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NOTEBOOK: 12th Win Keeps Vikings in Line for 1st-Round Bye

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — It wasn't the dandiest, but it also wasn't a doozy.

Minnesota's historic 16-0 shutout of Green Bay gave the Vikings a dozen wins on the season.

With the division already locked up, the Vikings (12-3) locked down the Packers (7-8) on Saturday night at Lambeau Field.

Minnesota limited Green Bay to 4-of-15 on third downs and didn't allow the Packers to convert any of their four fourth-down attempts for the Christmas goose egg.

The offense missed a few opportunities but made enough plays, and the special teams unit received a surprise boost from David Morgan, who received a rare game ball from Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer for his work in filling in after long snapper Kevin McDermott was injured. Zimmer said McDermott will have an MRI on his shoulder.

"I think we left some things out there tonight," Zimmer said. "I don't think we played our best game. We missed some things, and they did a good job defensively. [Case made some big plays, like he always does. He scrambled around."

Keenum, who was 14-of-25 for 139 yards with a touchdown and a passer rating of 85.2 on cold night agreed with Zimmer.

"You've got to give Green Bay a lot of credit," Keenum said. "They came out and played well, had some good schemes, some good calls against us, but there were some shots that I missed, and I'll take full responsibility for those. Little too short, little too long. Guys ran good routes, and I've got to make those plays. It's frustrating. We did enough. It doesn't matter how [you win], it matters how many."

The Texas native who was playing in his coldest game (kickoff temperature was 10 degrees Fahrenheit) by a longshot took plenty of deep shots but had narrow misses to Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Keenum connected with Diggs for a gain of 20 and Thielen for 21. He also scrambled to extend the play and find Morgan, who had an impressive run after the catch to convert third-and-13 with a gain of 23.

The Packers, who were without Davante Adams and lost Jordy Nelson during the game, also tried to get the ball down the field but didn't have a 20-yard reception. Brett Hundley finished 17-of-40 passing for 130 yards. He was picked off by Harrison Smith twice and finished with a passer rating or 30.2.

"When they got behind, they started to throw deeper and take some shots," Zimmer said. "We were playing pretty aggressive in the secondary. With us, we tried to hit some. We had Thielen on a double move that we just missed. I think we missed one to Diggs. There were a couple of those. We need to hit those, and we need to run the ball better."

The Vikings totaled 112 yards on 33 rushes. Latavius Murray had 69 yards on 21 carries with a long of 14, and Jerick McKinnon gained 42 yards on seven attempts.

Sirles called on yet again

For the first time since Week 5, the Vikings started their entire first-team offensive line (LT Riley Reiff, LG Nick Easton, C Pat Elflein, RG Joe Berger, RT Mike Remmers).

Easton, however, suffered a fractured ankle and was replaced by multitasker Jeremiah Sirles.

"I'll do whatever is asked of me," Sirles said. "I know, tonight, probably there's some things I need to clean up – obviously I left some stuff out there personally – but things to grow on and continue moving forward now. If left guard's now my home for the remainder for the remainder of the season, I'll be able to focus on that and continue to get better."

Sirles has played guard and tackle for the Vikings.

"I think that it's jack of all trades or average of all, master of none," Sirles said. "So hopefully now I can zero in on one, really focus and put all my effort and [make] my sole purpose in life to be the best left guard I can be for the Minnesota Vikings."

Postseason status

The Vikings still have a shot at the No. 1 spot in the NFC Playoffs, but need to win out and the Eagles to lose out. Philadelphia (12-2) plays Oakland (6-8) on Monday. Minnesota also can secure no worse than the No. 2 seed and earn a first-round bye with a win against Chicago next week.

"It was important that we came out here and won tonight because we needed to win this game and we need to win next week," Zimmer said. "Then, we get a chance to sit at home for a week and kind of get refocused and regrouped. After the last bye week, players had success, so I'm hoping we get one more win and then can work on some things we need to work on like we did in the bye week and then go and play our rear ends off in the playoffs."

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