Ground Game Leads Minnesota Vikings To First Tie Of 2013 Season

By Nick Baker
Adrian Peterson
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers completed the first tie game of the 2013 NFL season this past Sunday, as both teams put up 26 points. Early on in the game, it appeared as if the Vikings would be able to cruise to a nice victory over the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, but when Matt Flynn entered in at quarterback in place of Scott Tolzien, the game shifted in favor of the home team.

Even though the run game for the Vikings was tremendous throughout the entire contest, Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart were unable to carry the team once regulation ended. The two running backs combined for an impressive 237 rushing yards on the day and kept their team competitive when Christian Ponder struggled.

Ponder didn’t have a bad day by any measures, but you can count the number of impressive throws he had on one hand, and the inconsistent quarterback was unable to lead the Vikings’ offense down field for a touchdown in the last 38 minutes of game time. The team put up 20 points through the first two and a half quarters, but the six points they scored after simply weren’t enough for a win.

Peterson has traditionally done well against the Packers, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to watch him run for a game high 146 yards, but the real offensive x-factor for the Vikings was Gerhart, as he made the most of his eight carries by running for 91 yards with an 11.4 yards per carry average. This marks the second straight week Gerhart has looked good running out of the backfield, and hopefully it’s a sign that next week against the Chicago Bears, this two-headed running attack leads the Vikings’ offense once again.

Overall, it was a rather disappointing tie for a Vikings team that had a chance to drastically affect the Packers’ playoff hopes. The Packers also clinched the season series with this tie, as they won the only other meeting between the two teams four weeks ago. The Vikings now have five games remaining this season, but it may be a rough stretch if they continue to collapse late in games.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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