Vikings' Adrian Peterson's season ends in Green Bay

  • By Gregg Rosenthal
  • Updated: Jan. 6, 2013 at 03:53 a.m.

Adrian Peterson overcame so much to pull off one of the most indelible individual seasons in NFL history this season. But he couldn't overcome playing with backup quarterback Joe Webb in Lambeau Field during a playoff game.

The Minnesota Vikings lost 24-10 on Saturday night, which was not exactly a surprising result. Peterson was held to 99 yards on 22 carries as Green Bay did a terrific job not letting him get to the outside. His longest run went for 18 yards.

It's not about the Packers keying on Peterson more than usual. Teams like the Packers key on Peterson every week; Green Bay was just more effective than most. Webb's presence in the starting lineup didn't help. He completed only 11-of-30 passes, with a meaningless touchdown pass in garbage time.

It's a shame Minnesota's incredible run to end the season ended this way. Christian Ponder played terrific in a Week 17 win over the Packers; it would have been nice to see him out there again. But this would have been an uphill battle regardless.

Peterson carried a mediocre team as far as they could possibly go. But this is a quarterbacks league, and the reality is that running backs can only do so much. Of the seven running backs to reach 2,000 yards in a season, only one of them (Terrell Davis) has won a playoff game in that season.

The loss won't erase our memories from Peterson's campaign. And it shouldn't diminish an encouraging year for young players in Minnesota. Rookies left tackle Matt Kalil, safety Harrison Smith, cornerback Josh Robinson, wide receiver Jairus Wright, and kicker Blair Walsh all look like great core players. String a couple of drafts like that together and improve the quarterback play, and this team may have something.

Oh, and Adrian Peterson will be going after 2,500 rushing yards next season. At this point, we don't doubt he can pull it off.