Tags: #MINvsGB, instant replay, minnesota vikings, Playoffs, wild card
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PACKERS TOP VIKINGS IN NFC WILD CARD CONTEST
- Green Bay beat Minnesota, 24-10, tonight at Lambeau Field to advance to the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
- The Packers are the only NFC team to advance to three straight NFC Divisional games from 2010-12. The last time Green Bay advanced to the divisional round in three or more consecutive seasons was five straight from 1993-97.
- With the victory, the Packers improve to 30-17 all-time in the postseason, a .638 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in league history. Green Bay moved into sole possession of the No. 3 spot for the most playoff wins with 28, trailing only the N.Y. Giants (31) and Dallas Cowboys (30).
- Including playoffs, the Packers have now won 10 straight games at home against NFC North opponents.
- The 10 points allowed by the Packers were the fewest in a postseason game since they gave up 10 points at San Francisco on Jan. 11, 1998.
- Green Bay will travel to San Francisco next Saturday night to take on the 49ers at Candlestick Park at 7 p.m. (CST).
OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
- Tonight’s paid attendance was 71,548. It was the 311th consecutive sellout (293 regular season, 18 playoffs) at Lambeau Field and the fourth-largest crowd in Lambeau Field history.
- With the victory on Saturday night, Head Coach Mike McCarthy improved his postseason record to 6-3. His .667 winning percentage ranks No. 2 in team history among Green Bay head coaches behind only Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900).
- QB Aaron Rodgers posted a 104.9 passer rating on Saturday night (23 of 33, 274 yards, one TD), the fifth time he has registered a 100-plus passer rating in seven career postseason starts.
- Rodgers did not thrown an interception for the fifth straight game. He has not thrown an interception in 177 consecutive passing attempts.
- FB John Kuhn is the only player in the NFL to score a touchdown in each of the last four postseasons (2009-12). Kuhn joined RB Dorsey Levens (five straight, 1994-98) and WR Antonio Freeman (1995-98) as the only players in team history to score a TD in four or more consecutive postseasons.
- Kuhn also became the first player in franchise history to post a rushing TD and a receiving TD in two different postseason games. He also did so at Atlanta on Jan. 15, 2011.
- LB Clay Matthews matched is postseason career high (at Atlanta, Jan. 15, 2011) with two sacks as he joined DE Reggie White as the only players in franchise playoff history to register two-plus sacks in two games. Matthews brought his career postseason sack total to 6.5, second only to White (8.0) in franchise playoff history.
- CB Sam Shields posted his third career interception in the postseason, which is tied for No. 4 in team history.
- K Mason Crosby’s 20-yard field goal in the second quarter was his sixth consecutive made field goal in the postseason, a franchise playoff record. It bested the mark of five straight by Don Chandler in 1965 and Chris Jacke in 1996.
- The Packers allowed the Vikings to complete just 11 passes, the fewest given up by Green Bay a playoff game since it allowed seven completions at Washington on Dec. 24, 1972.
- Green Bay held Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (99 yards) to less than 100 yards rushing for just the second time in the Vikings’ last 11 games (86 yards at Houston in Week 16).
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(opening statement) “Good victory for us today. Playoff victories are always special. Coming back after six days and playing the Vikings. First off, I have to give great credit to our fans and the atmosphere here tonight. When I think about tonight’s win, it definitely starts and ends with our defense. I thought they were outstanding for four quarters and they set the tempo. They kept Minnesota out of the end zone until the end and obviously adjusted to the quarterback change. The communication, the effort and the run defense really stood out. Offensively, I thought we played good football for probably about the first half. We had an opportunity to score going in. Coming out, we weren’t able to knock them out of the park in the third and fourth quarter. Special teams, did a solid job as far as the placement and our coverage teams did a better job tonight.”
(on the difference between the rush defense tonight compared with the last two games against the Vikings) “It comes down to the things we talked about during the course of the week in here. We talked about it as a football team — to play with leverage, to play with discipline, trust the guy next to you and obviously rally to the football. Adrian Peterson does a great job of extending runs, very similar to what Aaron Rodgers does in the pass game with his ability to extend pass plays. They are two very similar players. I thought our defense was extremely disciplined. They played with great effort, I thought we owned the line of scrimmage and it was a big factor tonight.”
(on if his team prepared for Joe Webb during the week) “Our work on Joe was obviously something that was out there during the course of the week. We had a long day here today as coaches. I know a number of our guys were going back and checking things. They didn’t change their game plan a whole lot. I have to give a lot of credit to our players and our defensive coaches, just the fact that they stayed the course and we played very well for a quarterback that was unscouted.”
(on if he had an idea that QB Christian Ponder wasn’t going to play) “They did a good job of keeping it under wraps. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I knew Joe Webb was going to play. That’s not the case. We didn’t adjust our game plan, so the players and coaches did a hell of a job.”
(on the offensive game plan) “We wanted to be balanced with run and pass. I thought we did that, but we didn’t really run the ball very well in the second half. I thought that was a big part of why we stalled and weren’t able to convert first downs.”
