NFL: Adrian Peterson misses record as Minnesota Vikings make play-offs beating Green Bay Packers
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 31/12/12 7:31am
Adrian Peterson: So close to record but Vikings into play-offs
The Minnesota Vikings returned to the play-offs for the first time since 2009 as Adrian Peterson inspired them to a 37-34 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Peterson has carried the Vikings all season long and he was again the catalyst with 199 yards rushing and two touchdowns - although he fell agonisingly short of setting a new NFL record.
Despite starting the season coming back from a serious knee injury, Peterson became just the seventh man to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season and was just nine short of breaking Eric Dickerson's long-standing record.
Rookie Blair Walsh kicked the winning field goal as time expired to see the Vikings sneak into the play-offs as the second NFC wild card - and eliminate the Chicago Bears as a result.
Adding more intrigue to the mix, after such a close and eventful game against the Packers, the two teams will meet again next week as the loss saw Green Bay miss out on one of the top two seeded positions and a bye.
The Packers needed just a win to seal the second seed in the NFC and a week off, and their offence did their part with Aaron Rodgers again playing superbly with 365 yards passing a four touchdown throws without an interception.
The improving Greg Jennings looked back to his best after injury with 120 yards receiving and two touchdowns, while there were also scores for Jordy Nelson and James Jones.
Offensive line issues again looking like being an Achilles heel for Green Bay with Rodgers being sacked five times, and that will be a big part of next week's play-off re-match back at Lambeau Field.
The Packers defence could just not stop Peterson all day, but Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder also played his part with 234 yards passing and three touchdowns throws without an interception.
Peterson caught a touchdown as well as rushing for one, with Jarius Wright and Michael Jenkins catching the other two of Ponder's efforts.
It was a special day for Peterson and for the Vikings, especially as they knocked the Bears out of contention, but the chance for revenge will come swiftly for the Packers as they will be the hosts next week when Minnesota have to go to Green Bay in the wild card round.