GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers showed how dangerous they can be when they’re at full strength Saturday night, overwhelming the Minnesota Vikings, 24-10, in an NFC wild-card game that was never really close.
John Kuhn scored two touchdowns, DuJuan Harris added another and Rodgers connected with an NFL playoff-record 10 receivers as he threw for 274 yards. Defensively, the Packers (12-5) finally managed to contain Adrian Peterson and were all over Vikings backup Joe Webb, pressed into service because of Christian Ponder’s elbow injury.
Peterson was held to 99 yards — an improvement after gaining 199 and 210 in the first two games. Webb, who hadn’t thrown a pass all season, was sacked three times and off target all night. His only highlight was a 50-yard scoring pass to Michael Jenkins late in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers led touchdown drives of 82, 62 and 80 yards as the Packers built a 24-3 lead. Green Bay moves on to a second round matchup in San Francisco next weekend.
Webb did not fare well. He tripped over Clay Matthews for an easy sack early in the second quarter, and he was called for intentional grounding while being swarmed behind the line of scrimmage on the next play.
Webb ran five times for 60 yards, but completed only seven of his first 20 attempts for 61 yards. Peterson gained 69 yards on 19 carries through three quarters.
Rodgers didn’t let up after the Packers took a 17-3 halftime lead. The Vikings had the Packers stopped for a field goal on fourth-and-4, but Jasper Brinkley was called for 12 men on the field when he couldn’t make it to the sideline in time, and the penalty gave the Packers just enough yards to keep going. Rodgers found Kuhn open on the next play, and the fullback barged into the end zone by barreling over Jamarca Sanford at the goal line for a 24-3 lead.
Texans: 19, Bengals 13: At Houston, J.J. Watt swatted away passes, Arian Foster ran away from tacklers and the Houston Texans did just enough to knock Cincinnati out of the playoffs for the second straight year.
Matt Schaub made his postseason debut a successful one when Foster’s 1-yard touchdown in third quarter helped the Texans to an AFC wild-card playoff win.
Now comes the big test. The Texans (13-4) move on to the second round on Jan. 13, when they visit the New England Patriots, who beat them 42-14 in Week 14.
Shayne Graham kicked four field goals for the Texans, while Foster finished with 140 yards and became the first NFL player to have 100-yard games in each of his first three playoff games. Watt finished with a sack and swatted away two of Andy Dalton’s pass attempts, once wagging his finger at the Bengals quarterback after the play.
The Texans had trouble finishing drives and managed three field goals in the first half against the Bengals (10-7). Houston struck first after the break, with Foster scoring the game’s only offensive touchdown to make it 16-7.