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Packers Down Vikings to Stay on Top of Division


After seeing the Lions stun the Cowboys earlier in the day, the Green Bay Packers knew they had to be on top on their game against the Minnesota Vikings to hold on to their slim lead in the NFC North, and they certainly were in an impressive 44-31 road victory on the Sunday night stage.

Despite missing Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb and James Jones, the Packers’ offense manhandled the Vikes behind an efficient performance from Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers completed 24 of his 29 throws for 285 yards and two touchdowns – both of which landed perfectly in the arms of Jordy Nelson – en route to a 44-31 win and a half-game lead in the NFC North over Detroit.

“I think this is really shaping up to be one of Aaron’s best years,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, according to ESPN.com. “Aaron’s had a lot of challenges Monday through Saturday that don’t show up on the stat sheet, just trying to get on the same page with younger players and trusting the game plan.”

After witnessing Minnesota return man Cordarrelle Patterson take the opening kick back 109 yards (tied NFL record) for a score to put Green Bay in an early 7-0 hole, Rodgers knew a road win wouldn’t be easy to come by, but as usual, he took on the challenge and rose to the occasion.

“I wasn’t going to let this team beat us,” Rodgers said, adding: “A lot was on my shoulders.”

While Rodgers accounted for much of Green Bay’s offensive production, he wasn’t alone in the backfield on Sunday, as the Packer run game kicked into high gear, posting 182 total rushing yards. Ninety-four of those yards belonged to Eddie Lacy, who solidified his position as the team’s every-down back after carrying the ball 29 times – one of which went for a score.

“Everybody wants a 1,500-yard rusher. I’ve always wanted an 1,100-yard rusher, because I plan on being in the playoffs, so I want him running the same way in January and February as he is in September and October,” McCarthy said.

With a 5-2 record and a four-game winning streak, the Pack look poised for another playoff run, but with the Lions and the Bears both within a single game, the North title is still very much up in the air. However, the playoff picture in the division will continue to clear up after Green Bay and Chicago do battle next Monday night.

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