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Who needs a QB? A look at Adrian Peterson's five top rushing games

  • Blog Post by:
  • October 29, 2011 - 10:05 AM

Last week, rookie Christian Ponder made his first NFL start and seemed to inject adrenaline into the Vikings’ offense. Adrian Peterson wound up rushing for 175 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Coincidence? We’ll find out more Sunday when the Vikings visit Carolina and attempt to torch a defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in points allowed (26.1 ppg) and 29th against the run (133.4 ypg).

On Sunday, we’ll bring you a much more in-depth look at “The Ponder Effect,” examining both the rookie’s impressive poise and the impact he had in freeing up Peterson last week.
 
For now, we take a snapshot look at Peterson’s top rushing performances, the five games in which he has rushed for at least 175 yards. Interestingly, in Peterson's five biggest days, five different quarterbacks have led the Vikings in passing.
 
Date: Nov. 4, 2007
Rushing numbers: 30 carries, 296 yards, three RDs
Surface: Field turf

Starting quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson (6-for-12, 63 yards, no TDs)

Notable: A passing of the torch? Peterson outrushed Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson by 256 yards and set a new NFL single-game record for rushing yards, breaking the previous mark of 295 set by Jamal Lewis in 2003. The Vikings rushed for 378 yards against a San Diego defense that came into the game allowing fewer than 90 rushing yards per game. Jackson started at quarterback but gave way to Brooks Bollinger (7-for-10, 95 yards, one TD) in after suffering a concussion.
 
Date: Oct. 14, 2007
Rushing numbers: 20 carries, 224 yards, three touchdowns
Surface: Natural grass
Starting quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson (9-for-23, 136 yards, one TD)
Notable: With Jackson struggling, Peterson had three long scoring runs – from 67, 73 and 35 yards. He also added a 53-yard punt return in the fourth quarter that set the Vikings up for their winning score, a 54-yard Ryan Longwell field goal as time expired.
 
Date: Nov. 9, 2008
Rushing numbers: 30 carries, 192 yards, one TD
Surface: Field turf
Starting quarterback: Gus Frerotte (15-for-28, 151 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions)
Notable: The Vikings survived when Mason Crosby’s 52-yard field goal attempt missed at the final gun. Peterson’s 29-yard scoring run with 2:22 left stood up as the game-winner. The Viking defense also contributed two safeties.
 
Date: Sept. 13, 2009
Rushing numbers: 25 carries, 180 yards, three TDs
Surface: Natural grass
Starting quarterback: Brett Favre (14-for-21, 110 yards, one TD)
Notable: In Favre’s debut as a Viking, Peterson stole the show, setting the tone for an exhilarating season that ended an eyelash short of the Super Bowl.
 
Date: Oct. 23, 2011
Rushing numbers: 24 carries, 175 yards, one TD
Surface: Field turf
Starting quarterback: Christian Ponder (13-for-32, 219 yards, two TDs, two interceptions)
Notable: Peterson’s 7.3 yard per carry average marked the eighth time in his career he had a single-game average above 7.0 yards. Last week's game also marked just the second time that Peterson had rushed for at least 150 yards yet the Vikings lost. The Vikings are 6-2 in such games.

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