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Vikings vs. Rams: Adrian Peterson Stole Steven Jackson's Thunder on Historic Day

Dec 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) breaks away from St. Louis Rams strong safety Craig Dahl (43) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome.  Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterDecember 16, 2012

On a day when Steven Jackson became only the 27th running back in NFL history to run for 10,000 yards, fellow running back Adrian Peterson stole the show.

Jackson can thank the Rams defense for not holding up their end of the deal. "All Day" gashed St. Louis for 212 yards on 24 carries. On his first eight carries of the game, it appeared as if Jeff Fisher's club had Peterson's number by limiting him to a measly eight yards.

However, all it took was a failed run blitz from the Rams to get Peterson back on track. Peterson took advantage of St. Louis' aggressive nature with 12:21 left to play in the second quarter by swinging for the fences for 82 yards straight up the middle.

His 82-yard run tied the longest of his career and proved to be just the momentum swing the Vikings offense needed to put up 23 points in the second quarter alone.

Moreover, Minnesota scored on its next three offensive drives because of two backbreaking turnovers that came on back-to-back drives after No. 28's long run.

Coming into Week 15, it was no secret that containing the best running back in the NFL would be easier said than done. But allowing 212 yards to any running back is an embarrassment—especially at home. It marked the fourth time since the beginning of 2011 that the Rams have surrendered over 200 yards rushing to an opponent.

Blame can fall on the shoulders of St. Louis' defense. Peterson has been running like a mad man for weeks now—he hasn't been held to under a 100 yards rushing since the Vikings' sixth game of the season. Not to mention, he has had at least one run of 50 yards or more in six of his last seven games.

Make no mistake about it....Adrian Peterson is going for the record. twitter.com/SportsNation/s…

SportsNation (@SportsNation) December 16, 2012

Yep, you read that right, only 294 yards to go for Mr. Peterson. He needs to average 147 yards a game over the final two games of the season. Over his magical eight-game stretch, "All Day" has averaged 164.1 yards per game—that kind of run proves the record is well within his reach.

Unfortunately, in Weeks 15 and 16 the No. 2 and No. 15 rush defenses await. Houston is only allowing 90.8 yards per game on the ground and the Packers are allowing 116.7 yards per game against the rush.

Additionally, the Texans game is on the road—a place where they have only lost one game this season.

Okay, just for fun, we’ve mapped out the scenario in which the #Rams still get into the playoffs. 0.1% chance, but win out plus this (cont)…

— Big EZ (@BigEZ) December 17, 2012

Even on a day where AP ran through the Rams, it still wasn't their lowest point. After today's loss, St. Louis is essentially out of playoff contention. The mid- to late-season push was admirable, but the youngest team in the NFL had a hard time offensively for the better part of the season.

The Rams still have the opportunity to finish above .500 by winning their next two road games. If they finish above the .500 mark, it would signify the first time it has happened since Mike Martz was head coach in 2003.

 

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