Dec 2, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings players line up for a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Packer Forum writer
Adrian Peterson rushed for 210 yards against the Packers, but fortunately the Packers picked off Christian Ponder twice, both by Morgan Burnett, en route to a 23-14 win over division rival Minnesota.
The win moves the Packers to a more comfortable 8-4 and back into contention in the NFC North. The Packers and Bears are now tied for the division lead after Chicago lost to Seattle Sunday afternoon.
The Packers also registered their first rushing TD in the last seven games when James Starks scored from 22 yards out in the 3rd quarter to put the Packers up 20-14.
Mason Crosby tacked on a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Aaron Rodgers finished with 286 yards passing on 27 of 35 completions with a touchdown and an interception. Greg Jennings caught 4 passes for 46 in his return from injury.
"I thought Morgan Burnett’s interception in the third quarter in the end zone was probably the key play of the game," said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
"It shifted the momentum. I felt that our team was able to overcome adversity and played very well in the second half."
Aaron Rodgers agreed that after trailing at the half, the Packers knew they had to play better in the second half.
“I think it definitely was a gut-check for us," said Rodgers.
"At halftime, I think the thing you can say about our guys, there was no panic. Our defense shut them out in the second half, which ultimately gave us the win, but there was no panic on the offensive side.”
An ankle injury sustained by T.J. Lang in the first quarter is not thought to be serious and its likely Lang will be available to play next week. But the injury did open the door for Don Barclay to step into the offensive line. By all accounts the reviews were positive.
“I thought Don did a good job," said McCarthy.
"Actually, I thought the confidence in the play calling reflected that. When he first went into the game, I tried to take care of him and play it smart. Frankly, after halftime we just really played a basic, clean football game."
WR Jordy Nelson's ongoing hamstring issues will likely be monitored throughout the week and a decision will be made regarding his status for the game Sunday night against Detroit.
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