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on going back to northern California to play next week) “Home is really Chico. Chico is northern California. San Francisco I would say is the Bay Area. It’ll be fun to go back to the West Coast. We’ll hopefully get a lot of cheeseheads from Chico coming down to the game and it’ll be a good test.”
(on the efficiency of the touchdown drive before the half) “A lot of times, in those two-minute drives, they’re often keyed by a good first play; and we had a completion to Jordy (Nelson), probably in the 18 to 20 (yard) range I would guess. That kind of got things going for us and we just moved with the ball from there.”
(on the difference between the first two matchups) “Our defense played great. I think they played really good in the first one, but Adrian (Peterson) still had 210 (yards) and they controlled a lot of the clock as I remember, especially in the first half. Our defense tonight played at a championship level, and that’s what you need in the playoffs. You need the defense playing well and creating turnovers. Special teams did a good job of winning the field position, creating the turnover. Mason (Crosby) made his kick, Tim (Masthay) did a good job of not letting them have a lot of return yards. (Marcus) Sherels is a really good returner. With the defense playing well, the special teams playing well — they can make up for kind of an average day on offense.”
(on how much they can take from the first game with the 49ers) “We’ll look at it, but they’re a different team. Teams find their identity throughout the season and we’ll look at more of their past schemes. It will be interesting to go back and look at that and see who was playing at that point. Cedric (Benson) was our main back, and now we’re a few down the line here to get to DuJuan (Harris). We’re going to have to find ways to block up their Pro Bowlers inside and try to make some plays on the perimeter as well.”
(on what RB DuJuan Harris has added to the offense) “He’s doing a better job in the passing game. I think he’s learning the offense. He’s been studying very hard. He knows the protection schemes better than he did when he first got in the game. Today he made five catches, I believe, averaged over 10 yards a completion. I believe four of those were check-downs and one was a swing pass. That can really do some things for you when you can dump it off to a guy like that and make some first downs.”
(on how surprised he was that QB Christian Ponder didn’t play) “I don’t know what the nature of his injury is. I was surprised when I saw the inactives for the game and he was out. I know he was limited in practice this week. Obviously he has a significant injury. I don’t like talking about other people’s injuries and what I would do.”
(on the play of the defense) “It says a lot about (defensive coordinator) Dom Capers and his staff. I think they wanted to make a statement tonight. The statement might have been less rushing yards for (Adrian) Peterson. He still had almost 100, but it wasn’t same kind of impact that he’s had in the last couple games.”
PACKERS RUNNING BACK DuJUAN HARRIS:
(on the role he played in today’s win) “It’s the biggest game I’ve ever played in. I just tried not to think about that and just tried to treat it like any other game. It’s been awhile since I’ve played like that.”
(on his effectiveness in the passing game) “Things like that just happen. If it’s open, let’s just dump it down and get some easy yards.”
(on if he thinks he’ll play a large role in next week’s game at San Francisco) “We’ll see how the week goes. The game plan could be a little different. You never know. We’re just going to watch film and see what we need to do to win.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES:
(on having a healthy group of wide receivers today) “It’s always good to have all our playmakers out there. We create mismatch problems for a lot of people when all four of us are healthy and we did that today. Everybody got a little chunk of the pie and was able to make some plays.”
(on looking ahead to San Francisco) “They’re still one of the best football teams in the business. It’s going to be a fight when we go there to their home stadium. They’ve got a good team so it’ll be a tough challenge for us.”
(on how the Packers have changed since the week one loss to the 49ers) “We’ve just been trying to get better. Every day, every game, trying to get better as a team.”
(on if the team’s approach changed when QB Christian Ponder became inactive) “That’s for the defense. For us as an offense, we just kept with our same game plan — go out there, score some points and make sure Adrian Peterson can’t touch the ball so much.”
PACKERS FULLBACK JOHN KUHN
(on the role the running backs played in the passing game) “That’s just kind of the way it unfolded. They were playing us in cover two and really dropping and trying to take our receivers away. They did a great job last week so that was obviously their game plan, to stop them. We knew we had to pick it up on our end. I think DuJuan (Harris) did great in the first half really carrying the load with the check-downs, getting a lot of first downs and moving the chains.”
(on scoring two touchdowns) “It was nice. I’m just thankful that I was given the opportunities. We were in some advantageous plays with the defenses that they were running. Aaron (Rodgers) made some nice checks and I was able to take advantage of it. Thanks to Mike McCarthy for calling my number when I get down there and Aaron for delivering the ball. A lot of people can score these touchdowns, it’s just about being in the right place at the right time.”
(on playing San Francisco next week) “We’re a little thankful that we get the chance to play San Francisco again. They really whooped up on us the first game of the season. We’re looking forward to going out there and playing a better game.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS:
(on how the team was able to change the outcome from last week’s game against Minnesota) “Schematically I don’t think we did much differently than last week. We obviously made a few adjustments based on what they showed us last week and the success they had. Ultimately, the effort was there last week, our intensity… We just played a little more disciplined..
