EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Captain Munnerlyn never heard a whistle, but he saw the ball and found the end zone.
Munnerlyn recovered a fumble by Aaron Rodgers that occurred on the first of two sacks recorded by Everson Griffen and raced 55 yards across the goal line, picking up blocks along the way.
The touchdown — the sixth six-pointer of Munnerlyn's seven-year career — gave the Vikings a 20-3 lead with 4:28 left in the third quarter. The play also provided a magic eraser for an ill-advised, left-handed, shades-of-Brett Favre improvisation pass attempt by Teddy Bridgewater that resulted in a one-handed, albeit backhanded, interception by Micah Hyde three plays earlier.
"Those guys had just had an interception, so they were taking the momentum back," Munnerlyn said. "Defensively, we knew we had to go out there and make a stop, and we got it."
Munnerlyn's alertness and drive to the end zone, along with four tackles (coaches' tally), have garnered him selection for the Bridgestone Performance of the Week. He's excited about the way the Vikings defense has been playing for several weeks.
"If you look at the past couple weeks, we've been playing outstanding on defense, and that's what's been getting us over the top," Munnerlyn said. "It's definitely been team wins, and at the same time, we've been playing 'lights-out' on defense. I'm always a firm believer that defense wins championships. If you stop the opponents from scoring, you can get to the big dance and win a championship."
The Vikings claimed their first NFC North title and win at Lambeau Field since 2009, along with the third seed in the NFC Playoffs.
Minnesota (11-5) will host Seattle (10-6) at noon (CT) Sunday.