Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder Lead Minnesota Vikings to Playoffs

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure you could have scripted it any better for the Minnesota Vikings as they defeated the Green Bay Packers on a Blair Walsh field as time expired Sunday. The win puts the Vikings back into the playoffs after a two year absence, but that’s certainly not the only story from this game.

All of the attention focused around No. 28, Adrian Peterson.

Peterson was on a mission to break Eric Dickerson‘s single-season rushing record (2,105), but fell short by nine yards in the end. Peterson fought all the way until the very last time he had the ball, but it wasn’t meant to be on this day. However, Peterson’s final scamper of 26 yards put the Vikings in much better position to kick the game winning field goal, and it just may have been the difference in the game.

But not all the credit on the final drive should go to Peterson. Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder stepped up and made some big plays and put the team in a position to win the game.

Ponder played the game-manger role to a tee on this Sunday, and when it counted most, he didn’t crumble. Some of his critics will be quieted with this performance, but there’s no doubt he still has a long way to go.

In all Ponder completed 16 of 28 for 234 yards and three touchdowns; while Peterson ran for 199 yards and recorded two scores.

You just can’t say enough about what Adrian Peterson means to the Vikings. He carried this team to where it’s at, and Sunday he showed a national audience why he is no doubt the league’s MVP.

This late-season NFC North showdown lived up to the hype and then some. The Packers and Vikings traded blows back and forth the entire contest, and as it turns out, gave the fans a little taste of what’s to come next week in the playoffs.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish


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