Peterson leads Vikings' charge

  • Last Updated: December 16 2012, 22:25 GMT

Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson piled up a season-best 212 yards on 24 carries in a 36-22 win over St Louis.

Adrian Peterson: 212 yards on 24 carries for the Vikings
Adrian Peterson: 212 yards on 24 carries for the Vikings

The running back has a career-best 1,812 yards rushing, leaving him 294 shy of breaking the mark of 2,105 set by Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1984.

The Vikings (8-6) scored 10 of their 23 points in the second quarter off turnovers by Sam Bradford, including a 29-yard interception return by defensive end Everson Griffen that the Rams quarterback watched in disbelief from his knees.

They were up by 26 before Bradford, whose botched center snap also cost the Rams (6-7-1) a field goal in the second quarter, threw touchdown passes to Danny Amendola and Lance Kendricks in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings remained in the play-off picture while seriously damaging the Rams' post-season hopes.

Steven Jackson became the 15th player to rush for 10,000 yards for the Rams. He had 73 yards on just eight carries and has 909 yards on the year, keeping him in range of an eighth straight 1,000-yard season.

Peterson topped his previous single-season best of 1,760 yards in 2007 on a 52-yard run in the fourth quarter. On both long runs, Peterson made something out of nothing with nimble cutbacks to daylight.

Christian Ponder had a turnover-free game and ran for the game's first score for the Vikings, who had been just 1-5 on the road with the other victory at Detroit in September. Rookie kicker Blair Walsh was perfect on five field-goal attempts, three of them from 50 yards and beyond.

The Rams stopped Peterson, held to minus-3 yards on five carries, but not Ponder on the Vikings' opening drive. Benefiting from a short field at the St Louis 45, the quarterback was 3 for 3 for 38 yards plus a 5-yard scramble that put them up 7-0.

Rookie Brian Quick won a jump ball with A.J. Jefferson in the end zone on a 4-yard reception, landing just inbounds to tie it early in the second quarter.

Then, the Vikings took over.

Peterson's 82-yard score came on the next play, Walsh's 50-yard field goal made the Rams pay for Bradford's botched snap and Griffen's interception return gave Minnesota 17 points in a span of just 3:56.


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