Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Peterson at 1,989 yards as Vikings lead Packers 20-10 at the half

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Packers, Adrian Peterson Updated: December 30, 2012 - 4:59 PM

The Vikings definitely aren't choking on their opportunity to reach the playoffs.

Knowing before kickoff that they had to win to reach the post-season, the Vikings scored on their first three possessions, taking a 13-0 lead before the Packers had mustered their first first down of the game. Naturally, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers didn't panic and managed to close the gap to 10 points, 20-10, on a 51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby as time expired in the first half.

Adrian Peterson has 17 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. He has 1,989 yards on the season, needing 11 to become the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. Ponder is 9 of 15 for 100 yards, an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jarius Wright and no turnovers.

Rodgers is 10 of 18 for 89 yards and a 3-yard touchdown to Greg Jennings on third-and-goal. The Packers, however, have only 114 yards of offense.

The Vikings scored first when Blair Walsh kicked a 54-yard field goal, making him 10 of 10 from 50 or beyond this season. He also extended his NFL record for 50-yarder in a season in doing so.

Peterson made it 10-0 with a 7-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter. Walsh then added a 37-yard field goal, giving the Vikings a 13-0 lead while the Packers had run only six plays for 11 yards.

Because the Bears and Giants won, the Vikings can only make the playoffs if they beat the Packers. That would give them the sixth seed and a likely playoff opener at Green Bay next week. The Packers are still playing for the No. 2 seed and a bye next week.

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