Minneapolis, MN — Adrian Peterson narrowly missed out on the NFL single-season rushing record on Sunday, despite carrying for 199 yards against the Green Bay Packers and helping his Vikings team to the playoffs.
The running-back, who needed 208 yards against Green Bay to break Eric Dickerson’s rushing record of 2,105 yards, fell just short in what was a mesmerising 37-34 win for the Vikings. Peterson finished with a season total of 2,097 rushing yards, a mere eight shy of Eric Dickerson’s record from 1984.
Against a Green Bay defense set up to stop him, Peterson ran for 199 yards over a career-high 34 carries, and became only the seventh man to pass 2,000 rushing yards over an NFL season.
His very last carry of the Packers game was Peterson’s most important, with the running-back dashing 26 yards through left tackle to move the ball to the Green Bay 11. That led to a game-winning kick from Minnesota’s Blair Walsh, securing a playoff spot. Peterson had previously implied he would be content to miss out on the rushing record if Minnesota made the playoffs; at the Metrodome on Sunday, the 27-year-old got his wish.
Green Bay had already sealed the NFC North title, but the loss to the Vikings and a pumped-up Adrian Peterson meant they lost a first-round bye. Elsewhere in NFC North, the Vikings win meant the Chicago Bears mised out on postseason, despite finishing 10-6.
Although Adrian Peterson couldn’t quite beat Dickerson’s record, he can take solace in the fact that Minnesota has made the postseason. The Vikings won their final four games of the season to finish 10-6, and will now face Green Bay again in a first-round playoff game next weekend.
After finishing rock-bottom of NFC North in 2010 and 2011, the team’s progress this year will have delighted fans, who shared their joy on Twitter:
— Shanola Hampton (@shanolahampton) December 31, 2012
— Katie Erickson (@KTerickson4) December 31, 2012
— SouthernBallplayer ⚾ (@BaseballTweets5) December 31, 2012