Packers roll over Vikings to clinch NFC North title

Los Angeles, Dec 24 (AFP/APP): Aaron Jones rushed for a career-high 154 yards and Aaron Rodgers passed for another 216 yards as the Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North Division title with a 23-10 win over Minnesota on Monday.

Runningback Jones scored two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score late in the third quarter.

He added a 56-yard touchdown romp with just under six minutes left in the fourth as the Packers improved to 12-3 on the season.

“Winning is always beautiful,” said quarterback Rodgers. “The run game was excellent tonight. We found a way to win.”

Jones’ two TDs brings his season total to 16 on the ground which is the second most in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Jim Taylor, who finished with 19 in 1962.

Rodgers completed 26 of 40 passes and had one interception. He praised the Packers’ defence for keeping the score close in the first half.

“Our defence kept us in it after the fumble on first possession. We were able to put something together in second half,” Rodgers said.

“This is a good one for us. We have to rest up this week and we have a chance to play for something even bigger next week.”

The Vikings dropped to 10-5 on the season and clinched a wild-card spot Saturday when the Los Angeles Rams lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Minnesota will be the No. 6 seed in the NFC.

Packers Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 116 yards, his reception total falling one shy of Don Hutson’s 1942 single-game team record.

Za’Darius Smith posted 3.5 sacks of Green Bay’s five sacks.

The Packers limited Minnesota to just seven first downs and completed a two-game season sweep of the Vikings.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled, completing just 16 of 31 passes for 122 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“It was a tough loss tonight,” said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. “We didn’t play well enough to win. Give Green Bay credit. They did some good things.

“That’s what happens when you don’t play as well as you can. We got to get back to work, get going again, regroup and refresh.”

Vikings star linebacker Eric Kendricks recovered two first-half fumbles before leaving in the second quarter with a left quadriceps injury.

Minnesota also played without injured star running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder).

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