Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/6/13
The Green Bay Packers, with Charles Woodson back for the first time in nine games, bottled up Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings offense without starting quarterback Christian Ponder, for a 24-10 playoff victory Saturday. Green Bay had given up 210 and 199 yards in each of the last two meetings with the Vikings and Peterson, but held him to just 99 yards this Saturday and just one long run of 18 yards. It was clear the Packers were not going to let Peterson beat them in this game.With Woodson, Clay Matthews, and Erik Walden seemingly in on every big play, the Packer defense shut the Vikings down for the better part of the 40-minute game. Matthews and Walden combined for 3 sacks and 5 quarterback hits and harassed Webb all game.It looked like things might not go that way when Minnesota took the opening drive 53 yards, all runs en-route to a 33-yard field goal and their only lead of the game. From that point the Viking offense sputtered under Joe Webb who became the first quarterback in NFL history to start a playoff game without throwing a single regular season pass. Playing for Ponder, who was injured in the season finale against Green Bay, Webb looked like he hadn't thrown a pass all season.Webb was just 3-of-11 in the first half for 26 yards and finished the game 11-of-30 for 180 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and a 54.9 passer rating. His statistics are inflated by the last two meaningless drives that led to the touchdown, 4 completions, and 119 of those yards.Meanwhile Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense tied a playoff game record by having 10 different players catch a pass while scoring the next 24 points.Green Bay took the lead for good nearing the end of the 1st quarter. The Pack took 6:11 to drive 82 yards on 11 plays capped by a DuJuan Harris 9-yard run for a touchdown and 7-3 lead.The drive should have ended after three plays. Deep in their own territory and facing a 3rd-and-2, Ryan Grant was stuffed on a middle run for a yard but the Vikings were offside giving Green Bay a first down.Greg Jennings caught a 4-yard pass on the next scoring drive and broke a tackle for a 32-yard gain on 4th-and-5. From the 3-yard line Green Bay could not punch it in and settled for a 20-yard field goal and 10-3 advantage.With 1:48 left in the half Rodgers needed just three plays to go 59 yards down to the Viking 3-yard line where John Kuhn scored the first of his two touchdowns. The half ended with a 17-3 Green Bay lead and Rodgers already had completions to eight different players.Green Bay took the opening drive of the second half 71 yards in 11 plays and lined up for a field goal. Minnesota was called for to many men on the field giving Green Bay a first down. On the next play Rodgers threw short to Kuhn who bounced off three Vikings for his second touchdown.Green Bay clearly took their foot off the gas on offense from that point, going 3 plays and out on five straight drives, before gaining a first down to salt the game away on their final drive.The defense, however, kept the pressure on. On their first drive it took Minnesota 10 plays to gain 35 yards. Facing 4th-and-3 Webb dropped back to pass and Clay Matthews leapt from his blind side, stripping Webb of the ball and then recovering it.On the next Minnesota drive Sam Shields intercepted a deep pass when Webb overshot his intended target.While Webb struggled hi Pro Bowl counterpart looked like the same player that holds the highest regular and post-season passer ratings in NFL history. Rodgers added to the notion he is the best player in the NFL completing 22-of-33 for 274 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT and a104.9 passer rating.DuJuan Harris lead Green Bay in carries with 17, rushing yards with 47, and receptions with five. He totaled 100 yards and a touchdown on his 23 touches.Jennings lead the team in receiving yards with 61 on four catches. James Jones also had four for 51 yards. Jordy Nelson also had 51 yards on three grabs.Peterson lead all rushers with 99 yards and 22 carries. Webb struggled passing, but did gain 68 yards on seven rushes.Michael Jenkins was the leading receiver with 96 yards on three catches and the late 50-yard touchdown.Green Bay travels to San Francisco next week in a re-match from week 1 when Frank Gore ran for over 100 yards in the 49ers 30-22 victory. Gore is he only other back beside Peterson to run for 100 yards or more on the Packer defense.Webb certainly helped the Green Bay defense look good with a lot of inaccurate throws. The defense will have to play even better next week against San Francisco when they face Colin Kaepernick, who did not play in their opening week meeting.
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