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Vikings vs. Rams 2012: Adrian Peterson runs wild again to power Minnesota victory

The Minnesota Vikings kept their playoff hopes alive on Sunday afternoon with a beastly effort from tailback Adrian Peterson.

Dilip Vishwanat

The race to the record books continues for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and the best runner in the NFL added yet another chapter to his jaw-dropping 2012 campaign in a huge Week 15 win over St. Louis.

With an eye firmly on achieving his first career 2,000-yard season as a pro, Peterson reeled off a season-high 212 rushing yards on Sunday afternoon to bring the illustrious mark well within reach. With just two games remaining and his team firmly in playoff contention, and thus forced to rely on his legs at all costs, Vikings blog Daily Norseman points out that Peterson is very likely on the verge of making history:

With his 24-carry, 212-yard performance today, Peterson now sits at 1,812 yards on the season, putting him just 188 yards away from a 2000-yard season (meaning he'll have to average 94 yards a game to get there) and, more impressively, 293 yards behind Eric Dickerson's single-season record of 2,105 (meaning he'll have to average 147 yards over the last two games to break it). There was a bit of a panic after Peterson only had eight yards on his first eight carries. He had 204 on the 16 carries that followed, including an 82-yard touchdown run that set the Vikings rolling in the second quarter.

How impressive was Peterson's performance against this St. Louis defense? In the previous four games, the Rams had not allowed an individual rusher to go over 65 yards. Peterson had more yards than that on his long touchdown run.

Peterson has a great chance to become just the seventh player in NFL history to record a 2,000-yard rushing season, and there's little question that he's on an extremely short list of MVP candidates with just two weeks left. The Pro Bowl running back had no problems gashing a St. Louis defense that was extremely effective at shutting down opposing tailbacks over the last month, and will try to keep his red-hot streak going against two elite teams in both Houston and Green Bay to close out his campaign.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.