Packers 34, Vikings 31
What a difference a month has made for the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.
Ryan Longwell's 33-yard field goal as time expired gave the Packers a 34-31 victory over their arch rivals on Sunday after the Vikings had rallied to tie it with two touchdowns in the final 2 minutes 53 seconds.
After Daunte Culpepper's fourth touchdown toss, Robert Ferguson returned the kickoff to midfield, where Antoine Winfield forced a fumble. The officials ruled that Packers tight end Ben Steele recovered, even though Minnesota's Larry Ned emerged from the scrum with the ball as the Vikings celebrated.
Brett Favre, who also threw four touchdown passes, calmly guided Green Bay to the Vikings 15-yard line, where Longwell split the uprights. It was Favre's 18th game with four or more touchdowns, second only to Dan Marino's 21.
So, just a month after being left for dead, the Packers (5-4) have won four straight in their quest to become just the ninth team in NFL history to overcome a 1-4 start to reach the playoffs.
And the Vikings (5-4), who led the division almost all of last season only to watch the Packers swipe their playoff berth on the final play of the season, lost their third straight game.
Minnesota wide receiver Randy Moss watched from the sideline in a stocking cap, sitting out his second straight game with a strained hamstring. The absence of Moss, who has torched Green Bay for 1,213 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career, was a huge break for the Packers, whose strong safety, Darren Sharper, was limited to a handful of plays because of a knee injury.
Even without Moss, Culpepper completed 27 of 44 passes for 363 yards. Nate Burleson caught 11 of them for 141 yards and a score.
But Favre was even better, going 20 of 29 for 239 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 133. Culpepper's was 117.9.