The St. Louis Rams (6-7-1) saw their slim postseason chances slip away on Sunday on the back of Adrian Peterson as the Minnesota Vikings (8-6) prevailed, 36-22.
The Rams had actually played the Vikings close through the first 18 minutes of the game, with St. Louis tying the game up 7-7 off a Sam Bradford 4-yard touchdown pass. The game would instantly be turned around, however, just a few plays later as Peterson raced 82 yards for a score. The Vikings would never look back, scoring 26 unanswered points and blowing the game wide open.
Joe Stanfill of Turf Show Times turns to that big run as the game-changing play of the loss and the point where it all started to go wrong for the Rams:
Pointing to a specific play, we have to go with Adrian Peterson ripping off an 82 yard run with 12:29 to go in the 2nd quarter. The score came after a brilliant drive by Sam Bradford and company, capped off by a jump ball in the end-zone to the rookie out of Appalachian State- Brian Quick. The Vikings answered with Peterson jetting down the middle of the field on the very first play of the drive. Up till that point, Peterson had only 8 yards on 8 carries.
Momentum -there goes that word again- would stay in Minnesota's favor for the remainder of the half. On the answering drive after Peterson's rumble, Sam Bradford would be confused by the 2 Deep Zone look, and throw a perfect strike into the arms of #97, Everson Griffin for a pick 6. The Rams would try to respond, but the score allowed the Vikings to dictate coverages on defense, and wiped out the run dimension for the Rams.
Peterson finished 212 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries, as Christian Ponder played game-manager for the Vikings offense. The Rams will next face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 23.