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Vikings shut out Packers, eye top seed in playoffs

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Minnesota Vikings' Trae Waynes celebrates after a fourth down stop during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers.
Jeffrey Phelps | AP

The Minnesota Vikings beat division rival Green Bay 16-0 at Lambeau Field Saturday evening. Temperatures dipped into the single digits during the game, but the cold didn't stop the NFC North Champions from sealing their first shutout since 1993.  

Highlights from the game

The frozen field at Lambeau made difficult footing for both teams. Despite the conditions, the Vikings managed to score 10 points in the opening quarter off a 49-yard field goal by kicker Kai Forbath, and later a 4-yard pass to Stefon Diggs from quarterback Case Keenum. 

In the second half, Forbath was called on twice more and delivered. His two field goals extended the Vikings lead to 16-0 In the 4th quarter. At the 2-minute warning, safety Harrison Smith sealed the victory, grabbing his second interception of the game.  

The Packers, like the Vikings, had opportunities to make plays down the field, but Green Bay's quarterback Brett Hundley, starting in place of injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers, couldn't find his groove at home. Hundley threw for 130 yards, completing 17 of 40 passes with two interceptions. 

Key Takeaways

Kai Forbath had a good game, going 3 for 3 on field goals for the day. Vikings fans still remember former kicker Blair Walsh missing a crucial field goal to beat the Seahawks. That loss eliminated the Vikings from the playoffs two seasons ago. 

Quarterback Case Keenum looked shaky at times. Coming into the game there were questions about how the Texas native, who has never played in winter weather, would fair in brisk conditions. He struggled with accuracy, missing several receivers on potentially big plays. Overall, he completed 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards, while throwing for one touchdown. Fortunately, Forbath and the #1 ranked defense kept the Vikings (12-3) ahead of the Packers (7-8).

What's next?

With Christmas around the corner, the Vikings have two wishes on their gift list: a pair of Philadelphia losses to the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys, which would give Minnesota home field advantage in the playoffs, and player health. 

Nevertheless, the Vikings need to keep winning if they want to fulfill their dream of being the first NFL team to play at home in the Super bowl. 

After the team's win over the Packers, the Vikings shift focus to their last game of the regular season, another divisional match-up against the Chicago Bears (4-10). The Vikings play the Bears next Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kick-off is at noon.