MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Back and forth they went,
It was a game so good that it deserves a rematch. And that's just what it will get.
Peterson rushed for 199 yards to become the seventh player to surpass 2,000 in a season and scored two touchdowns to help the Minnesota Vikings to a 37-34 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday that sets up a playoff rematch next weekend.
"It won't take a whole lot to get our players fired up to go play in Lambeau,'' Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "They'll be fired up to go and play.''
"If it happened, it would have come to me, but I didn't want to focus on it at all,'' said Peterson, who had a career-high 34 carries in a game the Vikings needed to win to qualify for the playoffs. "I wasn't focused on it. I went out and played my game and accomplished what we wanted to. We're in now. We're in the playoffs. We get to fight another week.''
That fight will take place at Lambeau Field on Saturday night because the Packers (11-5) once again couldn't find a way to stop Peterson. He needed 102 yards to join the 2,000-yard club and 208 to surpass Dickerson coming into the game. After rushing for 210 yards at Lambeau on Dec. 2, Peterson plowed through the Packers again on the one-year anniversary of surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee.
"You can't help but watch him play and just be really impressed,'' said Rodgers, whose Packers missed a chance to lock down the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. "I think he probably might have won the MVP today, and hopefully we can win the playoff game next week.''
Rodgers completed 28 of 40 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns, overcoming a slow start to bring the Packers roaring back into the game.
The Vikings jumped out to a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter, with Peterson scoring from seven yards out and Walsh kicking a 54-yard field goal and a 37-yarder to get the Metrodome crowd rocking. Peterson went over 2,000 yards with a 20-yard burst in the third quarter, getting serenaded with chants of "MVP!'' along the way.
But Rodgers isn't ready to give up his crown just yet. He hit Greg Jennings and James Jones for touchdown passes in the third quarter and the shaky Mason Crosby's second field goal of the game tied it at 27 late in the third quarter to set up the wild finish.
Ponder squeezed a 3-yard TD just past Packers safety M.D. Jennings' diving reach to
"He's a special player and we've had a special year so far,'' Vikings center
Not if the Packers can help it. They may have lost on Sunday. But they're still the NFC North champions. And this time they'll have the Vikings on their turf.
"I think it'll be a great contest,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's an opponent we're very familiar with, and they're familiar with us. Everybody has confidence going into the playoffs. Most importantly, we'll be at home. We're excited to play these guys again.''
NOTES: Vikings CB