(on if the defense felt like it had something to prove against RB Adrian Peterson) “We wanted to win. I think that goes beyond pride, especially with the two 200-yard games he put together against us, there was absolutely something to prove.”
(on looking ahead to San Francisco) “Based on week one when we saw them, I’m sure a lot has changed — especially at the quarterback position. Frank Gore is an outstanding athlete. He makes plays for them. You’d like to think they’re going to get it going in that regard, especially with the lack of success we’ve had in past games. We expect it to be a tough, hard-fought match like it was in week one.”
PACKERS CORNERBACK SAM SHIELDS:
(on the effect of QB Christian Ponder being inactive) “I don’t think it was anything different. We were just ready to play. We came in this week and corrected a lot of things we made mistakes on. I think we were prepared either way.”
(on the defense’s ability to contain RB Adrian Peterson) “Everybody took care of their responsibilities, played their gaps and didn’t let him get outside. Peterson, he can run, he can get outside, and our thing was to not let him get outside.”
(on how the Packers are different than the last time they faced San Francisco in week one) “It’s very different. Everybody is on the same page. On defense, our whole thing is getting off on third downs and just playing fast.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER ERIK WALDEN:
(on containing RB Adrian Peterson) “The first two games he killed us. If you get anxious, he’ll run into the pile and bounce outside. If you peek inside, that’s all he needs to break outside, so today we wanted to make sure we maintained our gaps and we were able to do that for the most part.”
(on his personal performance) “Playoffs are just a different atmosphere. There’s nothing like playoff football. I just wanted to make sure I came out and played my best football at the right time.”
MINNESOTA VIKINGS HEAD COACH LESLIE FRAZIER:
(on his overall thoughts on the game) “Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers. They did a good job tonight and they played good football. We came up short. I thought our guys played hard. We didn’t always play the way we are capable of playing in some instances. I am extremely proud of our football team and the way they worked throughout this year and represented our state. Because of the character of the men on this football team, there are a lot of things we can learn from this 2012 season.”
(on the change at quarterback) “Yesterday, he (Christian Ponder) improved to where we thought maybe. And today, it just wouldn’t have been smart to put him at risk. We made a decision to go with Joe.”
(on the deciding factors to not play Ponder) “Some of things we asked him to do, he wasn’t very good at getting done and the things we needed him to get done if we were going to put him out there. It wasn’t the right thing to do.”
(on not sticking with the read option) “We mixed some of those read-options along the way. But at some point, you would like to complete some passes. Early on we did have them off-balance and had some opportunities in the passing game, but we just couldn’t connect.”
(on amount of time to structure game plan around QB Joe Webb) “We kind of prepared for a little bit of both. As we were going through the week, and realizing the possibility that Christian might not make it, we thought we better have something in the package in case it was Joe.”
(on passing opportunities that didn’t connect) “There were some times that I thought we had some guys open and Joe might get flushed or didn’t have his feet set or might not follow through like he needed to. We just couldn’t make some things happen down the field that we needed to make happen.”
(on what impresses him about QB Aaron Rodgers) “He is a very accurate passer, but his ability to throw on the run is the thing that sticks out. You can get him moving around like you want too, but his ability to make throws on the run really creates problems for the defense because guys end up uncovered.”
(on Webb not throwing a pass all season and the odds of victory) “That’s a situation a back-up is going to be in. You have to get your reps in practice and have to be ready every week because you are always one play away from going in there and just hope the guy you have in that back-up roll can get it done. We came up short tonight and we needed to do something around Joe to help a little bit more, but I thought he battled and gave us everything he had.”
(on Packers’ defense ability to slow down RB Adrian Peterson) “They did a good job getting people in gaps. It looked like a lot of the same things we had seen. It is the same thing we have seen from them throughout. With people doing that, you like to create a little balance, but we couldn’t get that done on a consistent basis.”
VIKINGS QUARTERBACK JOE WEBB:
(on if there are specific plays he’d like to have back) “There are a lot of plays I would like to have back. I haven’t touched the field since August, that’s no excuse. I feel our team really came here expecting a victory and Green Bay is a great team and a tough team at home. It was a great learning experience.”
(on taking time to find a rhythm) “I started to adjust to the flow of the game later in the game, I started to get the rhythm. Once you get the rhythm, you can really start making plays.”
(on the switch from back-up to playoff starter) “It’s not tough, because you always prepare yourself as if you are going to start or going to play. It’s a big learning experience for me. It was a tough game.”
(on the game plan changing after first drive) “We tried to hit them with different plays and switch it up a little bit. We didn’t execute on some plays. Like I said, it was a learning experience, not just for the players, but the coaches.”
(on the momentum change after settling for a field goal on the first drive) “I wouldn’t say momentum change, because anytime you get points that’s always a positive. You always want to score touchdowns, but whenever you get points that always good too. We hoped that we could have had a few more drives like the first one, but that played out different.”
