Peterson carries Vikes to victory over Pack

By Eric Krupka  |   Thursday, November 13, 2008  |  Comments( 1 )

Minnesota Vikings
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Sunday was yet another epic border battle between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. Once again, as it always seems to when the two lock horns, the game came down to the final seconds. The Vikings were ultimately able to escape with a 28-27 win thanks to running back Adrian Peterson, who literally carried them to victory -- one which has 5-4 Minnesota tied atop the NFC North with Chicago.

Midway through the fourth quarter, trailing 24-21 and facing a fourth-and-1 situation, Peterson convinced head coach Brad Childress to leave the offense on the field instead of punting the ball away. Childress, even though his team was at its own 41. Peterson, however, fumbled on the play and Green Bay recovered with great field position.

The defense, as it did all afternoon, tormented Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and held the Packers in check. In the end, Green Bay only added a field goal despite the short field.

After the Packers expanded their lead to six points, Peterson spent the remainder of the game atoning for his costly miscue.

Down 27-21 with six minutes left, the Vikings needed a touchdown. The passing offense had been largely ineffective most of the game. Gus Frerotte had thrown three interceptions already, one of which was returned for a touchdown, so the 'O' turned to its back. Peterson touched the ball on six of the drive's seven plays, catching two passes for 24 yards and rushing for 40 yards -- including a 29-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 28-27 lead with just over two minutes remaining. The Vikings were able to hold on to that advantage and clinch an enormous divisional triumph.

Childress deserves credit for putting the ball in his best player’s hands with the game on the line. Too often, teams tend to panic when trailing by a touchdown late and become reliant on the aerial attack. Give kudos to Childress for sticking with the hot hand and his best player, then. It paid off.

"You don't want to go very far from a hot hand," Childress said after the game. "And I thought our line, at that point, was exerting their will on their defensive line and linebackers, and that was the breaking point. And obviously Adrian had great trust in what he was doing and what he was seeing, and the guys up front kind of get charged up when they know they got that guy running behind them, with the urgency that he's running with.”

Peterson churned out 71 yards on the ground in the fourth quarter alone, and he finished with 30 rushes for 192 yards and a touchdown. In the past two games, he has racked up 121 fourth-quarter yards on just 13 carries.

"He was huge for us. Came through big," Frerotte said after the game. "We sure were on his back today."

With another big win in tow, Childress and the Vikings are hoping they can ride the coattails of their superstar running back right into the playoffs.
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About Eric Krupka

Eric Krupka joined RealFootball365 as a Vikings columnist in November 2005.
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