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Vikings vs. Packers, 2013 NFC Wild Card Playoffs: No excuses in Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings had to play without starting quarterback Christian Ponder, but there are no excuses come playoff time.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings fell to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but with starting quarterback Christian Ponder on the bench with an injured elbow, they have an excuse for their defeat if they want it.

Joe Webb started the game for Minnesota and struggled, going 11-for-30 for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But Christopher Gates of SB Nation's Minnesota Vikings blog, The Daily Norseman, writes that despite the misfortune of quarterback injuries, no one is looking for an alibi. The Vikings were simply outplayed.

The Packers were the better team tonight. Offense, defense, special teams. . .every aspect of the football game. And, as they have all season, the Vikings lost the game when they lost the turnover battle. . .What became apparent tonight, to me, is that the Minnesota Vikings absolutely have to go into 2013 with a better option at the backup quarterback spot than Joe Webb.

Adrian Peterson had a pedestrian day by his standards, rushing 22 times for 99 yards and no touchdowns, and the Vikings could not make up any sort of deficit with a backup quarterback. Still, Gates writes, this has been a fun, surprising season for the Minnesota Vikings, so there's no need for anyone to have their head down. With Peterson, a solid defense and a season-load of confidence, things are looking up in Minnesota.

The future in Minnesota is significantly brighter today than it was at this time a year ago.