Found December 14, 2012 on Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS Spots are scarce. This is the time of year when the playoff race becomes a melee of gritted teeth, flying elbows and black eyes. Six slots. Many possibilities. One brawl. Call it Elimination Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) and Minnesota Vikings (7-6) meet as members of the "In The Hunt" club in the NFC postseason chase. By the end of their tango, one will survive. The other likely will dab their wounds in the offseason. It's an intriguing matchup for many reasons. Few, including this humble writer, thought the Rams would be in this discussion in December. Coach Jeff Fisher's first spin around the Gateway City has included some wrong turns a 0-4-1 stretch from Weeks 6 through 11 was a dead end to forget but three consecutive victories after dropping a stinker to the New York Jets have them back in the fast lane. Meanwhile, the Vikings have lost four of their last six, despite running backmagiciandroid Adrian Peterson running like his feet are on fire. Go figure. This should include some sparks. Two contestants enter, and one will avoid being tossed from the Ring of Contention. Will it be the Rams, the spirited upstart, who last lived the playoffs in 2004? Or will it be the Vikings, the wounded favorite, who look to return for the first time since 2009? Only the strongest will survive. On to Week 15 How will the Rams fare against Peterson? How do you cage a tornado? Look, All Day will get his yards. Since late October, he has collected them like a hoarder does cats. Check out these rushing totals from the past two months: 153 yards, 123, 182, 171, 108, 210 and 154. He's Earl Campbell with modern flair a fright for defenses after returning from a horrific ACL tear in his left knee sustained last December. He's Michael Jordan in cleats, a showstopper, the NFL's hottest thing. No pressure, Rams. OK, perhaps a little sweat is necessary. It's no secret Peterson can treat defenses like a ratty sock and turn them inside out while chasing Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record. Still, St. Louis is respectable against the run. The Rams are No. 13 in the category, allowing an average of 110.3 yards per game. They've crossed some elite runners, such as the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch and the Washington Redskins' Alfred Morris and the New England Patriots' Stevan Ridley. But we know better. Those are thunderstorms. Peterson is an F5. The Rams better brace themselves not scramble for cover. How will the Rams handle the stakes? The watch continues. This is a season of firsts for so many reasons. Early, we were introduced to the Greg The Leg phenomenon. Then there was the Fisher 'Stache. Then there was the first gasp of air above .500 since 2006. Then there was the first tie since 2008. How will these young Rams handle the late-season floodlights for the first time? They've tiptoed their balance beam with skill so far, turning should-have-been losses against the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills into Ws. That's what good teams do swipe a few when they have no business doing so and live to tell about it tomorrow. Here's saying Sunday's stage will be manageable. They're a decent 4-3 at the Ed. Meanwhile, the Vikings are an abysmal 1-5 away from their digs. This is another chance for a growing team to gain more scars. Big opportunity. Bright lights. Game on. What will happen? The thing about survival is that small things matter most. Do you have enough water for two days or two months? Enough food for one night or one week? A strong enough will to fight through fatigue, insomnia and other arrows that nature slings your way? We'll learn about the Rams in their version of Hunger Games. Face it: This is candy. Only the most hopeful, No. 8-jersey-wearing diehard thought they'd be here. Only the most faithful thought the Rams would stare down the NFL's top rushing force for a chance to keep slim playoff hopes alive. It beats 2-14. It beats 15-65. It sure as heck beats irrelevance by November. So, let's talk about those small things. The Vikings are more schizophrenic than Harvey Dent. Try 6-1 at home paired with that rancid road mark. (What disease did the Detroit Lions have when Minnesota took one at Ford Field in Week 4?) When making this choice, it's as simple as geography. Pick: Rams 17, Vikings 14 You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at

Eric Dickerson opposes Adrian Peterson breaking his record.

