The Green Bay Packers traveled to Minnesota to take on the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2009 NFL Playoffs.
Green Bay advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a win over the Arizona Cardinals while Minnesota earned a first round playoff bye as the #2 seed in the NFC this year.
The Packers received the opening kick-off and immediately moved down the field and capped off the drive with a Ryan Grant 7-yard TD run. The extra point was good and the Packers took a 7-0 lead.
The two teams exchanged punts before the Vikings took over in decent field position half way through the First Quarter. Just like that, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson jetted 44 yards for a game tying touchdown. The extra point was true and the score stood at 7-7 with a little over six minutes left in the First Quarter.
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen ended the next Packer drive with a sack of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Minnesota kept things simple and gave the ball repeatedly to Peterson. Their diligence paid off as they used up the clock and moved inside the 10 yard line before Peterson found the end zone again on a 6-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good. The Vikings had taken the lead 14-7 at the end of the First Quarter.
Green Bay took the ball again but were again thwarted when Minnesota's Ray Edwards sacked Rodgers on third down.
The Vikings got the ball back on a punt and moved the ball well before stalling. Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell nailed a 41-yard field goal to give Minnesota a 17-7 lead.
Mason Crosby answered Longwell's field goal with one of his own, a 29 yarder to draw the Packers to within seven points, 17-10 with six minutes of the Second Quarter.
Minnesota kept grinding the ball on the ground with Toby Gerhardt and Peterson. Unable to contain the All-Pro, the Packer defense was gashed by Peterson once again for 34 yards and another long touchdown run. The extra point was good. Suddenly, the Vikings went ahead by a score of 24-10.
Rodgers and the Packer offense gutted out a drive, trying to climb closer before Half Time. Minnesota's defense stiffened and Crosby was left to attempt a 44 yard field goal. The kick fell surprisingly short. The Packers went into the locker room down 24-10 to the Vikings.
Minnesota's offense began the Third Quarter with the same determination on offense, banging the ball ahead on the legs of Peterson. The Vikings failed to reach the end zone, but Longwell salvaged some points with a 32 yard field goal. Minnesota lead 27-10 with only a few minutes gone in the Third Quarter.
The Packers carefully moved the ball into Vikings territory but where stopped abruptly once again by a sack of Rodgers on third down that moved Green Bay out of field goal range.
The Vikings punted back to the Packers on their next drive. Green Bay broke through the Minnesota defense with a few long runs before cashing in with a 7 yard Rodgers to Greg Jennings touchdown pass. Crosby put through the extra point and the Packers climbed back to with 27-17.
The Packers' momentum built right away on the next Viking drive. Cornerback Charles Woodson stepped in front of an ill-advised Brett Favre pass and gave the ball back to the Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. Just as the Third Quarter came to a close, Grant broke through the Viking defense for a 7-yard touchdown run to tighten the game. Crosby punched in the extra point to move the score to 27-24.
Favre and the Vikings responded with a calm, deliberate drive mixing short passes with Peterson runs. Finally, Favre connected with wide receiver Sydney Rice on a 8-yard slant who fell into the end zone. Minnesota put some space between themselves and the surging Packers. Longwell added the extra point and made the score, 34-24.
The Packers regained the ball with ten minutes to go in the game. A sharp drive engineered by Rodgers moved the ball into Vikings territory. This time the drive was ended not by a third down Vikings' sack, but by a third down Green Bay holding penalty that led to a failed effort to make the first down on third down and long. The Packers were had too far to go on fourth down, and punted to the Vikings late in the Fourth Quarter.
Minnesota kept with their game plan and ran the ball in an attempt to grind out yards and grind down the clock. Peterson and Gerhardt continued to find room and soon the Vikings were knocking on the door once again. Green Bay was forced to use all of their time outs as Minnesota continued to runs the ball right at them. Ultimately, the Packers were out of time outs and out of gas when Peterson found the end zone a final time for his third touchdown of the game. Longwell booted the extra point making the score 41-24, Minnesota
The Minnesota Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game with a 41-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
New Orleans (EP)
The explosive New Orleans Saints hosted a Divisional Playoff Game and welcomed the Philadelphia Eagles into the Superdome.
