Vikings ineffective without Ponder, Packers win easily
GREEN BAY - With starting quarterback Christian Ponder sidelined and running back Adrian Peterson contained, the Minnesota Vikings dropped their rematch with Green Bay in Saturday's NFC Wild Card game 24-10 at Lambeau Field.
Ponder suffered an elbow injury in last Sunday's Vikings victory and while he tried to warm-up as late as 4:30 p.m. yesterday, the pain in his elbow and tricept made it impossible for him to throw effectively. Thus the team had to go with back-up Joe Webb. who had a hard time finding his receivers and a razor-sharp Aaron Rodgers connected with a record 10 different receivers while throwing for 274 yards. Webb, who hadn't throw a single pass the entire regular season, was 10-for-30 for 180 yards, one touchdown but also one interception and one lost fumble after sack by Green Bay's Clay Matthews.
Peterson's performance wasn't bad at all - 99 yards on 22 carries - but it was far-removed from the 409 yards he'd piled up in the first two meetings. The Packers were never really challenged. Fullback John Kuhn scored twice, with DuJuan Harris adding the third TD. One of the bad moments for Minnesota came early in the third quarter when the Packers lined up for a field goal. The Vikes' had 12 men on the field, the Packers were awarded a first down and they went on to score the touchdown that basically put the game out of reach.
The Packers advance to play the NFC West Division Champion San Francisco 49ers next Saturday at 7 p.m. with the win.