Packers: Top five players from NFC North-clinching win vs. Vikings

Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

With the NFC North crown in toe, the Green Bay Packers have bigger aspirations. But for now, it’s time to enjoy being kings in the North and the top five players from the game.

Seven. That’s right. Only seven first downs in the entire game for the Minnesota Vikings. If not for three turnovers, the Vikings may have never scored. That’s how dominant the defense was for the Packers on Monday night. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense could do nothing if not handed a short field. The Packers defense gave up just 139 total yards.

It’s tough to win a game in the NFL with three turnovers, especially when all three are before halftime. But, this team showed its worth and held the Vikings to only 10 points despite giving them the ball three times on the wrong side of the 50-yard line. Yet that’s exactly what the Packers did.

The defense held Cousins to 122 yards on 16-31 passing attempts. Cousins did have one touchdown but he also threw a crucial interception in the second half. Without Dalvin Cook, the rushing offense produced only 57 yards on the ground and a far cry from their lasting meeting, and a continued trend in the right direction for the Packers’ run defense.

The offense was still uneven, but found what they can bank on with ball control and riding Aaron Jones.

This is a great win. The Packers now are guaranteed the third seed at worst and the NFC North championship. That is way more than anyone could have expected no matter how much the optimist. The work is not done yet though. One more win and the Packers get a bye and at least one home game at Lambeau in mid-to-late January.

These five players helped them get there.