Packers rout Vikings 37-10 in cold to take NFC’s No. 1 seed

NFL

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers thorws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, A.J. Dillon ran for two more scores and the Green Bay Packers routed the Minnesota Vikings 37-10 on Sunday night to wrap up the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed.

Green Bay’s victory, coupled with Philadelphia’s 20-16 triumph at Washington earlier in the day, dropped the Vikings (7-9) from postseason contention and gave the Eagles a playoff berth. The Vikings were playing without quarterback Kirk Cousins after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

The Packers (13-3) are the lone NFL team with an unbeaten home record and have a chance to reach the Super Bowl without leaving Lambeau Field. Sunday night’s game exemplified the potential advantage the Packers have playing home games in January, as the temperature was 11 degrees with a wind chill of 1 just before kickoff.

Green Bay has won 13 straight regular-season home games, but lost 31-26 at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last season’s NFC championship game. The Packers haven’t reached the Super Bowl since their 2010 title and have lost in the conference championship game four of the last seven seasons.

Rodgers went 29 of 38 for 288 yards with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard and an 11-yarder to Davante Adams, who had 11 catches for 136 yards. Adams has 117 receptions to break the Packers’ season record he set last year.

Over his last six games, Rodgers has thrown 18 touchdown passes without an interception despite playing with an injured left pinky toe.

The reigning MVP has thrown 56 career regular-season touchdown passes against the Vikings, the most they have allowed to any quarterback. Brett Favre, who preceded Rodgers as the Packers’ quarterback, threw 54 career touchdown passes against the Vikings before ending his career with Minnesota.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur broke George Seifert’s 30-year-old NFL record for the most regular-season wins by a coach in his first three seasons. LaFleur owns a 39-9 regular-season mark and 41-11 overall record. Seifert had a 38-10 regular-season record from 1989-91 in his first three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

Dillon ran for two second-half touchdowns and gained 63 yards on 15 carries. Aaron Jones gained 76 yards on just eight carries as the Packers outrushed the Vikings 174-27.

Minnesota had won its last two matchups with the Packers but never had much of a chance in this one without Cousins, who had thrown for 341 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 home victory over the Packers on Nov. 21.

The Packers have won five straight since that loss in Minnesota.

Sean Mannion started in place of Cousins and went 22 of 35 for 189 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn. Mannion was making his third career start, and first since the final week of the 2019 regular season.

The Packers reached the red zone on three of their first four possessions but only had a 6-0 lead to show for it, thanks to a pair of Mason Crosby field goals. But they broke through by reaching the end zone on their next three possessions, including two touchdowns in the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first half.

INJURED

Umpire Fred Bryan went to the medical tent and then headed to the locker room in the first quarter.

Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin left the game after taking a big hit from Packers safety Adrian Amos late in the third quarter. Amos’ hit broke up a pass, though center Garrett Bradbury alertly snared the ball from the air and ran upfield for a 21-yard gain.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Host Chicago on Sunday.

Packers: At Detroit on Sunday.

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