Finally, beating GreenBay
Packers miss game-winning field goal
MINNEAPOLIS — The difference between ecstasy and agony for the Vikings on Sunday was about a foot.
That was the distance that Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby missed a 52-yard field goal attempt by with 26 seconds to play as Vikings held on for a wild 28-27victory.
"Really I was just sitting there praying that our guys would get a block or he would miss," Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said.
It is Vikings fans who should be praying that Peterson pulls on a purple jersey when he goes to work.
The missed kick capped a bizarre back-and-forth affair. Led by the brilliance of Peterson and a stellar defensive effort, this was a game the Vikings should have won handily.
But a dismal showing by quarterback Gus Frerotte and another special teams gaff almost allowed the Packers to pull out the win. Frerotte threw three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown by Nick Collins, and Will Blackmon had a punt return for a TD as the Packers wiped out a 21-10 deficit.
"It was a tough day to throw three interceptions and put ourselves behind the 8-ball," Frerotte said.
The Packers scored twice in a span of 2:12 in the third quarter to take the lead without the offense ever setting foot on the field.
"It was a little shocking, a little frustrating and a little irritating how it happened," Vikings linebacker Ben Leber said.
Until that point the Vikings had dominated most of the way. They tossed around Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers like a rag doll and caused him to come unglued in the pocket.
The Vikings defense recorded two safeties held the Packers to 184 total yards and a 1-for-11 effort on third down. Still the Vikings had to rally in the fourth quarter.
They pulled out the win because on a day when the passing game was amiss, they still had Peterson, who had more yards than the entire Green Bay offense. Peterson provided the winning touchdown on a 29-yard run with 2:22 to play. He accounted for 64 of the 69 yards on the drive.
"The last drive, he just did everything," Frerotte said.
"The guy wants to win," the quarterback added. "He’s an incredible athlete. We’re glad to have him on our team."
That might be the understatement of the season.
"You try to feed it to the guy who has the hot hand," Vikings coach Brad Childress said.
Peterson finished with 192 yards rushing and now has 1,015 through nine games. He added three catches for 33 yards.
"We came in and we knew it was going to be a dogfight and we pulled it out," Peterson said.
The Vikings were a bit giddy after the emotional victory. It not only move them to 5-4 and into a first-place tie in the division, but it snapped a five-game losing streak to rival Green Bay.
"It feels great," linebacker Ben Leber said. "This is where we envisioned ourselves at the beginning of the season."
Sliding to 0-6 to the Packers and 4-5 this season could have been disastrous for the Vikings and Childress. Instead of being under fire from fans this week, Childress was able to savor his first win in six outings against the Packers. He was also awarded a game ball.
"I’m happy to have that game ball," Childress admitted. "I will paint it up and put it in a prominent spot."
Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post-Bulletin. He can be reached at email@example.com