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Minnesota Vikings Advance

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AFP) December 31, 2012, 12:18:49 AM EST

   Adrian Peterson missed out on a milestone but Minnesota's superstar running back helped the Vikings to a dramatic 37-34 victory overGreen Bay and into an NFL playoff berth.

Playing precisely one year after surgery to repair a torn knee ligament, Peterson carried the ball 34 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

He finished his 2012 campaign with 2,097 rushing yards. While he couldn't quite reach the record of 2,105 yards established by Dickerson in 1984, he became only the seventh player in league history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark in a season.

From there, Blair Walsh booted a 29-yard field goal to break a 34-34 tie and seal the victory.

"It's a bittersweet feeling inside," Peterson said. "The first thing that came to my mind when I heard that I was nine yards short was 'It is what it is. It wasn't meant to happen'.

"Not to say it doesn't hurt, because it does," said Peterson, but he added: "Ultimately we came in here tonight and accomplished the ultimate goal of getting a win and taking our team into the playoffs."

 

Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings runs from Green Bay Packers defenders during the third quarter on December 30, 2012. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. It was the Vikings' fourth straight victory since a 23-14 defeat at Green Bay. After that, they beat Chicago, downed St. Louis on the road and defeated Houston.

 

 

Andy King/AFP/Getty Images

Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings runs from Green Bay Packers defenders during the third quarter on December 30, 2012. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. It was the Vikings' fourth straight victory since a 23-14 defeat at Green Bay. After that, they beat Chicago, downed St. Louis on the road and defeated Houston.

 

"I think we've shown in the month of December that we can win on the road," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said, looking ahead to the playoff opener at Green Bay's fabled Lambeau Field.

"Our guys know how to win on the road. It won't take a whole lot to get our players fired up to go play in Lambeau."

Bears coach Lovie Smith was philosophical, knowing that even with a win his players didn't control their own post-season destiny.

"We realized going into the game that it was out of our hands," Smith said.


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