The Minnesota Vikings rode Adrian Peterson (AP) into the playoffs. AP rushed for 199 yards falling just nine yards from setting the single season rushing record. AP entered the game needing 208 yards to break the record.
While I'm sad that the AP didn't set the record I'm thrilled that The Vikings earned a playoff spot with a 37-34 victory over the hated Green Bay Packers. AP had a great day. He's been the machine that the Vikings have relied on and they needed him today.
What really amazed me is that this was a defining moment for Christian Ponder. Ponder had a great game, throwing for 365 yards and four touchdowns. He made no mistakes. The biggest moment of his career came with under three minutes left on the clock and needing a field goal to win the game.
Both AP and Ponder made the necessary plays to win the game. Ponder made a critical third down conversion that put the Vikings into Green Bay Packers territory. At that moment, I believe the Vikings and their fans knew that the Vikings were going to win the game. Then AP ran for 26 yards on the second to last play of the game, putting the Vikings inside the ten yard line allowing Blair Walsh to kick a chip shot attempt to try and win the game.
Mr. Reliable Blair Walsh was mister reliable again as he kicked the winning field goal as time expired. This was a terrific game for the offense. They're the ones who deserve the credit for this victory.
The Vikings defense made some big plays in the first half. In the second half they recovered an Aaron Rodger fumble that proved to be a big play for our team. There were also five sacks by the defense. That was a pretty good effort against one of the NFL's best offenses.
It's still troubling to me how the Packers were able to make big plays passing the ball in the second half. That needs to improve. I'm still waiting for a dominant game from both the defense and offense. The offense had that today but the defense allowed 34 points.
Next week the Vikings will have to have their best game on both sides of the ball as they have a rematch against the Packers in the wild card game at Lambeau Field. This will be a tough test for the Vikings. Lambeau is a tough place to win but if there's one thing on the Vikings side it's that the Packers have been beatable at Lambeau Field in past playoff games.
Let's not worry about next week. Let's enjoy this big victory. Let's celebrate it. Let's be happy that the Vikings rode AP into the playoffs. Let's be happy with this defining moment for Christian Ponder.
Players of the Game - Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder.