A.D. Impressing Everyone Around Him

The last month has brought a lot of change for the Vikings' running backs, as Adrian Peterson has had two 200-yard rushing efforts and set the NFL single-game record.

Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson was "held" to 112 yards rushing in a 23-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 4.

Given Peterson's rushing output since that game, the Packers likely would be very happy to see a repeat performance on Sunday when they play host to the Vikings on Sunday.

Peterson's most recent display of dominance came Sunday at the Metrodome when he set an NFL single-game record by rushing for 296 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns in the Vikings' 35-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

That broke the mark of 295 yards established by Baltimore's Jamal Lewis on Sept. 14, 2003 when he also had 30 attempts against Cleveland.

"With the mindset I had and the guys I have up front I know anything is possible," Peterson said when asked if he was surprised to get to 296 yards. "That is why I continue to work on the things, working hard in practice like it's a game and really just keeping myself in shape and ready to go out and make things happen on Sunday."

The Vikings' passing attack strikes fear in the heart of no opponent, but Peterson alone makes Minnesota's offense a unit that has to be respected. Especially now that Peterson has been anointed the team's undisputed No. 1 running back.

Peterson has five 100-yard rushing games this season, including two in which he has exceeded 200 yards. The first time that happened was in a 34-31 victory over Chicago on Oct. 14. In that game, Peterson rushed for a then team-record 224 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns.

Peterson has spent much of this season considered the backup — yes, the backup — to veteran running back Chester Taylor. But Peterson finally was named the starter before the Vikings' loss to Philadelphia on Oct. 28.

His 30 carries against the Chargers was a season high. Taylor had only nine rushing attempts for 60 yards.

Taylor praised Peterson after Sunday's victory and expressed no remorse about the fact he is once again faced with being in a backup role. Taylor signed with the Vikings in March 2006 as a free agent to escape Lewis' shadow in Baltimore.

"I'm at the point of my career I want to win now," said Taylor, who rushed for 1,216 yards and six touchdowns last season. "I know what I can do when I get out there and I'm going to take care of business. But whatever is helping us win ballgames I'm all for it."

The Vikings are only 3-5 after Sunday's victory and trail Green Bay (7-1) by four games in the NFC North. But, believe it or not, things could and would be much worse without Peterson's presence.

In the aftermath of Peterson's record-setting day, receiver Robert Ferguson admitted it was tough to get a grasp on what had just happened.

"You can't appreciate that. You can't appreciate that," Ferguson said. "This 22-year-old young man did something that nobody has ever done in the history of football as a running back. It's something I'll appreciate when I'm telling my grandkids about a young man who ran the ball (like that). I've been around the league for seven years and I've never seen anything like that."

Ferguson's former teammates in Green Bay are hoping they don't see anything like that from Peterson on Sunday.

NOTES

  • QB Tarvaris Jackson had to leave Sunday's game after suffering a concussion late in the second quarter. Jackson was hit from behind after going to the turf by Chargers linebacker Stephen Cooper. The quarterback estimated he was knocked out for two minutes but said after the game he felt fine. Brooks Bollinger replaced Jackson and completed seven of 10 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown as the Vikings rallied. Coach Brad Childress, however, said Jackson remains his starting quarterback, provided he is healthy.

  • WR Robert Ferguson suffered a concussion and was to undergo tests Monday.

  • WR Troy Williamson missed Sunday's game because he was spending time with his family after the death of his grandmother. The funeral for Williamson's grandma was planned for Monday and he's expected to return to the team Wednesday.

  • CB Antoine Winfield sat out Sunday because of a hamstring injury. He was replaced by rookie Marcus McCauley at the left corner. It was only the third game Winfield has missed in three-plus seasons with the Vikings and the first time he has sat out since the 2004 season.

  • S Dwight Smith returned after a two-game absence because of a hamstring injury.

  • DE Erasmus James was active for only the second game this season. James has been bothered by knee and shoulder problems this season.



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