VIKINGS DEFENSIVE END JARED ALLEN:
(on QB Christian Ponder not playing) “We had all the confidence in Joe (Webb). Joe is part of the glue that keeps this thing together. I have seen Joe grow over the last few years that I have seen him play. Joe has an arm to go along with his legs, so we were all kind of like ‘let’s see what happens.’ No one was let down. We knew the challenges ahead, so honestly we went about business as usual.”
(on losing in the playoffs) “Everyone has to have a sense of urgency. It is not okay to just show up. Just getting here isn’t what we are about in Minnesota. We are about winning championships. You can ask anyone in the league — you want to win. It is all about getting a Super Bowl ring. I think we needed to have a higher sense of urgency because you never know when you are going to come back (to the playoffs). We had a little setback with Christian, but you have to seize the opportunity against a team that you know so well.”
(on how Green Bay’s offense made adjustments to Minnesota’s pass rush) “The ball came out a lot quicker. He just got the ball out. We still sacked him three times and had him running all over the place. It was check-down football. They were leaking a back out, checking down and keeping the chains moving. It was just their play-calling, Aaron getting the ball out and them being conscious of what we were trying to do up front. They didn’t allow us to get into a steady groove of pass rushing.”
VIKINGS RUNNING BACK ADRIAN PETERSON:
(on Minnesota getting out to an early lead) “We definitely had something going. We were able to establish the run game early, but we needed to get seven instead of three. That kind of hurt us. We got down there again and we weren’t able to execute.”
(on how Green Bay’s defense contained him tonight) “They played some good defense. They played more patient defense. They stayed on the backside to take away the cutback and they played slower instead of being really aggressive and over pursuing plays. With that, they were able to bottle up the run game.”
(on Green Bay having DB Charles Woodson in the lineup) “Woodson is a great player. He saved a touchdown in the fourth quarter by tackling me because I was definitely going the distance. He is a difference maker.”
(on the season) “Each week we continued to improve, lean on one another and we continued to fight. Unfortunately for a lot of different reasons, we weren’t able to pull it off tonight. We will come back swinging in the offseason and do the necessary things that we need to do so that this doesn’t happen again. I love the chemistry that we have here, so hopefully we can build on this and get better.”
VIKINGS CORNERBACK ANTOINE WINFIELD:
(on Green Bay’s offense) “They have a very explosive offense. You always have to worry about their vertical passing game, but they switched it up a lot today. There were a lot of quick screens, quick passes, underneath throws and they made some plays.”
(on the season) “It was a good season. Only one team can have a really successful season. Guys came to work each day and worked hard. We had some momentum at the end of the year and got into the playoffs with no one expecting us to be here. I love these guys in the locker room.”
Tags: #MINvsGB, minnesota vikings, Playoffs, post-game notes & quotes, wild card
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Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from Saturday evening’s Wild Card playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
Tags: #MINvsGB, minnesota vikings, sideline pass
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The following players have been declared as inactive for today’s Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay Packers
11 WR Jarrett Boykin
31 CB Davon House
44 RB James Starks
58 LB Frank Zombo
80 WR Donald Driver
91 DT Jordan Miller
99 DE Jerel Worthy
Starting lineup changes: On offense, #26 DuJuan Harris will start in place of #20 Alex Green at running back.
7 QB Christian Ponder
11 WR Stephen Burton
27 CB Brandon Burton
58 LB Tyrone McKenzie
78 G Troy Kropog
91 DE D’Aundre Reed
92 DE George Johnson
Starting lineup changes: On offense, #14 Joe Webb will start in place of #7 Christian Ponder at quarterback.
Tags: #MINvsGB, inactives, minnesota vikings
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- If you’re looking for a bar to watch the game at, try www.packerseverywhere.com. Packers Everywhere was created to let you know where you can gather with other Packers fans to watch games and have all kinds of other Packers-related fun. We know that the only thing you like more than watching Packers games is watching them with your fellow fans.
- NBC Sports will broadcast the game to a national audience. Play-by-play man Al Michaels joins color commentator Cris Collinsworth in the booth with Michele Tafoya reporting from the sidelines.
- NBCSports.com will stream the game live online
- Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 53-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) calling the action. The duo enters its 14th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 44 markets in six states.
- Dial Global Sports radio will air the game across the country. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Dan Fouts (analyst) will call the action with Mark Malone reporting from the sidelines. Scott Graham hosts pregame and halftime shows.
- Univision Radio will broadcast the game in Spanish to a national audience, with Rafael Hernandez Brito (play-by-play) and Raul Striker Jr. (color) calling the action.
- Listen to live radio broadcasts online in premium sound quality with NFL Audio Pass.
- For international fans: Watch NFL games, including the playoffs and Super Bowl, live or on-demand online in HD with NFL Game Pass.
The information above is contained within this week’s Dope Sheet. For even more information on Sunday’s game, check out the Dope Sheet.
