Dec 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs as St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford (98) defends during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Ride Huge Second Quarter, Beat Rams 36-22

What more can Adrian Peterson do for the Vikings? He is everything to this team. Today the Rams seemed like they had him in check. They were stringing out every play to the edge and taking away his cut back lanes. But as we’ve seen many times, Adrian is always one play away from turning a bad day into a great one. All it took was one brilliant cut to send him 82 yards for a TD. That score put the Vikings up 14-7. And that was just the beginning of what would turn out to be a great second quarter. After a 50-yard Blair Walsh FG, Everson Griffen picked off Sam Bradford and returned it for a TD. Two more field goals would give the Vikes a 30-7 lead going into the half.

Adrian would bust off one more huge run in the second half, almost housing one from his own 20. Adrian’s final statline was 212 on 24 carries with a touchdown. Christian Ponder contributed to the offensive effort with a mostly mistake-free game. He would finish with 131 yards on 24 attempts. No touchdowns but no interceptions and only one fumble that went out of bounds. He did have a rushing touchdown in the first to set the tone for the game. It was all-around a decent game for Ponder. He avoided the killing mistake. His receivers helped him by holding onto the ball when he got it there. The much-maligned Stephen Burton, John Carlson and Jerome Simpson all contributed with multi-catch games. Though Simpson did cause some eye-rolls with a fumble.

Defensively, the Vikings had one of their stronger efforts. Alan Williams kept the Rams’ offensive line guessing with a bunch of different rush looks, causing huge problems for Sam Bradford. The Vikes pounded Bradford, forcing mistakes. Steven Jackson was able to get his yards but ultimately it didn’t matter. The Rams hurt themselves with bad penalties and turnovers. For one day at least, the Vikings looked like the much more disciplined, steady team. Pretty surprising effort from the Rams who looked like they were coming up in the world. You figured this would be a tougher game but the Rams just got out-schemed and out-executed by the Vikings. It was a terrific day for Williams with his blitzes and feints. And the D-line didn’t mess up with offsides penalties. The only major defensive blip was a bad day for Josh Robinson who gave up a couple TDs and committed some penalties.

The Vikings now have two road wins against conference opponents. They are 8-6 overall and very much alive for the playoffs. Now they must travel to Houston where things could get hairy. But they have a shot with Adrian in the backfield and a defense that has played well the last couple weeks. This team might be rounding into form at just the right time.

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