New Orleans earned a first-round playoff bye by winning the NFC South Division. Philadelphia survived a Wildcard playoff game against Dallas with a 34-31 win.
The Saints won the coin toss and chose to accept the ball first and give their offense first crack at the scoreboard. Eagles defender, Trent Cole, put an end to New Orleans’ plans when he sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees for a two yard loss when Brees stretched for the first down marker on a scramble. Amazingly, the New Orleans defense was the first unit to put points on the board. Cornerback Tracy Porter snatched a Donovan McNabb pass and raced 39 yards for a touchdown that erupted the already boisterous New Orleans crowd into a frenzy. Suddenly, the Saints led, 7-0.
Not shaken by the turnover, McNabb moved his team directly to a score on their next possession. Running back Brian Westbrook vaulted the final two yards into the endzone to even the score at 7-7.
In usual Saints fashion, Brees carved up the Eagle defense until halfback Mike Bell blasted in for a touchdown to put New Orleans ahead once again. The extra point was good and the Saints led, 14-7.
Defense dominated for the rest of the First Quarter. McNabb was sacked for a six yard loss, then Brees was brought down for a three yard loss. The First Quarter ended with the score, New Orleans 14 Philadelphia 7.
The Second Quarter was either full of defensive defensive prowess or offensive ineptitude. A promising Philadelphia drive ended with a personal foul penalty, the two teams then traded fumbles before New Orleans scored on a 12-yard run from running back Pierre Thomas that gave the Saints a 21-7 advantage. The teams again traded fumbles and McNabb tossed another interception as well. The First Half mercifully ended with New Orleans leading, 21-7.
Philadelphia began the Third Quarter by keeping possession of the football long enough to give kicker David Akers an opportunity at a 52-yard field goal. Akers kicked the ball cleanly through the uprights and moved the score to 21-10 in favor of New Orleans. Philadelphia’s next possession led to a competent drive culminating with a McNabb to DeSean Jackson 5-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles cut the Saints lead to 21-17 half way through the Third Quarter.
The Eagles then intercepted Brees immediately and put themselves in great position to take the lead or crawl right up the back of the Saints. New Orleans defensive end, Will Smith ended the Philadelphia scoring threat with a sack of McNabb that jammed the Eagles out of field goal range. Brees then found running back Reggie Bush on the following drive with a screen pass that Bush caught and loped 5 yards for a touchdown. The Saints led 28-17 at the close of the Third Quarter.
The New Orleans fans were loud and animated as the Fourth Quarter began. The Eagles could do nothing with the ball on their next opportunity before Reggie Bush then electrified the already bristling home crowd with a 43-yard signature, dashing, darting, blazing run. The Saints were quickly out front 35-17 and the Saints fans were sensing a victory.
The Eagles mustered up courage and determination and crept a bit closer to the Saints halfway through the quarter with a 1-yard DeSean Jackson reverse touchdown run. Akers booted the extra point to bring the score to 35-24, New Orleans.
Hearts in New Orleans jumped a beat a few minutes later when Philadelphia cornerback, Asante Samuel, picked off a Brees pass and gave the Philadelphia team a charge. The Eagles moved the ball nicely, but the Saints defense held and Akers kicked a solid 46-yard field goal to climb the Eagles closer at, 35-27 as the Fourth Quarter wound down.
The Eagles defense rose up during the next New Orleans drive, stopping running back Mike Bell short on a third down run.
The game clock was nearly down to triple zeroes, but the Eagles had one last chance with the football. McNabb and Coach Andy Reid snapped into a hurry-up game plan that began well, but the clock was too formidable a foe and McNabb’s desperation pass for Jackson in the endzone as time ran out was intercepted by New Orleans’ Randall Gay.
New Orleans won the game and advanced to the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
Final Score: New Orleans 35 Philadelphia 27
The Arizona Cardinals, hoping to make a return trip to the Super Bowl this year, hosted the Green Bay Packers in a First Round game of the 2009 playoffs.