Tags: #MINvsGB, minnesota vikings, Playoffs, where to watch, wild card
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GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCARTHY
Tough, tough loss today here in Minnesota. The playoffs are here upon us, that’s the message to the football team. We have the opportunity to play the Vikings again back at Lambeau, so that’s where we’re set in our mindset as far as our performance today. Offensively we didn’t have much there in the first quarter, then I thought once we got going we performed very well. Defensively we have to do a better job of stopping the run. I think that’s obvious. They played good down-and-distance ball against us; give them credit. Special teams, I like what Jeremy Ross did for us today in the return game. Our coverage was a little up and down.
Q: Do you like playing them again this quickly – in the playoffs?
A: Absolutely. We’ll play anybody in the playoffs. I think it’ll be a great contest. It’s an opponent we’re very familiar with, and they’re familiar with us. Everybody has confidence going into the playoffs; most importantly we’ll be at home. We’re excited to play these guys again.
Q: How about facing Adrian Peterson again? Are you looking forward to that? How are you going to stop him?
A: It’s obviously important to take away the focal point there, and we didn’t do that today. We’ll go back, we’ll grade it, and we’ll be ready to go, and I look forward to us having a better performance on defense against Adrian Peterson on Sunday or Saturday.
Q: What was the message to the team afterward?
A: The root of it was we had an opportunity here to take care of business, have a bye week – that opportunity is past, so the playoffs have started for us. It’s official. We got a taste of the environment – what it’s going to be like on the road. Playoff football’s different, it is every year. Today’s opportunity is something we can apply to this upcoming week.
Q: Just defensive lapses today?
A: Football’s a team game. There are going to be some things, when we watch the tape, offensively we wish we would have done better, same thing on special teams, and no different on defense. Adrian Peterson was the focal point, and we didn’t do a good enough job there.
Q: Can you talk about Aaron starting a little slow, and what did it take to kind of get him in a rhythm?
A: It took us a little while with the crowd noise, that usually happens up here. This is a tough place to play, no doubt. We anticipated this being the loudest environment of the year. They pumped it in there pretty good today, it was very loud. I felt, also, we got going, and the mechanics in the huddle were in order. I thought after that we played very well.
Q: You had a very good first drive coming out in the second half, was that your best execution, or did they come with more pressure as the game went on?
A: Not really. I thought in the second half we were able to do a lot of good things. It was important for us to come out in the second half and get that to a one-score game. We were able to do that. That’s actually what we talked about at halftime.
Q: Can you talk about that fourth-down play – the one where Boykin got hurt?
A: It was a quick-snap situation where the offense had two options on it, and it was just a hell of a play by Boykin and Aaron Rodgers.
Q: Was that Aaron’s call on the field or was that called?
A: No, that was called.
Q: Winning would give you a bye and would advance you in the playoffs. You don’t get the bye now, but is that that big of a deal?
A: The opportunity to get the bye does not exist anymore, so the playoffs start now. We’re one of six in the NFC. We know what the bye looks like, we know what this position looks like, so it’s time to kick it forward to playoff football. It’s as simple as that. We’re disappointed we lost today, but at the end of the day there are six NFC teams left, and we’re going to line up and play at Lambeau Field in front of our crowd, and that’s what we’re excited about.
Q: First time playing Minnesota, takeaways were so important, was that a factor today or not?
A: Takeaways are always important. And they did a good job of taking the football today. We had the one opportunity on the fumble. Takeaways factor into every football game.
Q: What did you think of Jeremy Ross in the return game?
A: I thought Jeremy did a hell of a job today, and I’m excited to watch the tape. He broke a lot of tackles; I thought he did a nice job.
Q: What happened on the review with the challenge flag that you threw?
A: Emotional decision by me. I shouldn’t have done it.
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
Q: How big of a disappointment is it not getting the first round bye?
A:It’s disappointing. A lot of us wanted that extra week. I maybe would have helped with injuries with Randall Cobb and Charles Woodson. This was a play-off atmosphere today. We played tough and came back from behind. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We played a team who was desperate. They had an MVP-caliber player running the ball real well on that side. We made some plays down the stretch to get back in it, but they eventually took it from us.
Q: After what happened today, how important will it be to get off to a fast start in the next game?
A:This is a tough place to play. They have some great sports fans who get into it and are loud. You have to absorb the first surge from the crowd and their teams and we did that. We got some points on the board in the first half, scored in the first possession of the second half. It just really came down to turnovers. We didn’t create any and we had one turnover that turned into seven points for them. If you look at the final margin, you see a three point loss and it’s the difference.
Q: What do you credit the slow start to?
A: They’ve got a good team. That’s going to happen from time to time.
Q: You were pretty frustrated when you took that second timeout, did you have to calm yourself down?
A: I’m just passionate about this game and I love it. We had some miscommunication after the timeout a couple of plays before that. It’s frustrating to have two timeouts like that, but that stuff happens from time to time and you just have to move on.
