It took all game, but Adrian Peterson finally found daylight — and green — in "The Black Hole."
Peterson broke loose on his final carry of the day, an 80-yard touchdown that helped the Vikings finish off the Raiders 30-14 Sunday and move into sole possession of first place in the NFC North with a 7-2 record.
One snap after Terence Newman intercepted Raiders QB Derek Carr in the end zone and took a knee, Peterson saw an Oakland defense that knew he was going to get the ball. The Raiders sold hard to try to stop the run, but the Vikings blocked it well with three tight ends (Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison and MyCole Pruitt) on the right side of the offensive line.
Peterson bounced to the right edge, cut up field sharply and busted through an arm tackle by Raiders CB Neiko Thorpe and ran away from everyone else, creating more distance between defenders as he gained on the end zone.
"I was able to take it through the C-gap, made one guy miss," Peterson said. "Well, I didn't make him miss, he kind of went for the legs and bounced off, and there was nothing but green after that."
The 80-yard run was the fourth of Peterson's career and gave him 203 yards on 26 attempts against Oakland. Peterson tied Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson's NFL record of six career games with 200 or more rushing yards.
"I have to thank T. Newman, because he took a knee, and the whole time I was thinking like he could have took it to the house! But I told him I appreciate the 80 yarder," Peterson said. "It was four-minute offense. We knew we needed to run the clock out at least. It was a great play that we put in, I think, in the third quarter, and it was working for us."We were able to, not break free, but we were picking up 8 or 7," Peterson added. "And on that particular play, I was able to just be patient up top, press it. The offensive line did a great job at blocking it, I took it to the C-gap, the corner back game and tried to take my legs out. I was able to just pull through. You know, I had a couple of those, and those guys kind of beat me. But on this opportunity I was able to pull through and take it the distance to seal it."
Peterson's career rushing yardage improved to 11,151 yards, which is 85 behind Simpson for 19th all-time. The breakaway run was the 91st rushing TD and 96th score of his career. Peterson joined Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history to rush for at least 11,000 yards and 90 touchdowns in their first 113 games.
"You can tell he still plays at a high level," rookie receiver Stefon Diggs said. "They call [Raiders safety Charles] Woodson 'the ageless wonder,' and I call AD the same thing. He's been good for a long time as well and he can still play at a high level so he's got a lot left.
"He's got the formula, I don't," Diggs said. "I'm going to try to get some of the fountain of youth, though."
Peterson's touchdown was the fourth of 80 or more yards of his career.
It is his 13th of 60 or more yards (NFL record; Jim Brown is second with nine).
The long run gave Peterson a Vikings record 27 plays of 50 or more yards (Randy Moss had 26).
It is the 19th TD run of 40 or more yards and third this season.
Click here to vote for Peterson for the Pro Bowl.