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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Adrian Peterson was shut down and Christian Ponder sidelined.
That left the Minnesota Vikings short-handed, overmatched and barely able to do much of anything against the Green Bay Packers.
Peterson was held to 99 yards, after gaining 199 and 210 in the first two games against Green Bay, and Joe Webb struggled in place of Ponder as the Packers rolled to a 24-10 victory over the Vikings in an NFC wild-card game Saturday night.
Ponder was inactive because of a right elbow injury, suffered when the teams played each other last Sunday. His participation in practice this week was limited and Webb took many of the turns with the first-team offense. But Webb, who hadn't thrown a pass all season, was sacked three times and off target all night. His only highlight was a 50-yard scoring pass to Michael Jenkins late in the fourth quarter, but it was far too late for the Vikings (10-7).
Webb finished 11 for 30 for 180 yards and became the first quarterback in 20 years to start a playoff game without starting any games during that regular season since Frank Reich did so for Buffalo, according to STATS. Reich led the Bills to their famous comeback victory over Houston that year.
But there was no chance of any of that in this one.
This was the third game in six weeks between the Packers (12-5) and the Vikings, and second in six days. The Packers' loss in Minnesota last weekend cost them the No. 2 seed in the NFC, along with a bye this weekend, and left them looking — dare we say it? — vulnerable going into the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers took care of that, showing just how dangerous they can be when they're at full strength. John Kuhn scored two touchdowns, DuJuan Harris added another and Rodgers connected with an NFL playoff-record 10 receivers as he threw for 274 yards. Defensively, the Packers finally managed to contain Peterson.
Rodgers led touchdown drives of 82, 62 and 80 yards as the Packers built a 24-3 lead.
Webb did not fare well in relief of Ponder. He tripped over Clay Matthews for an easy sack early in the second quarter, and was called for intentional grounding while being swarmed behind the line of scrimmage on the next play.
Webb ran five times for 60 yards, but completed only seven of his first 20 attempts for 61 yards. Peterson gained 69 yards on 19 carries through three quarters.
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