Adrian Peterson misses rushing record by nine yards but carries Vikings to playoffs

At some point Adrian Peterson might lament that he came nine yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's record, an excruciatingly close call for one of the NFL's greatest marks.

It didn't matter much to him after the game though. Minnesota won and is going to the playoffs on the back of Peterson, who didn't even know how close he came to breaking the record until Fox's Pam Oliver told him during the postgame interview. His 2,097 rushing yards is the second-best mark in NFL history.

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Every Peterson run looked the same against Green Bay, including his last one that set up a game-winning field goal and a playoff berth for Minnesota. He would hesitate behind the line, seemingly hemmed up for a loss, then explode forward, stiff-arming his way into the open field for a huge gain.

The Packers could not stop him. Peterson was simply on another level.

In the fourth quarter with the game on the line, the Vikings were probably in range for their great rookie kicker Blair Walsh, but Peterson took the suspense out of the equation. He stuttered at the line and burst through a hole to the right into the secondary, rushing for 26 yards to the Packers' 11. Had Peterson broke it for the score, he would have had the record. The run changed the field position, however. Instead of a 55-yard field goal attempt with the playoffs in the balance, Walsh had an easy 29-yarder and he hit it.

[Also: Megatron finishes 36 yards short of 2,000 for the season]

Peterson had a career high 34 carries for 199 yards, and his most impressive accomplishment might be carrying this Vikings team to 10 wins and a postseason berth.

When Peterson rushed right on his first carry of the third quarter and burst for a 20-yard gain, he entered a club that had only six other members, breaking 2,000 rushing yards for the season. Considering he tore his ACL on Dec. 24 last season, it's one of the most impressive seasons in NFL history.

And, thanks to his heroics against the Packers on Sunday, his season isn't over quite yet.

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