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Vikings vs. Packers 2016 final score: Minnesota holds off comeback attempt to win NFC North

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The Vikings nearly blew a 20-3 lead, but hung on to slay the Green Bay Packers and win their first division title since 2009.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings held off a frantic comeback attempt by the Green Bay Packers to come away with the 20-13 win and clinch the NFC North. It's the Vikings' first division title since 2009.

With the win, the Vikings also lock up the No. 3 seed and will face the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. The Packers drop to No. 5 and will travel to Washington next week.

The first quarter was defined by long, grinding drives that ultimately ended in field goals. The Vikings went 10 plays and 59 yards on the game's opening drive, with the key play being a fake punt that went for 41 yards.

After Blair Walsh opened the scoring with a 39-yard field goal, Aaron Rodgers marched the Packers down the field on a 16-play drive that went 70 yards, but the Packers also had to settle for a field goal. Mason Crosby tied things up with a 28-yarder.

Things continued to be a low-scoring affair, with neither team's defenses giving up much. Teddy Bridgewater set up another scoring opportunity by driving down in the red zone, but the drive stalled out at the 14-yard line and Walsh gave the Vikings the 6-3 lead with another field goal. That would be same lead Minnesota takes into halftime, with Green Bay unable to muster up much of any offense.

The Vikings finally scored the game's first touchdown in the third quarter, thanks to the superhuman efforts of Adrian Peterson. After driving down to the 2-yard line, Bridgewater handed the ball off to Peterson, who barreled his way through the line and carried a couple of defenders into the end zone.

The game's first turnover also came in the third quarter. Bridgewater, scrambling under duress, threw a poor ball into traffic and got picked off by Micah Hyde, who for his part made an impressive one-handed grab.

However, the game's next turnover dramatically flipped the game. Everson Griffen strip-sacked Rodgers and Captain Munnerlyn scooped up the ball for a 55-yard touchdown, giving the Vikings a 20-3 lead.

The Packers' offense finally came to life near the end of the third quarter. Rodgers shook off his previous turnover and led the team down 80 yards, capped off with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers. That cut the Packers' deficit to 10 points and brought the Lambeau Field crowd back to life.

Despite Peterson leaving the game with a back injury, the Vikings attempted to play clock control with Jerick McKinnon on their next drive. Penalties cut that drive short and they punted it back to Green Bay. Rodgers promptly marched back towards the red zone, looking like vintage Aaron Rodgers with laser strikes down the field for chunk yards. Crosby hit his second field goal of the night to cut Minnesota's lead to seven.

On the ensuing kickoff, Cordarrelle Patterson took it deep into Packers territory and nearly sprung a back-breaking touchdown, but coughed up the ball, giving possession right back to Green Bay. Just two plays later, Rodgers hits James Jones for a 32-yard gain to the Vikings' 23-yard line.

The Packers were facing fourth-and-goal at the 13-yard line, but were forced to burn a timeout before the two-minute warning. On the next play, Rodgers threw an interception to Xavier Rhodes in the end zone, killing Green Bay's comeback attempt. Green Bay got one more chance to tie the game and tried another Hail Mary miracle, but this time Rodgers' pass was batted down.

Three things we learned

1. Green Bay's offense is a mess

For the first 2 1/2 quarters of this game, the Packers' offense was as bad as we've seen it all year. None of the receivers couldn't get open. Eddie Lacy and James Starks got bottled up by Minnesota's line. Aaron Rodgers resorted to constant checkdowns and at times looked like a rookie quarterback with questionable decision-making.

Eventually the Packers woke up in time to mount a comeback and make this game entertaining in the fourth quarter, but the damage had been done. This offense has a lot more problems than just losing Jordy Nelson, and those problems couldn't be fixed over the course of the season. Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson will need to go back to the drawing board this offseason.

2. The Vikings' offense wasn't much better, and it almost cost them the game

Minnesota had its own problem sustaining drives. Bridgewater threw for just 99 yards on 10-of-19 passing, with no touchdowns and an interception. The offense's inability to stay on the field led to the defense getting gassed late, sparking Green Bay's comeback in the fourth quarter. If Minnesota hopes to make any noise in the playoffs, it will need to find more consistency on offense.

3. The NFC North could go one-and-done in the playoffs

Despite the game reaching absurd heights of spectacle late, neither team looked too impressive. In fact, for a while it was one of the dullest Sunday Night Football games of the year. You would've hardly thought that the NFC North title was on the line.

Things got fun down the stretch, but it's hard to see either team being favored in their respective matchups. Green Bay travels to D.C. to take on a red-hot Washington team that's hard to beat at home. The Vikings get a Seahawks team that just dismantled the Arizona Cardinals, 36-6. Oh, and it's a rematch of a 38-7 Week 13 beatdown at TCF Bank Stadium. Both teams will have to play much better than they did Sunday night to avoid the division getting shut out in the postseason.