Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
In the matchup of marquee running backs, Adrian Peterson did not disappoint. He led the Vikings with 212 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown. It was the second 200-yard rushing game of the season for Peterson who is having the best season of his career, less than a year after suffering his knee injury in Week 17 last season. He matched the longest run of his career with an 82-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He also had another run of 52 yards in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Blair Walsh added five field goals, three of them from greater than 50 yards, to help the Vikings score on seven of their offensive drives.
The Vikings defense also came up with two turnovers that led to 10 points. The second was a Sam Bradford interception by Everson Griffen that he returned 29 yards for a touchdown.
Steven Jackson finished the with game with 73 yards on 13 carries. It gives the nine-year veteran 10,002 for his career. He also led the Rams' receivers with eight catches for 73 yards.
Bradford finished with 377 passing yards and three touchdowns. Most of that came in the second half after the Vikings had opened up a 30-7 lead at halftime.
The win keeps the Vikings in the playoff hunt as they move to 8-6 with another road game at Houston next week.
The loss drops the Rams to 6-7-1, eliminating their chance at making the playoffs.
If not for the spectacular day by Adrian Peterson, there might be more press for Blair Walsh.
Walsh not only converted all five of his field goals on the afternoon, but three of them came from greater than 50 yards. He is perfect on the season from greater than 50 yards.
With 114 points on the season, Walsh moves into the top-10 all-time for scoring in a season for the Vikings franchise. Not bad for a rookie who only completed 73.8 percent of his kicks in college.
Final: Vikings 33, Ram 22. It's only the second road win of the season for the Vikings.
Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder was outplayed by Rams' quarterback Sam Bradford.
Bradford finished with 377 yards and three touchdowns, completing 35 of 55 passes. His passer rating for the game was 94.3.
Ponder played well enough in the win. He protected the ball, finishing 17-of-24 for only 131 yards. His passer rating was only 74.7.
1:18 left in the game: The Rams turn it over on downs for the second straight drive—that should end the game.
An incredible game for Adrian Peterson with his second 200-yard rushing game of the season. With 1,812 yards on the season he still has a great chance of reaching 2,000 yards for the season.
2:00 left in the game: Are there any Vikings' fans that are concerned about how the Rams have been moving the ball in the fourth quarter?
Or, because of the big lead, it's not a big deal, as long as the offense can continue to move the ball and get a long field goal to stay two scores ahead.
3:15 left in the game: Jeff Fisher tries a little trickery on a punt that almost backfires.
Got to give him credit for pulling out all the stops to try and win this game. If the Vikings recover that ball, the fans may have a different opinion.
5:31 left in the game: Blair Walsh answers Sam Bradford's third touchdown pass, with his third 50-yard plus field goal.
The drive only took five plays to cover 47 yards in only 2:05.
Walsh has tied the record for the most field goals longer than 50 yards in a season.
7:48 left in the game: The Rams are finally playing with a sense of urgency. Down by 11 points they will need another quick score in order to make this a game.
A big defensive pass interference penalty has the Rams on the doorstep again.
Sam Bradford has his third touchdown pass on the game and converts the two-point play that brings St. Louis within 11 points. Bradford connects with Lance Kendricks for a six-yard touchdown pass, and then hits Danny Amendola on the slant for the two-point conversion.
13:08 left in the game: Adrian Peterson gains another 17 yards, to give him 159 in the game. At the end of the run, instead of stepping out of bounds, he puts a hit on rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
It begs the question, why is Peterson still in the game?
Perhaps it would be wise to give him a rest and let Toby Gerhart get a few carries.
1:27 left in the third quarter: With a 9-yard run, Steven Jackson surpasses 10,000 yards for his career.
6:01 left in the third quarter: With only a 73.8 percent conversion rate in college, how could anyone predict Blair Walsh would be this good?
With every 50-yard field goal from Blair Walsh, it's obvious that the Vikings knew what they were doing when they selected the Georgia kicker in the sixth round.
It's another 10-play drive for the Vikings that results in points.
11:48 left in the third quarter. Again the Rams go away from handing Steven Jackson the ball, and it results in another sack on third down, and another punt.
