HIGHS

 

Oct. 14, 2007, at Chicago: As a rookie, Adrian Peterson had a couple of 100-yard games at home, but his statement to the league came during his first trip to Soldier Field. He churned out 361 all-purpose yards, including 224 rushing (with three touchdowns), 128 on kickoff returns and 9 receiving. The Vikings staved off the Bears’ comeback when Peterson’s 53-yard return set up a winning field goal in the closing seconds.

 

Nov. 4, 2007, vs. San Diego: Peterson’s fourth home game was one for the record books. In what could be viewed as an early change of the guard with Chargers legendary running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Peterson outran him for the single-game NFL rushing record in his eighth career start. Peterson’s 296 rushing yards at the Metrodome still has not been topped. He also chipped with in three rushing touchdowns in the victory.

 

Sept. 13, 2009, at Cleveland: While the Vikings’ magical 2009 season with Brett Favre was not Peterson’s statistical best, he set the tone for their 12-4 year with a dominating season opener at Cleveland. Perhaps no highlight better summarizes Peterson’s Hall of Fame career than the 64-yard touchdown run, in which he ran through one Browns defender, planted a palm on the helmet of another and burst down the sideline to seal the win. He finished with 180 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

 

Dec. 30, 2012, vs. Green Bay: The eventual NFL MVP capped a historic season with 199 rushing yards in a three-point victory over the Packers to clinch a playoff spot for the Vikings. The 27-year-old Peterson, a year removed from a torn ACL, entered the season finale needing 208 rushing yards to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season record. He took five carries for 36 yards on the final drive to set up the winning field goal. Peterson settled for 2,097 on the season, becoming only the seventh running back in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 rushing yards.

 

Nov. 15, 2015, at Oakland: On his way to his third NFL rushing title, Peterson tied O.J. Simpson for the most 200-yard rushing games in league history. Peterson’s 203 rushing yards against the Raiders marked the sixth such game of his career and sealed the Vikings’ seventh win on their way to the NFC North title. In his age 30 season, Peterson returned from suspension and became the first 30-something running back to lead the league in rushing since Curtis Martin in 2004.

LOWS

 

Jan. 24, 2010, at New Orleans: Following up Peterson’s only playoff win to date, a three-touchdown performance was undone by five Vikings turnovers, including three fumbles, in a 31-28 NFC Championship Game loss to the Saints. Peterson, who gained 122 rushing yards, put the ball on the ground three times, losing a botched handoff with Brett Favre at the Saints 4-yard line just before halftime. Favre threw away the Vikings’ best chance with an interception in the closing seconds of regulation. The Saints kicked the winning field goal in overtime.

 

Sept. 17, 2014: Peterson is placed on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list, announced with a 12:47 a.m. news release a week after he was indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, on a felony count of reckless or negligent injury to a child. The Vikings, having originally reinstated Peterson after one game away, reversed course. Peterson would plead no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault for disciplining his 4-year-old son with a switch. He played only one game in 2014 due to the pending court case and six-game suspension by the league.

 

Jan. 10, 2016, vs. Seattle: The Vikings shut out the Seahawks for three quarters in last year’s NFC wild-card game before a freak play by Russell Wilson helped cut their lead to 9-7 in the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Peterson, who gained only 45 yards on 23 carries in the game, then coughed up the ball after an 8-yard catch. The fumble at the Vikings 40-yard line led to the Seahawks’ go-ahead field goal. Blair Walsh then missed a potential winning field goal from 27 yards away in the final minute.

Andrew Krammer