2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Peterson vs. Pack has been boon for Vikings RB

    2012-12-31 18:24

(Eds: Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Pro Football Writer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Adrian Peterson rushed for 210 yards at Green Bay the first time. He was, uh, limited to 199 yards for Minnesota in the most recent meeting.

So how much more can this man do? Will the Packers be able to finally stop him with their third try?

That's an issue for this Saturday at Lambeau Field in a playoff game full of intriguing story lines, when the Vikings and Packers will renew their rivalry in the wild-card round. Peterson carried the Vikings into the postseason with another standout performance in Sunday's 37-34 victory, even though the Packers continually sent a safety up to the line to crowd his running lanes as if he was on a blitz.

``They were a lot more physical in that game than they had been before,'' Vikings fullback Jerome Felton said. ``I think they were trying to box everything and keep it in the middle. I just remember thinking, `Man, they're coming downhill.' But I think we're just such a physical team that it wears on people. So he didn't have the 80-yard run, and he still had 200 yards rushing.''

Peterson had an 82-yard touchdown sprint on Dec. 2 during the 23-14 defeat in Green Bay, but his longest run on Sunday was 28 yards.

``I look forward to us having a better performance on defense,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

The Vikings, naturally, were anticipating more adjustments.

``I'm sure they'll come up with another wrinkle when we play them again,'' coach Leslie Frazier said.

One year ago on New Year's Eve, Peterson was lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to tubes and wires with a glazed look on his face, a carton of ice cream clutched in his hand, in the first hours after reconstructive surgery on his left knee. He sent that photo of that scene on Twitter, a stark contrast to the raucous stadium he helped ignite Sunday by spinning around, racing past and running through the Packers.

He needed a franchise-record 34 carries to get to those 199 yards, but five of those attempts went for no gain and five more lost yards. That proved again just how difficult it is to stop him, given the ferocity and determination he's running with, and the confidence with which the Vikings are blocking for him. Peterson finished 9 yards short of becoming the NFL's all-time leading single-season rusher, but even though the total resets next season he vowed to pass Eric Dickerson someday.

``God willing, I'll get it next year, or at least make it close,'' Peterson said.

Felton, picked for the Pro Bowl for his blocking prowess after signing a one-year contract, told Peterson after Sunday's game he'd break the record in 2013 if Felton is brought back.

All those individual accolades will be put in the background until next season, though. The playoffs are here.

``Once you get in, anything can happen. It's been done before. There's a precedent set for teams like this getting on a roll. Hopefully we can keep it going and become one of those teams,'' left guard Charlie Johnson said.

The Vikings haven't won an outdoor game this year, but their formula for winning is designed to work in winter: pounding Peterson into the line and relying on the defense to rack up sacks and force a turnover or two.

``When your players have an identity and they know what that identity is, they tend to think a little bit less about what some of the other implications or ramifications can be with the weather,'' Frazier said. ``They know mentally that this is what we are going to focus on no matter the condition. I think it has to be an advantage for you.''

Christian Ponder can't escape responsibility, though. Coming off a three-touchdown, no-turnover game, he'll need to complete enough third-down throws and medium-to-long-range passes to supplement Peterson's work on the ground.

``Green Bay had to play honest. They had to respect the pass game and when we're doing that, we're playing balanced football, we're a tough team to beat,'' Peterson said on Sunday.

NOTES: CB Antoine Winfield's status for Saturday's game is in question, after he aggravated his broken right hand Sunday and sat out most of the afternoon. His hand was swollen badly afterward, and Frazier said Winfield ``was in quite a bit of pain.'' ... DE Brian Robison played through a sprained right shoulder and finished the season with a career-high 8 1/2 sacks, one of which forced a fumble by Aaron Rodgers the Vikings recovered to set up a touchdown. ... Though the dates won't be set until April, the Vikings have their 2013 opponents lined up. Beyond the usual division games, they'll host Philadelphia (4-12 this year), Washington (10-6), Carolina (7-9), Cleveland (5-11) plus Pittsburgh (8-8) in London. They'll travel to Dallas (8-8), the New York Giants (9-7), Seattle (11-5), Baltimore (10-6) and Cincinnati (10-6).

