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adrian peterson

The second quarter began with the final play of the first quarter being reversed, giving Green Bay a touchdown and the lead, while Mason Crosby booted the kickoff through the endzone for a touchback.

Then the second quarter got underway officially.

Then disaster struck.  Joe Webb tripped over a completely beat Clay Matthews for a sack and then got obliterated, once again tossing the ball up to nowhere, on third down putting the Packers offense back on the field.

Harrison getting a good lick on DuJuan Harris, Jared Allen getting a coverage sack, and then another solid tackle from Smith on a Greg Jennings completion allowed the Vikings defense to escape without allowing any more damage to be done.

The Vikings offense then had a fairly uneventful three and out, ending with a Jerome Simpson completion where he was short of the first down marker, a problem that has plagued the Vikings all season.

The Packers were then able to dink and dunk their way down the field, but stalled out just short of field goal range, and decided to go for it on a 4th and five situation.  Of course, Greg Jennings converted a pass and beat Chris Cook after the catch before being shoved out of bounds at the two.  A stop of John Kuhn followed by a Jermichael Finley drop followed by yet another stop of Kuhn resulted in another 4th down situation.

This time, the Packers opted for the chip shot field goal, which extended the Packers lead to seven full points.

The next drive got started off by a nice return from Marcus Sherels, but a Marvin Mitchell penalty set the Vikings back, and Joe Webb once again took the field who immediately overthrew Jerome Simpson on a deep shot by about 10 yards and then was sacked.  Kluwe had to punt out of the Vikings endzone.

At the two minute warning, momentum sure seemed to be going the opposite directions than what the Vikings would have preferred.

With a two minute drill underway, Aaron Rodgers looked to be at his finest as he drove down the field with big gains from Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings putting them inside the five yard line.  Once again the Vikings tried to make a stand near the goalline, except this time fullback John Kuhn was successful in running one in.  This score put the Packers up by two touchdowns and left only 38 seconds on the clock for the Vikings to work with.

A penalty on the short kickoff gave the Vikings decent field position.  A checkdown to Adrian Peterson, an overthrown deep ball, and then a short run from Peterson kept the Vikings offense alive but a long ways away from the end zone.  Then three very poor passes in a row ended the half with the Packers leading 17-3.

Run, run, run.  That is how the Vikings first possession of Saturday night started.  Nothing unusual, except that the third run was Joe Webb, on an option read, bouncing around for large gain on third down.

This is what a Vikings offense looks like with Webb at quarterback.

In fact, the Vikings didn’t pass the football, leaning heavily on Adrian Peterson, until  the eighth play of the opening drive.  That eighth play was an ugly, wobbly, jump pass that went into the dirt three yards in front of Michael Jenkins.

That is what a Vikings offense looks like with Webb at quarterback.

That opening drive, however, put the Vikings up by three points and chewed up some good clock.

Then, aided by a dropped pass to the running back, the Vikings defense was quickly able to make their exit on the Packers first drive which was a three and out.

The second Vikings drive got off to a nice start with more running, and even a completed pass to Kyle Rudolph, but a third down panic play from Webb was incredibly scary.  Luckily, Rhett Ellison had the presence of mind to bat down Webb’s ill advised pass and the team got to punt the ball.

The Vikings defense had a great opportunity to stuff the Packers once again, but Kevin Williams lining up offsides gave the Packers new life.  After that, the Packers offense appeared efficient and well balanced as they marched down the field.

The quarter ended with the Packers on the one inch line following a DuJuan Harris run that may end up getting reviewed and called a touchdown.

At the end of the first quarter:  Vikings up 3-0.

SKOL!

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We decided against a live chat today since, in our experience, these later games with huge ramifications typically means people are glued to their TVs, have a party going on, or are going out.  So, instead, we’ll do the whole quarterly forums thing to allow those that remain to share their thoughts as the game goes on.

What is there to say?  Joe Webb is starting and Christian Ponder won’t even be in uniform.  Adrian Peterson just seems to get better and better every week.  The Packers are as healthy as they have ever been this season in the passing game.  Frozen rain is expected to hit at some point during this game.

Fun, fun, and more fun!  Sit back and enjoy the game everyone!

SKOL!

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It’s game day, gentleman (and ladies). We’re about eight hours away from the start of one of biggest game the Vikings have played in quite some time. Just rolled out of bed. Got some coffee in hand. Let’s get to those questions, shall we?

Q: Everybody knows it, but why is Adrian Peterson this year’s MVP? (Malte)

Obviously, I can’t look at the debate between Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson objectively. That being said, I do not understand the argument for Peyton Manning as MVP over Peterson. If Manning wins, it should be renamed to Most Valuable Quarterback because he is not more valuable to the Broncos than AD is to the Vikings. For one, Manning isn’t even the best quarterback in the league this year. Last time I looked over the stats for quarterbacks, I don’t remember Manning leading in a single one of them. Here’s what it comes down to: Adrian Peterson willed this team to 10 victories. He threw this team over his shoulder and carried them to seven more wins than last season running through [usually] nine defenders in the box on any given play. Especially once Percy Harvin left, Peterson was the Vikings only offensive weapon. Peyton Manning stepped onto a playoff caliber team with a great defense, great receivers and an already pretty solid foundation. Yes, he gave the team five more wins than they had last year, but I believe you put any other ‘elite’ QB in that role and Denver ends the season with the same (if not better) record. What Adrian Peterson did this season could not be done had any other running back been in his shoes. It’s that simple. That is value. Peterson deserves this award. (Alas, if I had to wager today, I would say that Manning ends up winning the dang thing.)

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B.Grant

Well, Tomb, now that the Vikings are officially in the playoffs, and now that your prediction insisting they WOULDN’T make it (yes, you capitalized it for effect) is officially an embarrassment for you, it’s time for us to discuss what this four game December finish means for the Vikes and their fans.  I assume you have some grand, wordy explanation as to how your faith in the purple was so weakened for this finish, but within that description, perhaps you could tell us what most surprised you about these last four games.  (Obviously, you had to be surprised by something!)

Personally, I was especially pleased with the defensive improvement we saw, at least until injuries put our not-so-deep secondary on the field against the Packers.  And even then, it was nice to see our offense decide they weren’t going to let us lose.  The defense now seems aggressive, and the secondary is actually taking away some of what the passing offenses want to accomplish.  Timely interceptions against the Bears and Rams were big parts of those wins, and to keep Houston out of the end zone was something more than any defense should expect of themselves.

Obviously, AD running amok against opponents is the key to this team, and the lack of turnovers, timely third down passing, and good defense has made the Vikes worthy of a playoff berth, as well as some real respect within the playoff season.  So, my friend, how do you see things in this playoff week which you said would never happen?

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