The Green Bay Packers will indeed play for the NFC North title in week 17. They clinched that opportunity on Christmas Eve day with a 38-19 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers had a vintage performance, accounting for all five of the Packers' touchdowns and throwing for more than 300 yards. Meanwhile, the defense was buoyed by a resurgent Clay Matthews, who had a big game that included a sack-strip.
Here were the big plays from the game.
The Packers struck first, despite not scoring on the opening drive. Aaron Rodgers hooked up with Jordy Nelson for a 21-yard score in the first quarter, the 58th such touchdown between the two players. That moved them into sole possession of first place on the all time franchise list.
The Vikings struck back with a field goal, but on the ensuing series, Rodgers found Nelson for a 48-yard gain, then hit Davante Adams for a 20-yard score to make the margin 14-3.
After a second Vikings field goal, the Packers later recovered an aborted snap by Sam Bradford, as Kenny Clark came up with the football. Rodgers hit Nelson for a second touchdown, this time from 2 yards out, for a 21-6 lead.
Minnesota responded with a 71-yard touchdown from Sam Bradford to Adam Thielen to pull back within a touchdown. The Packers punted on the next series, but Clay Matthews sacked Sam Bradford and forced a fumble, and Mike Daniels recovered.
Rodgers converted just before the end of the first half, running into the end zone from 6 yards out and making the score 28-13 at halftime.
There were no fireworks early on the third quarter, but a scary moment when Aaron Rodgers was sacked. He appeared to injure his neck, but did not miss any time as a result.
After the third quarter ended without any scoring, the Packers picked up a field goal early in the fourth to extend their lead to 31-13. A hit later, Rodgers hit Richard Rodgers over the middle for a 13-yard score and a 38-13 lead.
Minnesota tacked on a pair of late touchdowns but it was too little, too late despite recovering an onside kick.
Aaron Rodgers has arguably his best game of the season. Rodgers threw for 4 touchdowns and nearly 350 yards, and he added his fourth rushing touchdown of the season.
Jordy Nelson caught 9 passes for 154 yards and two scores.
Clay Matthews had a sack, forced fumble, and three hits on Bradford.