The hometown Cardinals won the coin toss and decided to immediately put the ball in the hands of their offense. The strategy paid off when Neil Rackers kicked a 41-yard field goal to put the Cardinals on top, 3-0. After a Green Bay punt, Arizona again drove the ball well and again Rackers provided the scoring with a field goal kick of 35 yards. Arizona controlled the ball well on their next drive, but came up short on a key third down run and ended the First Quarter with a 6-0 lead.
Green Bay managed to put together a solid drive of their own opening the Second Quarter. Jermichael Finley secured a first down with a shoe-string catch that led to Packer touchdown when Ahman Green carried a short Aaron Rodgers pass 10 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was added and Green Bay slipped into the lead, 7-6.
Quarterback Kurt Warner and All-Pro wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald moved the Cardinals ahead on their very next drive, connecting on a beautiful 22-yard touchdown pass. Rackers made the extra point. Arizona led, 13-7.
The Second Quarter wound down with a few key plays. Cardinal Adrion Wilson recovered a Packer fumble that led to a long Arizona possession that ended when Green Bay’s Clay Matthews sacked Warner for an 11-yard loss. Field position shifted and Green Bay moved into position to put more points on the scoreboard before the clock expired, but kicker Mason Crosby missed a 46-yard field goal try. The First Half closed with Arizona in the lead by a score of 13-7.
Third Quarter action began briskly. Green Bay rumbled down the field with a time-consuming drive. Rodgers rolled out to his right from the five yard line, chose not to run for the goal line and instead lofted the football to tight end Spencer Havner in the endzone for the score. With the extra point, the Packers led by one point again, 14-13.
Arizona responded in kind, with a solid possession of their own, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by running back, Beanie Wells. The extra point was added, and the Cardinals led once more, 20-14.
Green Bay’s next drive fizzled, and the Arizona took over. On a second down and 6 play, Warner tried to find wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a slant, but Atari Bigby jumped the route and came away with the interception. The Packer’s cashed in on the turnover, working the ball again inside the Cardinal 5 yard line. Rodgers rolled out once more, but this time carried the ball in himself - untouched all the way - for the touchdown. Crosby booted the extra point. The game was again a tight affair and the Packers were up 21-20 at the end of the Third Quarter.
Fitzgerald showed up large for the Cardinals on the team’s next possession. He snagged three Warner passes and kept a drive going with an acrobatic leap to secure a first down. Fitzgerald could not lead the Cardinals all the way to paydirt, however, and Rackers kicked another field goals, this one of 30 yards, to put Arizona in the lead 23-21.
Flashing his own dependable skills, Green Bay wide receiver Donald Driver carried the next Packer drive and somehow broke free of coverage from 22 yards out and streaked into the endzone with a pretty pass from Rodgers. The extra point was good. The Arizona fans grew restless, and Green Bay was ahead in the game 28-23.
The Cardinals had to punt on their next possession, leaving the Packers with fair field position. Adrion Wilson crashed into Rodgers on a blitz, and Rodgers was barely able to hold onto the ball. Wilson’s play, however, did force a Green Bay punt.
Warner orchestrated the next Arizona drive masterfully. The Cardinals pressed into Packer territory and would have stalled out completely at the 34 yard line if not for an “illegal hands to the face” penalty on the Green Bay defense. Given a reprieve, with the clock ticking down quickly, Warner again took charge. Under pressure each of the next two plays, Warner was only just able to get the ball away out of bounds each down. A third down pass brought the same relentless pressure. Warner stepped up in the pocket and tried to make a throw at the same time defensive tackle Ryan Picket swatted at Warner’s right arm. The football came out of Warner’s hand and found its way to the ground, Packer defensive end, Johnny Jolly, fell on the ball.
The Cardinals were long out of time outs. The Packers’ win was preserved.
Final Socre: Green Bay 28 Arizona: 23
The Dallas Cowboys welcomed the Philadelphia Eagles to Cowboys Stadium for the first game of the 2009 NFL Playoffs.
