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Adrian Peterson pushes Minnesota Vikings to playoffs

Adrian Peterson went over 2,000 yards, but he came up 9 short of breaking Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season rushing record. Peterson accomplished something much more important, though.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay will re-air the Minnesota Vikings' 37-34 victory over the Green Bay  Packers from Week 17 in its entirety on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

The Minnesota Vikings are playoff-bound after Sunday's rollicking 37-34 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Peterson rushed for 199 yards, including a 26-yard run to set up Blair Walsh's game-winning chip shot as time ran out.

It was a remarkable performance by Peterson and a Vikings team that looked all but done at 6-6 this season. After losing four of five games, the Vikings ran off four consecutive wins against quality competition: Chicago, St. Louis, Houston and Green Bay. Peterson absolutely was sensational all season, putting the Vikings on his back in the final month. This closing performance should make a strong statement to MVP voters. He already had my vote.

It's also important to recognize Christian Ponder's contributions to Sunday's win. He converted a number of third-and-long plays, including a 25-yard toss to Michael Jenkins on third-and-11 to start the game-winning drive. That play probably was the key one in the entire game. Ponder tossed three touchdown passes, playing his best game in months when his team needed him most.

It's a devastating loss for the Packers, who have to face the Vikings again next week at Lambeau Field instead of having a week off to get healthy. The Packers' road to the Super Bowl just became much tougher, with a potential date against the San Francisco 49ers on the road.

Peterson was first told that he didn't break the record by Fox Sports reporter Pam Oliver. Peterson was disappointed, but he was far more thrilled that he helped his team make the playoffs.

Peterson might not go in the record books, but his remarkable season while coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament still will go down in history.

And it's not over yet.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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