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Vikings vs. Packers Final Score: Another comeback falls short as Vikings claim NFC North

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Green Bay found a groove on offense late in the fourth quarter, but once again saw a comeback effort fall just short.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings claimed the NFC North title on Sunday Night as they defeated the Green Bay Packers by the score of 20-13.

The Packers trailed 20-3 at one point in this game, and fought back furiously in the fourth quarter. They had one fourth and goal chance to tie the game just outside of the two-minute warning and had another throw to the end zone on the final play of the game, but both plays were defended by Xavier Rhodes as the Packers fell from the top of the division for the first time in five years.

First Half

On the first drive of the game, the Packers got an early stop on third and long, but a Vikings fake punt picked up 41 yards and set them up just outside the red zone. However, a scramble by Teddy Bridgewater and two straight incomplete passes set up a Blair Walsh field goal for an early 3-0 Vikings lead.

With Josh Sitton manning the left tackle position on their first offensive drive of the game, the Packers started with a heavy dose of Eddie Lacy. He ran the ball seven times on the drive for 28 yards and the offense mixed in some play action passing to move the ball down the field well. Unfortunately, Green Bay stalled after reaching the ten-yard line, and were forced to settle for a Mason Crosby field goal to tie the game at 3.

Green Bay's defense was able to force a three-and-out on the Vikings' second drive, with two Peterson runs and an incomplete pass by Bridgewater leading to a punt. The Packers picked up one first down on their next series, but a third-down sack of Aaron Rodgers forced a Tim Masthay punt. Another pair of punts by both teams set up the Vikings with about 6:30 left in the half.

The Vikings took back the lead on the ensuing drive. However, they were held to a field goal despite crossing the Packers' 10-yard line. Following a pair of 15-yard completions by Bridgewater and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Clay Matthews, the Packers got a big run stop on first down before forcing an incomplete pass and getting a Matthews sack of Bridgewater to force another Walsh three-pointer, which made the score 6-3 in favor of the Vikings.

On the first play of the Packers' next drive, Davante Adams made one of his best plays of the year, shaking free from a Viking tackler and running up the right sideline for a 24-yard gain. But after crossing midfield, the Packers stalled out again and went for it on fourth and five from the Vikings' 40. Rodgers underthrew James Jones up the sideline, and the ball was broken up.

Minnesota took over with 45 seconds left and two timeouts, and moved to midfield on a pass to Jerick McKinnon. After Mike Daniels batted down a pass and Matthews forced an incomplete pass due to pressure on Bridgewater, the Vikings picked up seven yards on third and ten to set up a fourth and two at the Packers' 43. After trying to draw the Packers offsides, the Vikings took a delay of game penalty and instead punted the ball away, after which the Packers kneeled out the clock on the first half.

Second Half

The Packers received the second half kickoff and gave Lacy just his second carry since the opening drive of the game. However, the drive ended in a quick three-and-out, and after Tim Masthay shanked his punt, the Vikings took over at their own 42.

The Vikings were able to find the end zone for the game's first touchdown on the ensuing series, which was sparked by a 26-yard run by Adam Thielen on a jet sweep. After that from the 11-yard line, three straight runs for Adrian Peterson culminated in a big effort on third and two to cross the goal line and give Minnesota a 13-3 lead.

Another three-and-out by the Packers set up the Vikings at their own 23, but on third and five, Bridgewater was pressured quickly. He opted to try to throw a pass left-handed to a receiver over the middle, where Micah Hyde was able to make an incredible, back-handed, one-handed catch and turn the ball back over to Aaron Rodgers and company. Here's a look at the interception:

The Packers then went back to the run, as Eddie Lacy picked up eight on two carries to start. He had the first down on third and two as well, but a holding call on Corey Linsley wiped out the gain and pushed the offense back into a third and 12. While Rodgers dropped back in the pocket, Everson Griffen hit Rodgers' arm as he was rearing back to throw and Captain Munnerlyn recovered the football, returning it 55 yards for a touchdown. The play was reviewed, but the call on the field stood up as the Vikings took a 20-3 lead.

On their next drive, the Packers got a bit play from James Jones early and a fourth-down conversion from Randall Cobb around the Vikings' 33 as they moved the ball slowly but steadily. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Packers faced a third and three from the 26; Rodgers was able to step up in the pocket and scramble, picking up 11 yards and the first down. Two plays later, Rodgers dropped back with tons of time to throw and found Richard Rodgers crossing the field. The big tight end caught the ball at the nine yard line and was bale to jump across the left pylon for a touchdown, pulling the Packers to within two possessions at 20-10.

The Vikings tried to run off some clock with Jerick McKinnon in the game in place of Peterson. The Packers were able to get Minnesota into a third and 14 situation at their own 38, and an incomplete pass led to a punt. From there, the Packers' passing game seemed to wake up. A pair of nice receptions by Davante Adams and a deep throw to James Jones set the Packers up over midfield. After Cobb picked up three on a run and Richard Rodgers gained four on a pass in the flat, Aaron Rodgers was sacked for a loss of seven yards, setting up a Mason Crosby field goal that cut the Vikings' lead to 20-13.

On the following kickoff, Cordarrelle Patterson weaved his way for a big return up the middle of the field, but well inside Packers territory he was tracked down by Crosby, who stripped the football out of Patterson's hands. Micah Hyde was on the spot to recover the football and save the Packers from putting the defense on the field in a bad spot. Aaron Rodgers then got big plays to Randall Cobb for 17 and Jones for 37, before finding John Kuhn on a screen pass for another 13 yards down to the Vikings' 10-yard line. Following a swing pass to Cobb for no gain on first down, Rodgers was sacked on second down and had to throw the ball away on third down, setting up a 4th and goal from the 13. Rodgers dropped back and lofted a touch pass into the middle of the end zone, and his throw was intercepted by Xavier Rhodes, ending the threat.

One of the worst parts of that sequence, however, was the Packers taking a timeout before the fourth down play, as the play clock was about to run out. That left Green Bay with just a single timeout left (plus the two-minute warning), needing a quick stop.

They got that stop, but left just under one minute on the clock as Rodgers took over at the Vikings' 41. Three straight incomplete passes set up 4th and 10, but Rodgers found Richard Rodgers to move the chains, then hit Davante Adams along the right sideline to stop the clock. A third down pass to Rodgers kept the clock running, and set up one final chance for a deep pass to the end zone. Unlike in Detroit, the pass was knocked down and fell incomplete, as the Vikings earned the win.