Jackson gains another 13 yards on the drive that lasted only four plays before another Johnny Hekker punt, his fourth of the game.
13:05 left in the third quarter. The Rams defense opens the second half with 3-and-out, forcing the Vikings to punt.
This will be a big drive for the Rams. They need to put together an efficient scoring drive. No need to take too many chances, yet.
Halftime: Sam Bradford has completed passes to seven different receivers. Unfortunately, he also has a fumble and an interception that has put the Rams into a huge hole.
It will be interesting to see how many carries Steven Jackson will see in the second half. With 43 yards in the first half, he only needs another 28 yards to reach 10,000 for his career.
Halftime: Who saw this one coming? Certainly it's no surprise that Adrian Peterson would have a another great game, but to see the Vikings' defense step up as it has is a nice surprise for Minnesota fans, and a nightmare for St. Louis fans.
At this point, there's no way even Christian Ponder can lose this game. He has looked good completing 11 of 16 passes to five different receivers.
Just to make sure the second half will still be played.
2:00 warning: No one saw this game going in this direction. With 27 points in the first half the Vikings are only a touchdown away from matching their highest scoring output of the season.
So far for Minnesota it's been a perfectly scripted game—give the ball to Adrian Peterson who has 119 yards rushing. Christian Ponder has protected the football, completing 7-of-12 passes for 56 yards and running for a touchdown. And the defense has come up with two turnovers—one for a touchdown, and three sacks.
5:36 left in the first half: Another half of football, and Adrian Peterson has another 100-yard rushing game.
Sure, the Rams were able to contain him, holding him to eight yards on his first eight carries, but in AP fashion, he hits the home run with an 82-yard touchdown run.
By not sticking with Steven Jackson and the run, the Rams have let this game get away from them.
8:33 left in the first half: Everson Griffen is a beast. With the interception return for a touchdown, the Vikings are now a plus-2 in turnovers.
That bodes well for the Christian Ponder, who doesn't need to win this game, but just keep from losing it.
11:00 left in the first half. Sam Bradford fumbles the snap and the Vikings get the ball back, deep in Rams' territory.
The ball was recovered by linebacker Chad Greenway.
The Vikings are undefeated this season when they win the turnover battle.
12:34 left in the first half: The Rams quickly tie the score with a 9-play drive that covered 73 yards.
Adrian Peterson betters that with an 82-yard touchdown run on the very next play from scrimmage.
Wow. The Rams were looking good through the first two drives. limiting AP, but you can never let up, and he shows why he is the best back in the NFL this season.
End of the first quarter: Vikings 7, Rams 0.
While it's not a surprise that the Vikings are winning, it is surprising that they are doing with Christian Ponder completing four of five passes for 45 yards. The Rams defense has completely shutdown Adrian Peterson who has eight yards on eight carries.
For the Rams who are driving, Steven Jackson has 34 yards on four carries. Head coach Jeff Fisher needs to keep giving the ball to Jackson.
4:40 left in the first quarter: With Steven Jackson running effectively the Rams decided to go to the pass.
The move paid off—for the Vikings. St. Louis' second possession results in another punt. There's plenty of time, and it won't hurt the Rams if they can get the ball back with a quick 3-and-out.
5:40 left in the first quarter: Steven Jackson looks ready to play. With back-to-back runs of 13 and 15 yards, he has the early edge between the two marquee backs—28 yards to -3 yards for Adrian Peterson.
9:00 left in the first quarter: A gutsy call to go for it on 4h-and-1 form the Rams 7-yard line by head coach Leslie Frazier.
Even gutsier the fact that he had Christian Ponder hang onto the ball.
Great decision by Ponder to NOT throw the ball—Vikings' 1st-and-goal.
11:42 left in the first quarter: Christian Ponder gets away with another throw off his back foot, and across his body, completing a pass to Jerome Simpson.
12:45 left in the first quarter: The Vikings win the first battle forcing the Rams to punt on their game-opening possession.
Steven Jackson had an 11-yard reception on the Rams' first play. This is one area where he is better than Adrian Peterson—catching the football.
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