out there, so it just wasn't the right thing to do," he said.

Without Ponder, the Vikings were a shadow of the team that edged Green Bay 37-34 in last week's regular season finale. Ponder was hurt during that game but finished with a career-high passer rating and three touchdowns.

The Packers move on to the second round on January 12 when they visit the San Francisco 49ers.

UNDER WRAPS   Continued...

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is brought down by Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Brad Jones (59) during their NFL NFC wildcard playoff football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin January 5, 2013. REUTERS/Tom Lynn