Minnesota Vikings Make Playoffs With 37-34 Win Over Packers
By Dan Zinski
Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
One of the most insane games in Vikings history just played out at Metrodome. It ended almost the way fans wished. The Vikings got the victory over the Packers to claim a berth in the playoffs. That was task number one. Task number two was getting Adrian Peterson enough yards to break Eric Dickerson’s record. Peterson would end up falling 9 yards short of that record. But does anyone really care? Peterson was a beast again, running for 199 yards and scoring two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. The Vikings needed every last yard Adrian gave them. His final run may not have gotten the record, but it did set up Blair Walsh for a chip shot field goal to win the game.
A year after going 3-13, the Vikings are 10-6 and headed to the playoffs. And they did it by defeating the hated Packers. For a minute it looked like the victory was in serious doubt. The Vikes’ secondary suffered a slew of injuries, and Aaron Rodgers began taking advantage. This put the pressure on the Vikings offense to respond. And they did. And not just Adrian Peterson.
Christian Ponder was the other big story today. Ponder played by far the best game of his career under the most pressure he has ever seen. Ponder made big plays. His TD pass to Michael Jenkins through the hands of D.J. Williams was possibly the biggest throw of his life. If that wasn’t the biggest throw? Then it was his long bomb to Jarius Wright. Or maybe his pass to Michael Jenkins for a first down conversion on the final drive. Of course the Packers helped the effort with some bad plays and questionable coaching decisions. Tramon Williams’ penalty will go down in infamy. So will Dom Capers’ decision to rush three on the third down play to Jenkins.
All this is fodder for later discussion. What matters now is this. The Vikings are a playoff team. They are the 6th seed. They will play again at Lambeau next week. The second time in history the Vikes and Packers have faced off in the postseason. How healthy will the Vikings be going into this game? Harrison Smith and Antoine Winfield both left today’s game. If they can’t go, the Vikes will have a tall task on their hands. Like I said, let’s worry about that later. For now, let’s celebrate.
The Vikings are back in the playoffs. Christian Ponder became a real quarterback today at Metrodome.
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