GREEN BAY, Wis. Adrian Peterson is mortal after all.
The Green Bay Packers really can play run defense.
And Joe Webb, well, he isn't even Christian Ponder.
Taking full advantage of the Minnesota Vikings' missing starting quarterback, the Packers stymied Peterson and rolled 24-10 in an NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday night at Lambeau Field.
The third-seeded Packers (12-5) were in control from start to finish in eliminating their border rivals, who were seeded sixth and finished 10-7.
Now Green Bay moves on to the divisional round and a date at 5 p.m. next Saturday against the second-seeded 49ers (11-4-1) at Candlestick Park.
The 49ers defeated the Packers 30-22 on Sept. 9 in Green Bay. The Packers are 4-1 in playoff games at Candlestick, with the loss coming in the 1998 wild-card round on a last-second touchdown pass to Terrell Owens.
Peterson, who had lanced the Packers for 409 yards in a split of two games during the regular season, finished with 99 yards on 22 carries (4.5 average).
"Our defense was outstanding for four quarters," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "They set the tempo and adjusted to the quarterback change.
"They played with leverage, played with discipline and obviously rallied to the football. (Peterson) is a great player. He does a good job extending plays, like Aaron Rodgers does for us. I thought our defense played with great discipline."
Listed as questionable with a right elbow injury, Ponder tried a few soft passes about two hours before kickoff before being declared inactive. He was coming off his finest performance of the season six days earlier when the Vikings upset the Packers 37-34 at the Metrodome.
That left the Vikings with Webb, an athletic scrambler from Alabama-Birmingham who had played in just one game this season.
Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson said the Packers had no inclination that Ponder wouldn't play until "we started hearing things in the afternoon."
"It's different than what we had prepared for," Thompson said. "But Ponder is a runner, too."
Webb seemed to look at the defense, coordinated by Dom Capers, as if it were a maze. He held the ball too long, looked to run rather than pass and turned in a dreadful performance as reflected by his 54.9 passer rating and three sacks.
"We didn't do a whole lot on Joe," McCarthy said. "We had an extended day (Saturday), and guys went back and looked at some things. It didn't change our game plan a lot. Our defensive coaches and players just stayed the course.
"They (Vikings) did a nice job keeping it under wraps. Our coaches and players did a hell of a job adjusting."
The Packers, favored by 7 1/2 points at the start of the day, were jumped to 11 points by Caesars in Las Vegas after news broke on Ponder.
Green Bay, which has won 10 of its last 12 games, improved to 21-17-1 against Minnesota at Lambeau Field. Peterson is 4-9 against the Packers, including 1-6 in Green Bay.
"The defense and special teams played well," Rodgers said. "It made up for an average day on offense."
The story of the first half was the Packers' superb defense against Peterson, who carried 12 times for 48 yards. Safeties Charles Woodson and Morgan Burnett took turns coming down into the box, and Peterson was held to a long gain of 11.
"We played hard," Thompson said. "We play hard against these guys all the time."
Back in the lineup for the first time since rebreaking his collarbone in Game 7, Woodson sliced inside of wide receiver Jarius Wright and tackled Peterson for minus-2 to help halt the Vikings' impressive opening drive.
"(Woodson) made some impact plays," Thompson said. "He's got a knack for reading things and seeing things. I saw him do that."
Behind Webb, the Vikings drove 53 yards in 10 plays to open the scoring on Blair Walsh's 33-yard field goal. The Vikings did it all on the ground.
Operating almost exclusively from the shotgun formation with three and four split receivers, Rodgers patiently took what the Vikings were giving underneath. On an 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive, 5-foot-7 running back DuJuan Harris caught two short passes for 28 yards and carried five times for 22.
On first and goal, Harris took a toss to the right, planted almost immediately, veered hard left and fought his way over for a nine-yard touchdown.
Webb's inadequacies as a passer began to surface early in the second quarter. He tripped over Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews for a sack, then tried to get rid of the ball as he was being dragged down by Mike Neal and Erik Walden and was called for intentional grounding.