Peterson runs for 212 yards as Vikings top Rams

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 17, 2012 - 7:14 AM

The Vikings improved their postseason chances after a convincing road victory over the Rams, and Adrian Peterson had another 200-yard day to close in on the NFL’s season rushing record.

ST. LOUIS - Well, well, well. What do we have here?

It's a week before Christmas and it appears we now have indisputable proof of a Vikings team making a serious charge at the playoffs, a team that understands its identity and is showing impressive depth and unity and all sorts of swagger.

On Sunday, the Vikings used all of that to beat the Rams 36-22 at the Edward Jones Dome and, with two games left, move into the final NFC wild-card playoff spot.

Dialed in from the start, they ignored their woeful 1-5 road record and instead granted coach Leslie Frazier's request for "a clean game."

That meant taking care of the ball -- which they did, not committing a turnover for just the third time this season.

It also meant delivering tide-turning plays on defense -- which the Vikings also did, sacking Sam Bradford four times and turning his two turnovers into 10 points.

Oh, and of course, it meant treating the people of St. Louis to the latest episode of "All Day Every Sunday" with Adrian Peterson blazing his way for 212 yards and a touchdown.

"Just an example of his greatness," Frazier said.

It's only natural that Peterson will hog the headlines and highlight reels. Deservedly so. In an MVP campaign that will be hard to derail, Peterson not only ran for 200 yards for the second time in three weeks, but he also delivered his two biggest runs in key moments.

Early in the second quarter, after St. Louis tied the score 7-7 and held Peterson to 8 yards on his first eight carries, the Vikings back uncorked an 82-yard touchdown run.

The hole on the right side was plowed open by Phil Loadholt, Geoff Schwartz and Kyle Rudolph. Fullback Jerome Felton also blew up linebacker James Laurinaitis on the second level. And with a runway between the hashes, Peterson took off like an F-16.

It matched the longest run of his career and put the Vikings ahead to stay. Yet somehow it was Peterson's second most important burst of the day.

The bigger one came in the fourth quarter, when the Rams trimmed a 26-point Vikings lead to 11 and the dome grew deafening. In what figured to be a consequential series, the Vikings naturally turned the playbook to No. 28's page.

This time, Peterson had no hole. In fact, Rams end Robert Quinn had his hands on Peterson 3 yards deep in the backfield.

Yet somehow, the Vikings star squirted free. Fifty-two yards later Janoris Jenkins pulled him down.

"How did he get out of that?" Frazier wondered. "He just continues to amaze you with some of his runs. It looked like there was nothing there. They really had it stifled. Next thing you know, he's out the back door with a 52-yard run."

The other three plays of that drive lost 5 yards. Yet Peterson's explosion set up a Blair Walsh 51-yard field goal.

"It's a train that can't be stopped," left tackle Matt Kalil said.

Added Rams coach Jeff Fisher: "He's the best there is right now."

Still, to focus exclusively on Peterson would unfairly snub all of Sunday's other big-time contributors. Walsh, for example, made five field goals -- from 50, 38, 42, 53 and 51 yards. He's now 8-for-8 from 50 yards or longer.

Linebacker Chad Greenway had 14 tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.

Also worthy of acclaim: defensive end Everson Griffen, whose biggest play came on a call of "Wide Blast, 23 Sky." With Antoine Winfield and Jasper Brinkley blitzing, Griffen dropped into coverage, slid underneath Lance Kendricks' route and made a nifty interception. Then he added a 29-yard run to the end zone and a slick dance he calls "The Sack Daddy."

Griffen gave the defense its second TD in two weeks and provided a 24-7 second-quarter lead.

"It was a dream come true," Griffen said. "I want to say 'Thank you, Sam Bradford.'"

Any recap of Sunday's victory would also be incomplete without acknowledging Frazier, whose decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the St. Louis 7 on the Vikings' first drive proved bold and energizing. The Vikings needed Christian Ponder's hectic 3-yard scramble to pick up the first down. But three plays later, Ponder ducked away from a Quinn sack and scored on a 5-yard run that set the tone.

"We wanted to be aggressive," Frazier said. "I talked to our players about it all week long, that we were going to be aggressive in every situation. And that was a chance to back up what I had said during the week."

The Vikings backed it all up Sunday, continuing to fight for a potential wild card invitation that once seemed unthinkable but is now within reach.

Dan Wiederer •

  • related content


Team Irvin 25 4th Qtr 9:45
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 62 3rd Qtr 7:39
LA Lakers 43
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question