Published: Mon, December 26, 2016
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Packers Win Sets Stage For Division Championship Game Against Detroit

Packers Win Sets Stage For Division Championship Game Against Detroit

Then something magnificent happened, starting November 29th, the Packers won four games in a row, bringing them just a few steps from the playoffs.

Green Bay began on-field work Wednesday in preparation for their game Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings pulled back within a score, to 21-13, after Bradford heaved another deep ball to Thielen, who ran untouched to the end zone while the two Packers defenders who collided on the play picked themselves up.

Heated division rivals headed in opposite directions meet Saturday at Lambeau Field in a game that could help clear up the NFC playoff picture.

"Most definitely. If we can't go, they can't go", Munnerlyn said. Additionally, it gives the Lions players an extra seven hours of much needed rest.

Drew Brees was 23 of 34 for 299 yards and a touchdown for New Orleans (7-8), which gained 417 total yards and did not have a turnover.

Raiders QB Derek Carr out 6-8 weeks IMAGE
Packers Win Sets Stage For Division Championship Game Against Detroit

But it's not over until it's over, and the Packers have a shot at both taking it to the Detroit Lions in the NFC North and a potential wild card berth, failing that. Aaron Rodgers, who has been bothered by a calf injury the last two weeks, is off the Packers' latest injury list. That division right now, I don't know where it's going. Munnerlyn talked about the difficulties Rodgers' mobility creates. Even Minnesota's vaunted defense was no match for him Saturday, getting diced up by 28 of 38 passing for 347 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. He would likely have to take a significant pay cut to remain in Minnesota. Look for the Packers to take care of business and beat the Vikings to improve to 9-6 with a shot at winning the NFC North in Week 16 in Detroit.

Peterson did not practice at midweek after the running back said he had a "couple of nicks" for which he needed treatment following his first game in three months. The Packers secondary had shaky moments again a week after a porous fourth quarter in a win over the Chicago Bears. If a championship is what he values over money, then he may continue to be a part of the team, but if he feels he deserves the contract he has, and a contender can afford him, then the era of All Day Peterson in Minnesota may be coming to a hard end.

Meanwhile, Minnesota joined the 1993 New Orleans Saints, 2003 Vikings, 2009 Denver Broncos and New York Giants and 2015 Atlanta Falcons as teams since 1990 to start a season 5-0 and not make the playoffs. They've already been eliminated from repeating for the division title.

And his toughness was on full display as well when two Vikings - linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive end Danielle Hunter - sandwiched Rodgers in the third quarter, leaving him on the ground. This time Rodgers opted to run in for the score instead of throwing for another one. Rodgers is one of the most consistent and effective quarterbacks in the league, so there seemed to be plenty of panic around the Packers organization. Only four other quarterbacks have thrown three touchdown passes and rushed for another in a single half in the past five seasons.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked after the game about Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes shadowing Nelson in the second half, but not the first.

"This is awesome. It is nearly January and we are sitting outside watching a Packer game", fan Marissa Buchta said.

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