The Atlanta Falcons came into a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings as the NFL's number one rushing defense.
The league's leading rusher came out on top on Sunday.
Adrian Peterson ran the Vikings into first place in the NFC North, with 158 yards on 29 carries, and two touchdowns in the 20-10 victory over the Falcons.
"I see why these guys were number one in rushing defense," Peterson said. "But our guys up front, we took it personal this week. We wanted to come out and establish the run, and we felt like that gave us the best chance of winning."
Atlanta's defense had given up just 87.4 yards on the ground per game this season, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer combatted that statistic straight on.
"Adrian's a very, very special player," Zimmer said. "We made a commitment to get him the football today."
Peterson is averaging 52 rushing yards in losses this season and 125.6 yards in wins.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was on the same page with his head coach's game plan.
"Coach Zimmer's message was that we wanted to be a physical team," Bridgewater said. "We wanted to rush the football on them. We knew that they were the number one rushing defense in the league, but we were confident heading into this game that we were going to run the football on those guys."
Peterson set a team record for most rushing yards against Atlanta and set a team record for yards on the ground in the month of November (634).* *
**His second score sealed victory for the Vikings when he broke out for a 35-yard touchdown on a toss from Teddy Bridgewater to the left side of the field. The touchdown gave the Vikings a 20-3 lead late in the fourth quarter.
"The previous few possessions we had a missed field goal, and we settled for two field goals," Peterson said. "We're always preaching seven points. It was a tight game, and we didn't want to give those guys, and Matt Ryan any hope. So it was extra special."
Peterson scored his first touchdown when he cashed in from the 1-yard line following a pass inference call on Falcons defensive back Desmond Trufant in the first quarter to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.
Peterson rushed for over 100 yards in his sixth game this season, the highest total among all running backs in the NFL.
The veteran moved to number 17 on the NFL's all-time rushing yards list. He eclipsed O.J. Simpson (11,236), Corey Dillon (11,241) and John Riggins (11,352).
Peterson now has 11,354 on his career.
"This guy is a threat every time he has the football," Zimmer said. "We are just glad he's ours."