Q: How was it to have Greg Jennings in there?
A: Greg is a big-time player. Not having Randall Cobb out there and being able to move Greg into the slot very easily, he played excellent. He made some big time catches for us, great second reaction play for our second touchdown. I love throwing to him because he gives you a big window. I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks that we need to find more ways to get him the ball and we did that today.
Q: Do you want a rematch with these guys?
A: We’re in the playoffs now and you play who you are seeded against. The road got a little tougher having to play on opening weekend, but we’ve got a home game and that’s why you win the division. We get to go back home and the game will be different. They won’t have home crowd advantage and hopefully that will make a difference.
Q: Did you give Mike some advice after throwing that flag?
A: I was really frustrated that the call wasn’t a touchdown immediately. James Jones thought it was and, to me, it didn’t look like a turnover in live-speed. I know on the side they were calling it a turnover because you can review the play, but it looked like a touchdown from my point.
Q: A six-play drive coming out of the half, did you make adjustments to carry into the second half?
A: Well again, it wasn’t a ton of adjustments, it was just you have to kind of absorb the surge when you are playing in a loud environment, against a team that is talented on both sides of the ball. They did a good job of getting off the field on third down early in the game, we didn’t, so they were keeping drives going and getting points and we weren’t. We were punting the ball. So we absorbed that surge, we were able to start getting some first downs and moving the ball a little better there in the second quarter, and then started getting things going in the second half and played real well. Unfortunately left a couple points out there.
Q: Was it the loudest it has ever been?
A: No, it was loud, it was definitely loud. Not the loudest that it’s been here. But they were a factor.
Q: What can you say about Adrian Peterson, and the way he played today?
A: He is incredible. I just told him after the game, he’s the best. He is incredible to watch. I obviously don’t like playing against him, but he has had a great season. He has come back from an injury that I also suffered, and I know how difficult that rehab is. I did it at 20 years old, and he was a few years older than that, so I know it must have been a lot of long hours. I give him a lot of credit as a fellow player. You can’t help but watch him play and just be really impressed. I think he probably might have won the MVP today, and hopefully we can win the playoff game next week.
Q: You had big plays today to Greg (Jennings) and Jordy (Nelson) in the second half, and still at times, not having these guys week after week, do you feel out of sync in a tight ballgame like today?
A: No, I don’t think so at all. I think if you look at some of the plays we made, we had guys moving around. We had Jordy (Nelson) catching the ball in the slot for a huge game. We had James (Jones) outside making guys miss and making plays. Jermichael (Finley) played great today, I thought he made some really big time plays. Jarrett Boykin had the one catch that was a big one on fourth down. This was a character game for us, I think we showed a lot of character. And obviously we came up a little short, but we battled, we stuck together, and we made the plays when we had to there. We just came up a little short.
Q: How did that fourth down play work?
A: Yeah, it was kind of a wing-it there. We were thinking about calling a sneak, and then we tried to catch them with 12 guys on the field. And right as the snap was about to come, I saw a bunch of guys rushing the A gap, so I moved it outside. Jarrett (Boykin) was thankfully on the same page as me, and I just tried to take a little off it and give him a ball he could catch, and he made a nice job with the guy kind of hanging all over him.
Q: In the past few weeks we have talked about momentum going into the playoffs, but now is this team going to play a little angry? Does that help too?
A: Well, I don’t know about that. I just think that we have to go back and watch the film, and look at the things that we did well, and realize that when you are playing playoff-type games, and in the playoffs, you have to play a 60 minute game. Offensively we played about 45 really good minutes of football, but we have to make it a 60 minute game, and try to bring it home this week.
Q: Breakout game for (DuJuan) Harris?
A: I think he surprised some people a couple weeks ago when he scored for us, and did some things. He is learning the offense, and the more he understands the offense, the more he is going to get a chance to play.
PACKERS DEFENSIVE END MIKE DANIELS
Q: It was an exciting game to watch, was it that exciting to play in?
A: Those are the type of games you want to play in. Unfortunately we came up on the other end. We just have to regroup and get ready for next week. This was definitely a learning experience. We have to pick up the pieces.
Q: What can you take away from a game like this where you could have secured a first round bye as a team and you play them again next week?
A: I mean you don’t really think about the first round bye. You think about trying to win the game that you are in. It’s not over, we are still in the playoffs, and we have to get ready for next week.
Q: Number 28 (Peterson) gave you everything he had tonight, what do you think about his performance?
A: The guy is blessed, and he works hard. You get guys that are talented, you get guys that work hard, he is talented and he works hard. It is evident in the way he plays. Hats off to him, and best of luck to him.
Q: What do you think about Christian Ponder? He made some mistakes last time, but he really willed them to win.
A: He learned. That is what you grow to respect, when a guy learns from his mistakes. That makes you want to step your game up to the next level. If you are already ahead of him you have to make sure that they don’t close the gap.
PACKERS LINEBACKER A.J. HAWK
Q: Do you anticipate that it will be more difficult to bounce back mentally to physically?
