Vikings Outlast Packers, Make Playoffs While Peterson Falls Just Short of Record

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 30: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown with teammate Christian Ponder #7 in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers on December 30, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy Clayton King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

In the end, Adrian Peterson fell just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's single-season yardage record.

However, without the excellent 26-yard run, which put the Vikings on the 11-yard line for an easy Blair Walsh chip shot, Minnesota might have been watching the playoffs from home next weekend.

Peterson had a phenomenal day all around, and as disappointing as it may have been for all of us watching to see him fall just short of the record, it doesn't take away from the splendid day and season he had.

In an amazing season, it came down to Peterson, of course, and he delivered.

If there is one issue I have with his day, it's the continual insistence of the Vikings to pull Peterson on third down, especially since one of his two touchdowns was a reception.

Why take your best weapon off the field? Especially when all it does is signal that you're throwing the ball?

Speaking of throwing the ball, Christian Ponder had what was simply the single best game of his short career. Ponder made few mistakes, no turnovers and some big throws on his way to being a huge factor in a win for what seemed like the first time.

He forced a few throws where they shouldn't have gone, but it all worked anyway.

The defense had some issues, especially once Antoine Winfield's hand took him down once and for all. A.J. Jefferson was not up to the task of stepping into Winfield's shoes, so Aaron Rodgers picked on him all day long.

It was really the last thing the Vikings wanted, trading shots with the Packers, but with a great Peterson run at the end of the game and the sure-footed Blair Walsh kicking to ice the game, they came out ahead anyway.

The two teams meet again next week, and if the Vikings want to win again, they need to tighten up the defense.

They outlasted the Packers Sunday.

Very few teams pull that off twice.

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