The Cowboys won the coin toss, but elected to defer to the Second Half. Philadelphia handled the ball first but could do nothing after three plays and was forced to punt. The Eagles could manage little offense, punting all four times they had the ball in the First Quarter.
Dallas wasted no time with their first possession of the day, getting on the scoreboard when Marion Barber took a reverse handoff and dashed 25 yard for a touchdown. The Cowboys quickly led, 7-0.
The Second Quarter began when Philadelphia's Bernard Bunkley recovered a Cowboy fumble at the Dallas 40 yard line. Eagle quarterback, Donovan McNabb, returned the turnover favor by tossing a pass that went directly to Cowboy Mike Jenkins that squashed the first effective Philadelphia drive of the game.
The Eagle defense rose up on the next Cowboy possession and stuffed Dallas tight end Jason Witten inches short of a first down on a third down catch just across the fifty yard line. Sparked by their defense, McNabb fired a dart through the Cowboy pass coverage to darting wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin who broke into the clear with the ball and took it in for a touchdown. Kicker David Akers added the extra point and the score was tied just like that, 7-7.
Again the Eagles defense stood up the Cowboy offense and forced a punt. Philadelphia now had the better of the field position and took little time to score again, this time on a McNabb to tight end Brent Selek six yard touchdown pass. Suddenly, the Eagles were up on the Cowboys, 14-7.
Dallas was unable to generate any offense in the Second Quarter, just as Philadelphia sputtered in the First Quarter. Cowboy defensive end salvaged the First Half for the Cowboys when he sacked McNabb for a 10 yard loss, knocking the Eagles out of field goal range. The First Half ended with Philadelphia ahead, 14-7.
The Third Quarter began with a futile drive by the Cowboys that ended in a punt. Both teams traded field goals by the middle of the quarter before Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson reeled in a McNabb pass on the sideline for a key first down that put the Eagles in scoring position. The Dallas defense stood firm, holding Philadelphia to another Akers field goal. The Third Quarter was nearly over and the home-standing Cowboys were looking at a 20-10 deficit.
Dallas quarterback, Tony Romo, brought his team back into the game with a confident throw to the sure-handed Witten who bowled into the endzone from 3 yards out to bring the Cowboys seven points closer, 20-17 as the Third Quarter ended.
Donovan McNabb gave no thought to slowing down on the Eagles next drive. The Eagles turned to the air and McNabb slung his team down the field and found tight end Jason Avant curling in the endzone for a 5 yard touchdown pass. Philadelphia had stretched their lead to ten, 27-17.
The Cowboys trudged back into Eagle territory on their next drive, but could only manage a field goal attempt after the Philadelphia defense kept them out of the red zone. Dallas kicker Nick Folk then missed a 51 yard attempt that flew just outside of the right upright.
Not discouraged, the Cowboy defense held. Romo and Dallas moved back into Philadelphia ground right away. Easily within field goal range, the Cowboys took to the air and Roy Williams pulled down a high Romo pass in the back of the end zone to pull the Cowboys within three points, 27-24.
The Dallas fans were roused and the 100,000-plus of them were roaring for their team to complete the comeback. McNabb and the Eagles were game enough, and switched up their play-calling on their next possession, moving back to their running attack. The dagger in the heart of the Cowboys and their faithful fans came when Eagle running back, LaSean McCoy took a draw handoff from McNabb at the Dallas nine yard line and stabbed through the heart of the tottering Cowboy defense for the touchdown. There was less than a minute to go in the game and Philadelphia had taken a 10-point lead, 34-24.
Eagle defenders played a conservative pass defense the final few seconds of the game. Cowboy halfback Felix Jones scored what was only an afterthought of a touchdown when he ran two yards through a passive Eagle defense.
Final Score: Philadelphia 34 Dallas 31
2009 NFL Playoff Replay
Played using Downey Games' Momentum Football.
What This Is
A play through of the 2009 NFL playoffs. Write-ups are all original content.