The banged up Green Bay Packers beat divisional foe Minnesota 23-14 but added a few more names to their growing injury report. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson and starting offensive lineman T.J. Lang each went down in the first half and will likely be questionable for next week's game against the Lions.
At 48 degrees, the first quarter began with a bang for the Pack. A 32 yard leaping grab by James Jones put Green Bay on the scoreboard first on the opening drive of the game. Aaron Rodgers gambled against good coverage after the Vikings jumped into the neutral zone and the risk paid off. An incredibly athletic grad in the back corner of the end zone gave the Pack a 7-0 lead.
A 30 yard field goal followed a touchdown erased by a holding penalty on Green Bay's next drive. Crosby would miss a 53 yarder before the half and exited to a chorus of boos.
Minnesota controlled the second quarter including a seven yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph and an 82 yard touchdown scamper by Adrian Peterson to give the Vikings their first lead of the ball game. Up 14-10 at the half, a good number of fans wearing purple and yellow could be heard at Lambeau Field. A surprising number of Vikings fans made the trip with an estimated 25% of the crowd supporting the Vikings.
Third quarter scoring started with a Mason Crosby 47 yard field goal. A James Starks explosion to the end zone with a 22 yard scoring play came later in the third. His efforts were aided by two Morgan Burnett third quarter interceptions deep inside Packers territory. Leading 20-14 to start the fourth quarter, Green Bay would add a 30 yard field goal leaving Crosby back in good faith with the coaching staff and fans.
The win pushes the Packers to (8-4) and in the driver's seat again in the division after the Seahawks knocked off the Bears in overtime. The loss drops the Vikings to (6-6) and out of playoff contention. Sunday's game between the Lions and Packers will begin at 7:20 PM, Sunday Night Football, from Lambeau Field.