Peterson's big day torpedoed in Green Bay

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 3, 2012 - 8:07 AM

Somehow, the Vikings couldn't find safety Sunday, even on a day in which Adrian Peterson registered his third career 200-yard rushing day, amassing 210 yards on 21 carries.

GREEN BAY - Pure Peterson. Truly special. You can't be serious.

Those were the thoughts circling Lambeau Field late in the first half Sunday.

Vikings star Adrian Peterson was in the south end zone hosting yet another energized party an instant after taking a handoff from Christian Ponder deep inside Vikings territory and delivering his best home run cut.

First, Peterson beat linebacker A.J. Hawk to the edge. Then he slipped an ankle tackle from Morgan Burnett. From there, he knifed between M.D. Jennings and Tramon Williams, barely felt Mike Neal's diving tackle attempt and outsprinted Casey Hayward to the end zone.

Eighty-two yards. Brilliance.

Just like that, the Vikings had a 14-10 lead over Green Bay, getting exactly the kind of big play needed to spark a road upset.

But hours later, Sunday's final score provided a 23-14 defeat, the torpedo that will likely sink the playoff ship.

Somehow, the Vikings couldn't find safety Sunday, even on a day in which Peterson registered his third career 200-yard rushing day, amassing 210 yards on 21 carries. Even on a day in which Peterson uncorked the longest run of his career -- that impressive 82-yarder.

You just don't see this kind of thing often, this MVP-caliber brilliance coupled with the haphazard manner in which the Vikings have squandered it.

"It's very disappointing," Peterson said. "Especially when we run the ball like we did today. And you just look at it and say, 'It was all for nothing.' "

The unraveling again traces back to a young quarterback and a flatlining passing attack that's proven hard to revive.

Over the past six games, Peterson has rushed for 947 yards, scored six touchdowns and averaged 7.8 yards per carry. Yet over that same time, Ponder has thrown for only 871 yards with a 5.0-yards-per-attempt average.

It doesn't add up.

Said coach Leslie Frazier: "Just so disappointed that we couldn't win this game when [Adrian] had such a great day, in this environment. You want to see him celebrate. But it's so hard to celebrate after today's loss."

On Sunday, Ponder's two interceptions poisoned Peterson's punch.

The first came on the opening series of the second half, two snaps after Peterson's 48-yard run ushered the Vikings inside the Green Bay 12.

Yet on second-and-6 from the 8, Ponder rolled right, forced a throw across his body toward Michael Jenkins and was picked off in the end zone by Burnett.

"The number one rule as a quarterback," Ponder said, "is to not throw across your body, across the middle of the field."

That it was Ponder's 13th turnover in the past eight games only intensified the sting.

"We're in great position," Frazier said. "We would have gone up 21-10 or 17-10, either way with a field goal or touchdown. The way our defense was playing, you'd love to let Jared [Allen] and those guys pin their ears back and rush at that point. But it didn't happen."

Instead, Green Bay turned that takeaway into a 47-yard field goal. Soon after, the Packers went ahead 20-14, thanks to a 22-yard James Starks touchdown run with 2:12 left in the third quarter.

And on the ensuing series, Ponder delivered his second pick, Burnett stealing a pass toward Kyle Rudolph at the Green Bay 14.

"That hurts, man," Peterson said. "You get down into the red zone, guys are playing good ball and when you turn it over, it hurts."

That's how a potentially enlivening upset bid morphs into December dejection.

Green Bay followed that second Ponder giveaway with the ultimate choke hold -- an 18-play, 73-yard field goal drive that consumed the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Ponder finished with 119 passing yards -- brutal on the surface but even more startling considering seven of his 12 completions and 83 of those passing yards came in the final 4 minutes. It's even more disconcerting given how Peterson was running, in theory providing the punch that should loosen things up for the passing attack.

"It's a combination of things," Frazier said. "We have to find a way to get open. We've got to do a good job in protection. And when guys are open, we've got to be able to pull the trigger and get it to them."

That's Passing 101. Yet the Vikings seem stuck at a remedial level. Even as Peterson, their premier playmaker, delivers the most splendid season of his career.

Dan Wiederer • dan.wiederer@startribune.com

NFC PLAYOFF RACE

Division leaders

Atlanta (11-1)*, San Francisco (8-3-1),

Green Bay (8-4), N.Y Giants (7-4**)

Wild-card leaders

Chicago (8-4), Seattle (7-5)

Wild-card contenders

Tampa Bay (6-6), Vikings (6-6), Dallas (6-6), St. Louis (5-6-1), Washington (5-6**).

*-clinched division; **-plays tonight.

  • WEEK 13 GREEN BAY 23, VIKINGS 14

    Week 14: Noon Sunday vs. Chicago • Mall Of America Field • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 3 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Utah 100
Sacramento 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Denver 112 FINAL
Golden State 119
Portland 99 FINAL
LA Clippers 89
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 4th Qtr 4:44
California 35
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close