---

Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 1 09:33a

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) has his right foot and ankle in a cast Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Donald BrownOct 1 09:23a

The San Diego Chargers ran just 20 times for 42 yards in Week 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars for a measly 2.1 yards per carry. After four games this [ More ]

Teddy BridgewaterOct 1 09:18a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) is feeling 'much better' Tuesday, Sept. 30, and head coach Mike Zimmer remains hopeful that Bridgewater can play in Week 5 against the [ More ]

Eric WinstonOct 1 07:13a

The Atlanta Falcons worked out free-agent FS M.D. Jennings, SS Chris D. Clemons and OL Eric Winston Tuesday, Sept. 30. ESPN analyst Ed Werder confirmed the workout of Winston, [ More ]

Brandon BrownerOct 1 06:43a

The New England Patriots reinstated CB Brandon Browner and WR Brian Tyms from the suspended list Tuesday, Sept. 30. They each have a roster exemption that expires Monday, Oct. 6.

Marqise LeeSep 30 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) is going through the team's return-to-play protocol and could return to practice this week.

Toby GerhartSep 30 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will continue to be involved in a rotation at running back with RB Toby Gerhart, and head coach Gus Bradley said the team strongly [ More ]

Navorro BowmanSep 30 09:13p

San Francisco 49ers LB Michael Wilhoite has started for LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) in all four games this season, and Bowman said he has been impressed by his replacement. [ More ]

Larry DonnellSep 30 09:03p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is on pace to finish the year with 100 catches, 944 yards and 16 touchdowns. The single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end is currently 17.

Bruce CarterSep 30 06:53p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter's (quadriceps) will reportedly need 10-14 days for his strained right quadriceps to heal, assuring he will miss Week 5 against the Houston Texans.

Brandon HepburnSep 30 06:43p

The Philadelphia Eagles released LB Brandon Hepburn and OT Tyler Hoover Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Gabe MillerSep 30 06:33p

The Washington Redskins re-signed LB Gabe Miller and DT Robert Thomas to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Chris BoswellSep 30 06:33p

The Houston Texans released PK Chris Boswell Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Mario ManninghamSep 30 06:13p

The New York Giants released WR Mario Manningham (calf) from their Reserve/Injured list with an injury waiver Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Joe McKnightSep 30 06:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs placed RB Joe McKnight (Achilles') on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Terrell ManningSep 30 06:03p

The Chicago Bears placed LB Terrell Manning and WR Rashad Ross on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Montell OwensSep 30 05:53p

The Detroit Lions placed RB Montell Owens (hamstring) on Reserve/Injured and signed RB George Winn from their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 30.

LaMichael JamesSep 30 05:43p

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent RB LaMichael James (49ers) Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jerick McKinnonSep 30 05:03p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle) was limited in practice again Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jarrett BoykinSep 30 05:03p

Green Bay Packers LB Sam Barrington (hamstring), DT Josh Boyd (knee) and WR Jarrett Boykin (groin) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30. LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) was limited, while [ More ]

Chad GreenwaySep 30 05:03p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway (hand/rib) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30. CBs Captain Munnerlyn (illness) and Josh Robinson (hamstring) were limited. FB Jerome Felton (knee), LB Michael Mauti [ More ]

Jadeveon ClowneySep 30 04:53p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) began running Tuesday, Sept. 30, as part of his rehabilitation process. He said the rehab process is coming along well and that he [ More ]

William MooreSep 30 04:03p

Atlanta Falcons SS William Moore (shoulder) will be placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Mike Smith.

Joe HawleySep 30 04:03p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, according to a league source. C Peter Konz will now be the [ More ]

Victor ButlerSep 30 03:43p

The Arizona Cardinals released LB Victor Butler Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 30 02:33p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) isn't practicing for the second straight day Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Tony SparanoSep 30 02:13p

The Oakland Raiders named Tony Sparano interim head coach Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Joe HawleySep 30 02:13p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) and OT Lamar Holmes (foot) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Tommy BohanonSep 30 02:03p

New York Jets FB Tommy Bohanon (collarbone) will have surgery for a broken collarbone, and will be placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list.

Uche NwaneriSep 30 02:03p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley (knee) could be dealing with a season-ending injury to his right knee, according to a league source. The Falcons will work out free-agent OG [ More ]

Matt AsiataSep 30 01:53p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon ran for 135 yards on 18 carries in the team's Week 4 win over the Atlanta Falcons, but head coach Mike Zimmer is hesitant [ More ]

Ben TateSep 30 01:23p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, for the first time since spraining his right knee in the season opener Sept. 7. It means [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group