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Vikings secure NFC North title with win in Green Bay

  • By Jeremy Bergman
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The Minnesota Vikings (11-5) walked into Lambeau Field and withstood a Green Bay Packers (10-6) rally to secure their first NFC North title since 2009 in a 20-13 win. Here's what you need to know:

1. In improbable fashion, the Vikings have wrestled the NFC North away from the Packers for the first time since 2009. While Green Bay faltered dramatically down the stretch, losing their final two games by 37 points combined, Minnesota sped to the finish line. Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings played their best football late, dominating the Bears, Giants and Packers to close out the campaign. Minnesota will host the sixth-seeded Seahawks on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET, while the Packers head to Landover to take on Kirk Cousins and the surging Redskins on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET.

2. The Packers were thisclose to tying the game late in the fourth quarter. However, a bungled sequence of events in the red zone left Green Bay with a goose egg. Capitalizing on a Cordarrelle Patterson kick return fumble, Aaron Rodgers drove the Packers down to the 13-yard line before calling an inexplicable timeout with the clock stopped at 2:18. On the next play, Rodgers tossed an interception to Vikings safety Xavier Rhodes.

Rodgers would get another hurried shot at the end zone, launching a desperate Hail Mary at the buzzer -- sound familiar, Lions fans? -- that was knocked down at the goal line.

Castrol EDGE Clutch Performers:

3. Skol, Adrian! The Vikings running back secured the league rushing title for the third time with a 67-yard performance. Buccaneers running back Doug Martin only ran for 48 yards in his finale, leaving A.D. with a 17-yard cushion heading into Sunday night. Peterson finished with 1,485 yards on the season and also scored a bruising touchdown before heading to the locker room with a back injury.

4. The turning point of the game was guided by the Vikings' Captain. Minnesota cornerback Captain Munnerlyn scooped up an Aaron Rodgers fumble and raced by the unsuspecting Green Bay offensive line for a 55-yard TD. There was initial confusion in Lambeau as to whether Rodgers' arm was coming forward, rendering the loose ball an incomplete pass. However, replay confirmed the refs' initial ruling and silenced Lambeau and the Packers' division hopes.


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