Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rushed for a season-high 146 yards against the Packers on Sunday.
Jerry Holt, Star Tribune
Peterson has season-best 146 yards
- Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS
- Star Tribune
- November 24, 2013 - 11:41 PM
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Adrian Peterson was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Packers because of a nagging groin injury.
The injury, however, didn’t seem to affect the 2012 NFL MVP, who rushed for a season-high 146 yards and scored a touchdown in the Vikings’ 26-26 tie with Green Bay at Lambeau Field.
Peterson’s 32 carries also were a season high and two short of his career high. He has 997 rushing yards this season.
Peterson entered the game averaging 115.5 yards rushing in 13 career games against Green Bay. His 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter gave him his seventh consecutive season with 10-plus rushing touchdowns.
Peterson admitted that his groin injury bothered him at Seattle last week, but he held up fine with a heavy workload and cold temperatures.
“The guys up front did a great job of creating opportunities for the running backs, and we tried to take advantage of it,” said Peterson, who appeared in his 100th career game.
Peterson had plenty of help from Toby Gerhart, who rushed for 91 yards on only eight carries (11.4 yards per carry). The Vikings’ 1-2 punch seemed to wear down the Packers defense.
“We got into a nice little rhythm running the ball right at them,” Gerhart said. “The offensive line was blocking well. It was a fun time as a running back.”
The Vikings rushed for 232 yards total and averaged 5.4 yards per carry.
“To get our running game going the way we did was big,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “It was good for our defense.”
The reception Greg Jennings received in his first return visit to Lambeau was predictable. Packers fans booed him when he came onto the field before the game and after each of his two catches.
“I really wasn’t looking for any kind of reception,” said Jennings, who played the past seven seasons for Green Bay. “I came here with my teammates in this locker room and that’s all the reception I need.”
Asked if it bothered him to hear those boos, Jennings said, “No.”
Jennings finished with two catches for 29 yards. He also had a costly drop on third-and-5 late in overtime, forcing the Vikings to punt the ball back to the Packers.
Change provides spark
Green Bay quarterback Scott Tolzien had a nifty 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but he had an otherwise miserable outing before being replaced by Matt Flynn in the third quarter.
Tolzien completed only seven of 17 passes for 98 yards. He was sacked twice.
Flynn, who played for the Packers from 2008 to ’11 before signing as a free agent with the Seahawks, re-signed with the team on Nov. 12 after spending time with the Raiders and Bills this season.
Flynn completed 21 of 36 passes for 218 yards and a TD in leading a 16-point comeback to force OT.
“We knew he had been in that offense before and probably wasn’t going to take him long to get established in there,” Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said.
The Vikings defense failed to close the deal in another late-game opportunity as the Packers, with Flynn under center, erased a 23-7 deficit.
“The four-minute and two-minute defense, we’re not getting it done,” defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. “We’ve got to look at it, evaluate what we were doing because they went straight four-minute mode in the fourth quarter and got points.”
Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil got beat badly by his former Southern California teammate Clay Matthews on an outside speed rush on the opening series.
“He just beat me,” Kalil said. “He’s a great player, one of the best in the NFL. It was a tough play. I thought I bounced back from that. I thought I played well against him.”
Matthews notched another sack later in the game.
Playing it safe
The Vikings faced a fourth-and-7 at their own 44 with nine seconds left in regulation. Frazier elected to punt rather than go for it.
“Nine seconds left? Just get to overtime,” Frazier said. “Either run it or punt it and it worked out fine.”
• Cornerback Xavier Rhodes and receiver Joe Webb suffered concussions. Backup cornerback A.J. Jefferson left because of a neck injury.
• The Vikings recorded nine pass breakups, including four by first-round draft pick Rhodes. They batted down three passes at the line.
• Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson set an NFL record with a 109-yard kickoff return in the first meeting between the teams this season. He added a 57-yard return in the first quarter Sunday.
• With a healthy Aaron Rodgers in the first meeting Oct. 27, the Packers did not punt once and converted 13 of 18 third-down opportunities. Without Rodgers on Sunday, they punted eight times and went 3-for-16 on third down.
• The game-time temperature was 19 degrees with a windchill of 7 degrees.
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