Joe Webb's legs couldn't make up for his deficiencies as a passer, as the Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings easily.
With almost every imaginable obstacle keeping the Minnesota Vikings from providing the Green Bay Packers with serious opposition, their offense failed to rise to the occasion. Christian Ponder was ruled out of the NFC Wild Card matchup between the two teams at the last minute, and Joe Webb struggled mightily in a 24-10 Green Bay win.
For much of the game, Adrian Peterson was held under four yards per carry. It was only in the latter part of the fourth quarter, when the Packers appeared to have the game well in hand and their level of focus dropped significantly, when he began to play effectively. He finished the game with 22 carries for 99 yards. Webb enjoyed a similar late-game boost, throwing a touchdown to Michael Jenkins with just under four minutes remaining on a blown coverage. He finished 11-29 passing.
Considering their offense's inability to move the ball, the Vikings defense fared well and kept their extremely poor offense in the game. Aaron Rodgers was extremely effective, but not his best on Saturday night. He finished 22-33 with 274 yards, one touchdown and no picks. The Packers running game was a bit less effective, as the team managed just 2.5 yards per carry on the ground.
Minnesota started the game brightly, with a 10-play drive for 53 yards that set up a field goal. Both Webb and Peterson were effective running the ball as the Packers appeared to have no answers. However, it took just one second down stop to force an obvious passing situation for the wheels to fall off the Vikings offense. They didn't score again until late in the fourth quarter.
DuJuan Harris scored Green Bay's first touchdown at the close of the first half, and it became apparent quickly that they wouldn't need to score at their normal clip to win the game. Mason Crosby added a field goal in the second quarter after John Kuhn was stopped twice on the goal line during an 11-play, 72 yard drive, but Kuhn would go on to redeem himself.
At the end of a perfectly executed two-minute drill, Kuhn punched in a touchdown run to put Green Bay ahead 17-3 at halftime. With their first drive of the second quarter, Green bay went 80 yards on 12 plays, capped off by a Kuhn touchdown pass. Given Kuhn's ineffectiveness and Peterson's surprisingly human-like performance, it was an obvious dagger. The game effectively ended when that touchdown was scored, and Mike McCarthy hit the brakes. It was all conservative play-calling from there until the end of the game.
The Packers defense fell asleep late with a 21-point lead, allowing Jenkins to walk into the end zone, making the score look a bit more respectable. It had no bearing on the result, however, and the Packers moved on comfortably to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.