"We have some stuff to work on," Rodgers said. "We've got to help our defense out more, close a team out like that. Tough test next week back in San Francisco."
Hey, at least the Packers are still playing. That's more than the Vikings can say.
Ponder was hurt last weekend when Morgan Burnett slammed into him on a blitz. Though initially thought to be an elbow injury, Ponder said it was actually a deep bruise in his right triceps. It limited his flexibility along with his power and, though it is better, there simply wasn't enough time to recover with the short, six-day turnaround.
After testing the arm before the game, the Vikings decided to go with Webb, whose only playing time this year was a couple of handoffs at the end of a blowout of Tennessee in early October.
"I can play with pain. The biggest thing is the loss of flexibility," Ponder said. "I couldn't get the ball in the position to where I could throw it normally and lost a lot of power and everything. It wouldn't have been wise to play."
It was the first time Buffalo's Frank Reich in 1993 a quarterback had started a playoff game after not starting during the regular season, according to STATS Inc. And, in the first series at least, he seemed to have caught the Packers off guard. That or they were too busy trying to bottle up Peterson, who bulldozed them for 409 yards in their first two games, to pay attention.
With what seemed like every Packers defender focused on Peterson, Webb converted a third-and-3 with a 17-yard pickup. His 5-yard run four plays later put the Vikings at the Green Bay 13. But Webb's first pass of the night went into the ground, and the Vikings were forced to settle for Blair Walsh's 33-yard field goal that gave them a 3-0 lead.
But the Packers quickly settled down and Webb and the Vikings never stood a chance. Especially with Peterson not allowed to roam free as he's done against the Packers in the past.
"The energy level was at an all-time high," Woodson said. "This week, like last week, we buzzed around. But this week we made the tackles, we didn't allow (Peterson) to get through the line of scrimmage and get yards after first contact. We just kept putting heat on them. That was the difference."
Notes: With two sacks of Webb, Matthews joined Reggie White as the only Packers to have two or more sacks in two postseason games. ... Minnesota had 157 of its 324 yards in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of hand. ... Kuhn is the only player in the NFL to score a touchdown in each of the last four postseasons. ... Mason Crosby's 20-yard field goal in the second quarter was his sixth straight in the postseason, a Packers record. ... Vikings S Harrison Smith left the game briefly with a left knee injury, but was able to return. Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said after the game he was fine.
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