GREEN BAY–The Packers held a 17-3 lead over the Minnesota Vikings at halftime of tonight’s NFC wild-card playoff game at Lambeau Field.
Running back DuJuan Harris scored on a 9-yard run late in the first quarter, to give the Packers a 7-3 lead. Harris was initially ruled to have been down at the 1-yard line, but Coach Mike McCarthy challenged the call and replay review showed the ball had crossed the goal line before Harris was down. Harris’ run capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive.
Minnesota opened the scoring with a 53-yard march on the opening possession of the game. The Vikings are playing without starting quarterback Christian Ponder (elbow) and his replacement, Joe Webb, used a read-option offense to move the ball quickly into field goal range. The drive stalled and kicker Blair Walsh booted a 33-yard field goal.
The Packers’ second score came with 3:25 left in the first half, when a 72-yard drive stalled near the goal line and kicker Mason Crosby came on to boot a 20-yard field goal. McCarthy elected not to attempt a field goal when faced with a fourth-and-five from the Vikings 34-yard line.
Following a three-and-out by the Vikings’ struggling offense, the Packers took possession and moved quickly down the field. Fullback John Kuhn scored on a 3-yard run with :38 to play in the first half, pushing the score to the danger level for the Vikings. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the star of the drive, pitching completions of 22 and 23 yards to Jordy Nelson, and 14 yards to Greg Jennings. Rodgers was 14 of 18 for 205 yards through two quarters.
Green Bay’s defense has been more effective against rushing champion Adrian Peterson in this game than it was in either of the first two meetings between the teams this season. Peterson rushed for 409 yards in those games; he’s at 48 yards on 12 carries tonight. Webb has rushed for 43 yards.
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