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AP Photo/Tom Lynn
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - If we had a nickle for every time that we found ourselves frustratingly stewing over a wasted performance by Adrian Peterson that resulted in a loss because the passing game couldn't get their act together, well, we'd have about thirty cents on the season. It's beginning to sound like a broken record, but let's go ahead and say it.
Sunday afternoon in Green Bay, Adrian Peterson posted the third best rush-total of his amazing career (21 carries for 210 yards and a TD) and the Vikings passing game found a way to quite literally throw the thing away.
The record books will forever read this one as a 23-14 Green Bay Packer victory, but the frustration that lies within this particular loss and the way that the Vikings season has unraveled, will soon be forgotten as Minnesota's hopes for a playoff push continue to dwindle.
Rightfully putting praise to the forefront, Adrian Peterson had a marvelous day on Sunday. Finishing the afternoon with 220 yards total (210 on the ground) and one touchdown, Peterson crossed the 8,000 yard threshold in just the 85th game of his career. That stat leaves only Eric Dickerson, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell and Edgerrin James as the only five players to have accomplished this feat quicker.
Peterson, who has 1,236 yards on the season and six-straight games north of 100 yards, is on pace to set a new career high for rushing yards in a season with 1,928 yards. And there's no way that you can forget that he is still less than a year removed from tearing the ACL in his left knee.
Looking for a less desirable stat from Sunday's game? Peterson became only the third player in the NFL since 1990 (Thomas Jones & Ricky Williams) to have rushed for 210+ yards in a game and had their team lose.
"Those numbers don't mean anythign to me because we're leaving here with [a loss]," Peterson told KFAN Radio following the game.
It was a vicious cocktail of self-inflicted wounds that led the Vikings to a loss on Sunday with silly penalties and interceptions causing most of the damage.
With the exception of the touchdown drive at the beginning of the second quarter, Christian Ponder struggled his way to 119 yards and two interceptions, both of which came with the Vikings set to put points on the board.
"It's on me," Ponder said after the game. "It starts and ends with me."
During a 39:01 span of game time between a touchdown reception to Kyle Rudolph in the second quarter and another Rudolph reception late in the game without a single completion. During that span, Ponder amassed 10 incompletions and 2 interceptions as the tide turned and the Packers methodically put the Vikings down for the count.
"We've got to be more effective throwing the ball," head coach Leslie Frazier told KFAN Radio after the game. "Our margin of error as a team is just not that big, not at this point."
While Ponder managed to turn the ball over two time inside Packers' territory, the blame should not ride solely on his shoulders. Right now for this team it's a bad bad combination of poor pocket vision and poor separation by the receivers that is leading to poor output through the air.
"It's a combination of things," Frazier said of his team's passing woes. "We've got to get open [first],we've got to do a good job in protection and when guys are open we've got to be able to pull the trigger and get it there…we're not very productive right now in the passing game."
With the Vikings' playoff hopes dangling by a thread, they will need to win out and hope that the stars align if they want to have a chance at making the postseason. Without more consistent play from their quarterback and improvement from the wide receiving corps, this team does not stand a chance.