A: Physically I think everyone, with the playoffs you can figure it out; any type of things you have you can figure that out. It is a different world in the playoffs. But mentally, once we come in tomorrow and watch this and figure it out but after we watch it we will have to let it go. It is the true test of being a professional. If you sit here and feel bad for yourself, get mad and point fingers at each other you do not deserve to be in the playoffs anyways. So we feel we are going to be fine. We are excited we have an opportunity to go to Lambeau. I am sure the fans are not very happy with how we finished but we get a home game in the playoffs and we are going to look forward to that.
Q: Are you glad to be playing the same team again in the playoffs to correct your mistakes?
A: Yeah. Anytime a team does that to you today you want to find a way to fix that. I don’t want to call it redemption but we need to, like you said the playoffs are a one game season. You need to win every time you step on the field and we are looking forward to it.
Q: With both teams knowing so much about each other what does it come down to?
A: That is when it is fun. It comes down to toughness and physicality. Today was a battle the whole game to the very end. They got the best of us. You have to give them a lot of credit. That is why I like these type of games and playing these division opponents that are really good because who cares about the little chess moves here and there that people want to make while trying to trick people. There is none of that going on in these games. It is straight physical football. They are good to be apart of.
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER GREG JENNINGS
Q: How disappointing is this loss knowing that a win would have given you a first round bye?
A: It’s very disappointing. Obviously you’re playing a division team. If they win, they get in and if we win we get a bye. We definitely could have used the bye but at this point its win or go home now.
Q: You have an opportunity to play them again in the playoffs and knock them out. What’s the feeling to seeing them again?
A: It’s another game. This one was a hard fought game. We have to focus in and execute. They did a great job of executing and Adrian did a great job of running the ball. We just need to find a way to win.
Q: You had your best game of the season. It looked like you and Aaron (Rodgers) were back in sync. How did that feel?
A: I felt good. This was the best I felt coming into a game this year so it’s just a matter of time.
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES
Q: Do you feel like you guys could have got off to a quicker start today?
A: We just lost. They made more plays than we did.
Q: How hard will it be to bounce back from this one?
A: We’ll have to see. Every time our teams back is against the wall and every time we need to get a win, we win the game. We need to continue to stay together and go out there and give another hard fought game on Sunday. They are going to come in, a division opponent, they know us we know them, and it’s going to be tough.
Q: Did you have to state your case on the ball crossing the plane of end zone?
A: No, it was a touchdown so it’s automatically reviewed. I didn’t need to go yell to challenge the play because it’s automatically reviewed.
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JORDY NELSON
Q: How emotionally difficult is this loss?
A: It’s tough. We wanted a week off and didn’t get it. Now we have to face them again in 6 days. We’ve got to move on and be ready to roll. They will be on an emotional high and we’ll have to bounce back.
Q: Is it tougher to bounce back physically or emotionally?
A: Both. Anytime you’re on a short break it can be tough, but they’re going to be in the same situation as us. They’re going to be beat up and we’re going to be beat up. It was a tough, physical game. We just need to be able to come back because it’s win or go home now. They survived one and they are going to try to do it to us.
Q: Are you guys even going to be standing after this game? Everyone seems beat up a little bit?
A: I don’t know how everyone came out. We have great depth on this team. All year, guys have stepped up and made plays. That’s what we expect.
Q: You did hurt your knee. Was there a point you were concerned about it after you came back into the game?
A: You get bumps and bruises. In the situation we were in we’re going to the playoffs no matter what so the doctor wanted to be cautious and smart about it but after Jarrett Boykin went down there was no choice. I knew I could get through it and was able to.
Q: Did you say you were going back in? You guys do have other wide receivers, correct?
A: I told them I was going back in. We were down to Jeremy Ross who has only been here for 2 months so I told them if they needed a receiver down in the red zone I’d be able to do it.
Q: Jody, you picked up that red flag pretty quickly what did Mike (McCarthy) say to you?
A: (Laughter) …Thank you.
Q: You obviously knew the rule then?
A: Yeah, I knew the rule. I think their might have been some miscommunication on whether they called him down or a turnover. Once I heard it was a turnover, I knew it was automatically reviewed. Everyone saw the Detroit play like that so luckily we were able to prevent that.
Q: Did you feel like it was difficult to get some momentum going at the beginning of the game?
A: Yeah, we ran into some tough breaks. The first third down we flipped and on the second third down they batted down the ball. We had guys open; we just weren’t able to make the play. Once we got threw that we were able to move the ball and put points up on the board. We just didn’t make enough.
PACKERS DEFENSE TACKLE B.J. RAJI
Q: Talk about this loss, are you eager to get another crack at those guys?
A: Good news is, that we have another shot at them next week. I think I speak for everybody when I say, yes. Anytime you let a tough game like this go it is going to bring up some bad feelings, but you have to move on.
Q: With all the emotions out there, is it going to be a tough turnaround?
