GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The resurgent Green Bay Packers moved one win away from another NFC North title.
The Minnesota Vikings headed home to stew about missing the playoffs and wasting a 5-0 start to the season.
Looking again like a Super Bowl contender, the Packers won their fifth straight game on Saturday by riding another hot start to beat the Vikings 38-25.
Up next for the Packers (9-6) is a winner-take-all showdown for the division title against the Lions on New Year’s Day.
“We’re planning on going to Detroit to win the division,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Merry Christmas.”
McCarthy has every right to be confident after the Packers defeated another opponent behind a big-play passing attack and opportunistic defense.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 347 yards and four scores, and the Packers cashed in on two Vikings turnovers with touchdown drives.
“Best thing we could hope for,” Rodgers said about being in position to win the division after a midseason, four-game losing streak. “We had some adversity, and we stuck together.”
The Vikings (7-8) are headed in the other direction, the loss extinguishing their faint playoff hopes.
Playing again without running back Adrian Peterson, Minnesota had success through the air on Saturday. Sam Bradford threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns, including a 71-yard TD pass to Adam Thielen in the second quarter.
Thielen set career highs with