1:00 PM ET, November 24, 2013
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Sunday Blitz: Vikings-Packers Recap
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Packers' losing streak without Aaron Rodgers is over, though the frustration continues in Titletown.
A tie did little to lift spirits in chilly Green Bay.
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw for 218 yards and helped spark a rally from a 16-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to the Minnesota Vikings early in the fourth quarter. But the teams could only muster field goals in overtime and had to settle for a 26-26 draw Sunday.
More Vikings-Packers coverage
Matt Flynn's late-game heroics went in vain as the Packers' defense once again struggled in settling for a tie, writes Rob Demovsky. Blog
Leslie Frazier said Christian Ponder earned the right to remain as starter after a solid game vs. the Packers, writes Ben Goessling. Blog
• Clayton: Muddied mess in NFC North
"It's an empty feeling. You go out there and didn't lose the game," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "But you feel like you didn't accomplish what you set out to do."
Same sentiment in the Vikings' locker room, where one player held tightly to a hot cup of coffee to warm up following a game that started with temperatures in the upper teens.
"I view it as a loss, personally. We gave up a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter," defensive end Jared Allen said. "I don't have a sister, but I'm going to say it's like going to prom with your sister."
For a while, the match was full of heart-racing drama.
Greg Jennings, playing his first game at Lambeau Field as a member of the Vikings (3-8-1), dropped a third-down pass with 2:11 left. The Packers (5-5-1) also stumbled on their next possession.
One last chance for the Vikings went nowhere with 1 second left, and the teams walked off with the first tie in the NFL since the Rams and 49ers ended 24-24 on Nov. 11, 2012.
At least the 77,000-plus frigid fans got to witness a bit of history -- this was first game to end in a tie under the new overtime rule instituted last year that continues the extra period if both teams open it with field goals. A touchdown by either team would have ended the game.
Jacksonville and Houston both kicked field goals to open OT in a game on Nov. 18, 2012, then the Texans won it with a touchdown.
"I think to everybody around here, it feels like a loss, for sure," Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said.
The Packers are also in unfamiliar territory with so much instability at quarterback. It's been that way since Rodgers -- perhaps the most irreplaceable player in the NFL -- hurt his left collarbone on the first series of a 27-20 loss to the Bears on Nov. 4 that started the winless string.
Flynn, Rodgers' former backup who was re-signed last week, replaced the ineffective Scott Tolzien and finished 21 of 36 for 218 yards and a touchdown. He nearly led Green Bay back from a 23-7 deficit early in the fourth quarter to a win.
Flynn caught a break in overtime after a third-down sack was called off by a holding penalty on Vikings safety Robert Blanton. He followed with three long completions, including a 34-yarder to the leaping Jarrett Boykin to the 7.
Two runs by Eddie Lacy (110 yards on 25 carries) got the Packers to the 2, but Flynn misfired on third down to set up Crosby's kick.
Adrian Peterson had 146 yards and a score on 32 carries. He and Toby Gerhart (91 yards on eight carries) dented the Packers' worn defense in overtime, but could not get in the end zone. The Vikings settled for Walsh's kick.
That was it for the scoring. The fans bundled up in parkas and knit caps to brave temperatures in the upper teens had to settle for a draw.
Some positives for the Packers: a maligned defense stopped two late fourth-quarter drives; Lacy's running; Flynn's play in relief. And the tie being less damaging than a loss would have been in the division race.
"Looking at the guys' eyes in the huddle, I don't think there was any doubt," Flynn said. "I'm proud of the guys for fighting, but we just have to finish."
Things looked bleak for them early in the fourth quarter after Walsh's 29-yard field gave Minnesota 23-7 lead.
Ponder finished 21 of 30 for 233 yards. Maybe the quarterback carousel has finally come to a halt in Minnesota, though afterward Ponder was focused on a missed opportunity.
"We let it get out of our hands," he said. "It's unfortunate we're not walking away with our third victory."
Jennings was booed heartily by Packers fans after the first of his two catches, totaling 29 yards. ... Audie Cole finished with 13 tackles and a sack starting for leading tackler and MLB Erin Henderson, who missed the game for a personal matter. ... CB Sam Shields missed a second straight game for the Packers with a hamstring injury. ... Tolzien finished 7 of 17 for 98 yards, but had an entertaining 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter after putting a spin move on a defender before stumbling into the end zone. ... The only other tie between the teams was a 10-10 draw on Nov. 26, 1978.
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 24: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings leaps between Morgan Bennett #42 and...(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.7||5.6|
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Sacks - Yards Lost
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-5||3-5|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||04:59||Scott Tolzien 6 Yd Run (Mason Crosby Kick)||0||7|
|FG||01:37||Blair Walsh 36 Yd||3||7|
|FG||04:24||Blair Walsh 47 Yd||6||7|
|TD||00:50||Adrian Peterson 1 Yd Run (Blair Walsh Kick)||13||7|
|TD||08:22||Rhett Ellison 12 Yd Pass From Christian Ponder (Blair Walsh Kick)||20||7|
|FG||14:22||Blair Walsh 29 Yd||23||7|
|TD||11:42||Eddie Lacy 3 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||23||13|
|TD||03:30||Jarrett Boykin 6 Yd Pass From Matt Flynn (Mason Crosby Kick)||23||20|
|FG||00:46||Mason Crosby 27 Yd||23||23|
|FG||10:25||Mason Crosby 20 Yd||23||26|
|FG||03:49||Blair Walsh 35 Yd||26||26|
Toby Gerhart gained 10 yards on five of his eight rushes Sunday, all of which were between the tackles. Since the start of 2006, no player had ever gained 10 yards five times on fewer than nine rushes. Gerhart had big holes to run, gaining 68 of his 91 yards before initial contact. Adrian Peterson had to grind out his yards, gaining 77 of 146 rush yards after initial contact. Peterson has averaged 76.4 rush yards after contact against the Packers the last two seasons (including playoffs).
Adrian Peterson is playing his 100th NFL game today. He entered needing 67 yards to surpass Barry Sanders for the third-most rushing yards in a player's first 100 games in NFL history. Peterson passed Sanders by rushing for 72 yards in the first half ...[+]
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