That was Dec. 12, 2007. He rushed 14 times for 3 yards with a long rush of 4 yards, which tells how his other rushes went. And he didn't catch a pass.
"That was the worst game of my career," Peterson said. "When I studied the film, it really wasn't what those guys were doing, and they did a great job on that side of the ball. …. I learned from that and definitely won't do it this week."
That San Francisco game was in Peterson's rookie year and was only his second game back after suffering a knee injury that knocked him out of two complete games and seemed to limit his effectiveness the rest of the season. In the nine games before the injury, Peterson had five 100-yard games, including a 224-yard performance against the Chicago Bears and an NFL-record 296-yard game against the San Diego Chargers.
Despite wearing a knee brace and saying then that he needed to get used to it, Peterson refused to use the knee injury or brace as an excuse for his lack of production against the 49ers. Something else was bothering him that day, he said.
"No. I must say that day I really wasn't feeling too good. It kind of reminded me of the Cleveland game, the first half of the Cleveland game (this year). I was feeling that way the whole game in San Fran," he said. "Still with that, there was a lot that I didn't do, watching the film. I wasn't patient enough, rushing my plays. Not giving the offensive line the time to do their jobs, not putting guys on guys. That's really what disappointed me the most when I watched the film."
And that left Peterson looking for another opportunity to play San Francisco before he even left town.
"When we left San Fran last year, I was trying to look ahead on the schedule and see when we play these guys again. I learned a lot from that game," he said. "It was the worst game of my career, so it sticks in my head. I'm looking forward to playing these guys this week."
It won't be an easy task. The 49ers have the league's third-ranked defense after playing games against the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. But Peterson is clearly motivated to improve on his rookie performance.
DIN OF THE DOME
The Vikings will be playing in their first regular-season home game with Brett Favre at quarterback, which should create a louder-than-usual environment in the Metrodome Sunday.
"(Offensive coordinator) Jimmy (Raye) wanted to bring the noise boxes out instead of the ear plugs," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said after Wednesday's practice. "I feel like this: You're either prepared or you're not. You can use the ear plugs. You can use cotton, whatever you think you need. But the most important thing is that you're prepared for the game, you go out there and you play. That's really all it comes down to."