Packers-Vikings playoff capsule

The Green Bay Packers have history on their side when they host the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday's NFC wild-card game. The Packers swept the season series by identical 34-31 scores. The team that swept the season series is 11-5 in playoff matchups, including the Rams' upset win at Seattle on Saturday.

WHAT: MINNESOTA (8-8) at GREEN BAY (10-6) in NFC wild-card playoff game

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Lambeau Field

TV: Fox

OPENING LINE: Packers by 6.

LAST WEEK: The mistake-prone Vikings lost to the Redskins 21-18 but qualified for the playoffs anyway. The score wasn't that close — the Vikings scored on a Hail Mary and added a two-point conversion with 2 seconds left. The Packers beat the Bears 31-14 behind nine sacks from the defense and a hot start by quarterback Brett Favre.

VIKINGS OFFENSE: OVERALL (4), RUSH (18), PASS (2)

VIKINGS DEFENSE: OVERALL (28), RUSH (21), PASS (27t)

PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (10), PASS (3)

PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (14), PASS (25)

SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 44-42-1 overall.

PLAYOFF RECORD: First meeting

LAST GAME: The Packers beat the Vikings 34-31 on Christmas Eve. The Packers trailed 31-24 but scored 10 points in the final minutes to pull out a victory.

The game-tying touchdown was an answer to Chris Claiborne's return of an interception for what looked like a game-turning touchdown for the Vikings. The Packers converted a third-and-long with a 21-yard pass to Donald Driver to get the drive started. Green Bay marched inside the Vikings' 10-yard line, where the drive nearly stalled. On third-and-1 from the Vikings' 8, Ahman Green bulled his way for a first down. The drive nearly stalled again, with the Packers facing a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line as the clock ticked to less than 4 minutes remaining. Instead of going for a field goal, Packers coach Mike Sherman went for the touchdown. The gamble paid, as Favre hit Driver over the middle for the tying score with 3:34 left.

The Vikings seemed to be on their way for a shot at winning the game, but a holding penalty wiped out a long Michael Bennett run to the Packers' 40. Green Bay eventually forced a punt, and Favre led a perfect two-minute drill to cap the comeback.

A screen pass to Tony Fisher sparked the drive, an 18-yard pass to Driver moved the ball past the Minnesota 40, and a Favre-to-Javon Walker connection in the face of a blitz gained 31 yards. That set up Ryan Longwell's game-winning field goal as time expired.


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