Vikings Oust Packers To Win NFC North Division Title
In the final game of the 2015-16 NFL regular season at a frigid Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings were set to square off for a NFC North division title that has seen both teams atop the division throughout the season. With both teams already having playoff berths, this game meant more because of the Vikings not winning the division since 2009 and the Packers winning it in the last four years.
With a dismal first half with only field goals being kicked, the second half brought some significant scores on both sides of the ball for the Vikings. Running back Adrian Peterson ran a 3-yard touchdown to start the third quarter, while a fumble caused by the Vikings defense on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was run back for a 55-yard touchdown return by cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. With the score now reading 20-3, Rodgers and the sluggish Packers offense would score in the fourth quarter with a 16-yard touchdown catch from wide receiver Richard Rodgers. After a later field goal by Packers kicker Mason Crosby, the Vikings’ kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson had the ball swatted away by Crosby in a possible 70-yard kick return chance for a touchdown with 5:21 left in the game. But on the next drive, Rodgers would be intercepted in the end zone by cornerback Xavier Rhodes that would stop the Packers from scoring. A last desperation move by the Packers later on during the two-minute warning resulted in a last hail mary throw by Rodgers being spiked down by the Vikings defense, resulting in the final score of 20-13 and the Vikings coming away with the division title. “It’s been since 2009 and that’s too long of a stretch,” Peterson said, who left the third quarter with an apparent lower back injury but came back in the fourth. “That drought is over.”
With this game behind both teams, playoffs and Super Bowl hopes are officially underway next week with both teams having considerable games coming up next Sunday. The Vikings will host the wild-card seed Seattle Seahawks in Minneapolis while the Packers will travel to Washington, D.C. to face the NFC East champions in the Redskins.