A: We have done it before, but it is definitely going to be challenging. I think with the guys in this room we can definitely regroup.
Q: How tough was Adrian to stop today? Any different than any other day?
A: He’s going to be tough any day, no matter where you play. We have to find a way to get it done. Today we didn’t do that.
Q: Is it going to be physically or mentally tougher to bounce back from this loss going into next week?
A: Who knows. It is going to be a challenge, but I think we have what it takes to get it done.
Q: Do you think that Adrian won the league MVP today?
A: Who knows, I’m not concerned with that. Whoever gets it, they will deserve it.
Q: Are you disappointed in the run defense? He had 199 yards, and in two games he has had over 400 plus. How disappointing is that?
A: Considering who it is, you obviously never want to give up that kind of yardage, but when you look at the numbers there is a reason why he is where he is at. He’s an all-timer, and sometimes you have to live with that.
Q: What can you do differently to stop him next week?
A: We’ll go back and look at the film, and we will come with a game plan that we can hopefully execute.
PACKERS CORNERBACK SAM SHIELDS
Q: What did you expect the Vikings offense to do and what was the game plan?
A: You have to know your responsibilities, know your keys and know what they wanted to do. We knew that they wanted to give the ball to A.P. But then again you had to watch the pass.
Q: Is it going to be hard to get things turned around for next week or being in the playoffs, does that make it easier?
A: We have been in this position before. Playoffs are one and done, so we have to go back and watch film and regroup on the downs that we missed out on and keep moving forward.
Q: Guys rarely run by you, did you bite on that? (Wright long pass)
A: He got behind me. I was supposed to cover deep, cover 3, and he got behind me. He made a play.
Tags: #GBvsMIN, minnesota vikings, post-game quotes
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Tags: #GBvsMIN, instant replay, minnesota vikings
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Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from Mall of America Field.
Tags: #GBvsMIN, metrodome, minnesota vikings, sideline pass
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MINNEAPOLIS–The Packers and Vikings will face each other again next weekend, in Lambeau Field, in the wild-card round of the playoffs, following a 37-34 Vikings win in the Metrodome on Sunday.
Trailing 20-10 at halftime, the Packers cut their deficit to 20-17 when Aaron Rodgers completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings to cap the Packers’ opening drive of the second half.
Minnesota roared back on a drive that involved a critical replay review and a second-and-27 play the Vikings converted on a 27-yard run by Adrian Peterson. The Vikings moved their lead to 27-17 when Christian Ponder flipped a 2-yard touchdown pass to Peterson.
The Packers stormed back with an 87-yard touchdown drive, the big play of which was a 73-yard completion from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. The touchdown play, an 8-yard throw from Rodgers to James Jones, was first ruled a fumble and a Vikings recovery in the end zone. Replay review awarded the Packers a touchdown, but not before some tense moments after Coach Mike McCarthy tossed his challenge flag unnecessarily. It resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty but did not disallow the touchdown. Referee Mike Carey explained the review had already begun when McCarthy tossed his challenge flag.
Trailing 27-24, the Packers tied the game on a 40-yard Mason Crosby field goal early in the fourth quarter.
That’s when Ponder, not Peterson, made the big play. His 65-yard completion to Jarius Wright caught the Packers by surprise and was the big play in a go-ahead touchdown drive. On third down, Ponder pitched a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Jenkins, and the Vikings led, 34-27.
Facing a must-score possession, Rodgers moved the Packers slowly but surely down the field as the clock ticked toward the two-minute warning. A pass interference penalty against the Vikings put the ball on the 2-yard line, from where Nelson caught a back-shoulder throw for a touchdown that tied the game, 34-34, with 2:54 to play.
That’s when the excitement began.
The Vikings took possession at their 28. Two failed plays left Ponder to face a third-and-11. Following the two-minute warning, Ponder found Jenkins alone on the sideline for 25 yards and a first down at the Packers 48.
At that point, the clock favored the Vikings, who would try to move into field goal range. Peterson seven yards on first down, and the clock ticked. Peterson rushed for four more and a first down, and the clock ticked.
That’s when Peterson won the game. He burst off left tackle for 26 yards and with three seconds to play, rookie Blair Walsh booted a 29-yard, walk-off field goal.
Tags: #GBvsMIN, metrodome, minnesota vikings
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Packers WR Randall Cobb, who suffered an ankle/knee injury in last Sunday’s game vs. the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field, will not suit up in Minnesota today. The following players have been declared as inactive for today’s Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game at the Metrodome.
Green Bay Packers
18 WR Randall Cobb
21 DB Charles Woodson
31 CB Davon House
44 RB James Starks
56 LB Terrell Manning
80 WR Donald Driver
91 DT Jordan Miller
4 QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
11 WR Stephen Burton
27 CB Brandon Burton
36 S Robert Blanton
57 LB Audie Cole
78 OL Troy Kropog
91 DE D’Aundre Reed
Tags: #GBvsMIN, inactives, minnesota vikings
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