A frigid night, a battered Packers team and another stellar defensive performance carried the Minnesota Vikings to their first shutout victory in over 24 years Saturday night in Green Bay.
Stefon Diggs caught a 4-yard touchdown, Harrison Smith intercepted Brett Hundley twice and Kai Forbath booted three field goals as the Vikings earned a 16-0 victory over the Packers to improve to 12-3 on the season.
The Packers were without Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Davante Adams, Damarious Randall and Jahri Evans before the ball was even kicked off. They would lose right tackle Jason Spriggs (knee), wide receiver Jordy Nelson (shoulder), tight end Richard Rodgers (shoulder), running back Aaron Jones (knee) and wide receiver Geronimo Allison over the course of Saturday night’s game as well.
Hundley completed just 17 of 40 passes for 130 yards against the Vikings. The few receivers Hundley had remaining to work with dropped several passes that could have helped Green Bay remain in the game. The Packers also were unable to convert on a pair of fourth downs in Minnesota territory that allowed the Vikings to keep points off the board.
The Vikings didn’t do anything special offensively against the Packers, but they didn’t have to either. Case Keenum completed 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards with a touchdown pass to Diggs. Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon combined for 111 yards rushing on the ground.
Minnesota did lose left guard Nick Easton to a right ankle injury late in the first quarter. Long snapper Kevin McDermott was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury just before halftime and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen did not return due to an ankle injury as well.
Forbath converted a 49-yard field goal to get Minnesota on the board on their opening possession. A 39-yard pass interference penalty against Josh Hawkins set up Diggs’ 4-yard touchdown late in the quarter to give the Vikings a 10-0 cushion at halftime.
Forbath would add field goals from 20 and 27 yards in the second half to give Minnesota the 16-0 victory.
It was the first shutout by the Vikings since a 13-0 victory over the Detroit Lions on Dec. 5, 1993.