A Healthy Adrian Peterson Leads Vikings to an Overtime Victory

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 9: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings leaves the field after the NFL opening day game against the Jacksonville Jaguars September 9, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

We knew it was going to be close, but overtime in Week 1 was not on the agenda.

However, the Vikings overcame some early jitters and followed a fully healthy Adrian Peterson to a win. 

Peterson looked completely healthy during the game, showing good burst, strength and elusiveness. What's more, he carried a full load, something we didn't expect to see this early in the year. 

On his first touchdown, Peterson looked like he wasn't coming back from a massive knee injury when he propelled himself into the air and over defenders. 

If your heart stopped when he did it, I wouldn't blame you.

The Vikings have to be thrilled (and very relieved) to see him take hits and get back up. 

After all the offseason drama, the Vikings appear to have played everything just right when it came to Peterson.

Christian Ponder also looked pretty good, save for a fumble. For the most part, once he settled down, he hit his receivers, and while still making a few head-scratching decisions, Ponder seems to have taken a good step forward.

Percy Harvin played very well, though he was kept out of the end zone, and Kyle Rudolph had a great game, stepping into the No. 2 target spot very easily.

Overall, the offense looked good in spots and certainly promising,  especially as they head into a game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Defensively, Blaine Gabbert did a very good job picking his shots against the secondary who will have to step it up a little bit next week. Gabbert is a lot better than he was given credit for last year, as Andrew Luck is a lot better than he looked against the Bears.

Jared Allen was completely shut down against the Jaguars and has to do a better job of overcoming the attention he is bound to get. On the other hand, Chad Greenway and Erin Henderson had huge games, and that's the trade-off teams face—shut down Allen, get hut by other players.

Still, it will come down to the secondary, and hopefully, a tighter game than they played this week.

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