The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

December 16, 2012

Peterson carries Vikings past Rams

ST. LOUIS —  Well in the clear, Adrian Peterson had enough time to sneak a peek at the video board in the end zone as he finished an 82-yard run — and topped it off with some fancy high-stepping.

After piling up a season-best 212 yards on 24 carries in a 36-22 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday that wasn't as close as the score indicated, the Minnesota Vikings running back remained hot on the trail of the NFL single-season record.

Peterson has a career-best 1,812 yards rushing, leaving him 294 shy of breaking the mark of 2,105 set by Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1984. Peterson, less than a year removed from a serious knee injury, has two games left — at Houston and home against Green Bay — to top Dickerson.

The Vikings (8-6) scored 10 of their 23 points in the second quarter off turnovers by Sam Bradford, including a 29-yard interception return by defensive end Everson Griffen that the Rams quarterback watched in disbelief from his knees.

They were up by 26 before Bradford, whose botched center snap also cost the Rams (6-7-1) a field goal in the second quarter, threw touchdown passes to Danny Amendola and Lance Kendricks in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings remained in the playoff picture while seriously damaging the Rams' postseason hopes. St. Louis had won three in a row to become a dark horse candidate for the playoffs.

Steven Jackson became the 15th player to rush for 10,000 yards for the Rams. He had 73 yards on just eight carries and has 909 yards on the year, keeping him in range of an eighth straight 1,000-yard season.

A moment of silence was observed for victims of the Connecticut elementary school shooting before the national anthem, with dozens of children wearing uniform jerseys holding hands with players in a circle extending from the 30-yard lines and centered on the Rams' logo at midfield.

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