Eric Dickerson has a lot to be proud of. The running back accomplished a great deal during his NFL career.   Mentally he is still holding onto the one thing that apparently matters the most to him: his single season rushing record. Please Click Here To Read This Story & Take Our Poll Regarding Peterson's Run At The Title

Adrian Peterson will win the NFL MVP award if…

Everyone says it is the year of the quarterback with the likes of last year’s recipient Aaron Rodgers, and multi winners Peyton Manning and Tom Brady battling for the NFL MVP, but people need to realize that there is a player having a better year than the star QB’s, and he is Adrian Peterson. Peterson, who has 1,600 yards 10 touchdowns on a 6.0 yard per carry average after...

Rams face stiff challenge in slowing Peterson

ST. LOUIS Rams coach Jeff Fisher has painful memories from the last time he attempted a game plan to slow Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. I feel the same way now as I did then, Fisher said. I dont forget that week at all. Its not easy. The NFLs leading rusher comes to town Sunday when the 6-6-1 Rams hope to slow down the explosive Peterson and keep their playoff...

Peterson's drive rolls Rams, fuels record push

ST. LOUIS So much about Adrian Peterson's chase is invisible. This sprint for history is a product of what we don't see the grit, the drive, the flame that burns inside to become more than a star, more than someone contained by his time. The possibility of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards, set in 1984, is becoming more than real...

Adrian Peterson closes in on Eric Dickerson’s rushing record

Adrian Peterson entered Sunday’s showdown against the St. Louis Rams with a whopping 1,600 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground on 265 carries (6.0 YPC) through 13 games in 2012.  He also needed just 506 yards in the final three weeks of the season to set the NFL’s single-season rushing record. Peterson earned more than 40 percent of that amount in four quarters at Edward Jones...

Adrian Peterson: Comeback player of the Year is “in the bag”

There is a big debate going on around league circles right now regarding the  NFL’s Comeback player of the Year. Awarded annually to the most impressive or best comeback. This season, there are two standouts. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who sustained a potential career-ending knee injury at the end of last season, only to miss one regular season game (in week 17 last...

Adrian Peterson breaks off 82-yard touchdown run against Rams (Video)

If I had a vote for the NFL MVP of 2012, I would give mine to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. During today's blow-out against the St. Louis Rams, watch as AP breaks off this 82-yard touchdown run where he changes course mid-run:

Vikings protect playoff potential in St. Louis

The Minnesota Vikings were well aware of their failures on the road heading into Sunday's pivotal game at St. Louis. The Vikings were 1-5 on the road and fighting for slim playoff chances against the Rams, who had won three games in row and were trying to stay alive themselves for the postseason. Minnesota, at least in a dome on the road, made itself at home and put together...

Peyton Manning Vs. Adrian Peterson: Comeback Player of the Year

Everybody knows that the Comeback Player of the Year Award is going to come down to Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. They are both coming off major surgeries, and were not expected to perform at an elite level in the 2012 season. I can tell you right now, they are performing at an elite level once again. Peyton Manning has the Denver Broncos rolling and on its way to another play...

Dickerson: I don't want Peterson to break my record

Eric Dickerson holds the single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards set in 1984.  Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who has 1,600 yards through 13 games, told Dickerson he should be nervous. "I'm not nervous," Dickerson said, laughing to Mike Freeman of Dickerson added:  "I don't want him to break it," Dickerson said...

Vikings vs. Rams: PJD's Masturbatory Win for Playoffs or Bust Game Preview

Win or Go Home ... Or Really, Win AND We Still Go Home Anyway, Since it's an Away Game: I'll tell you this much ... Without the Vikings winning this Sunday, whatever slim hope they still of making the playoffs will get put on a sacrificial block and destroyed with one fell swoop. I think there is still some crazy ass way for the team to sneak into the playoffs even if...

Week 15 Preview – St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings

  Here we are in week 15 and the Rams are still in the playoff hunt. I can honestly say that this was not on my radar screen at the beginning of the season. Under the coach favorite “take one game at a time” theory, this is an important one game. Currently there are nine teams with a better record than the Rams and only six teams make the playoffs. Minnesota is one of those...

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams: Week 15 NFL Pick

Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) The Vikings won last week as home dogs against the Bears, but I’m still not sure about them. Christian Ponder once again had a terrible game, completing 11 of 17 for 91 yards and an interception. In his last 7 games, he’s 107 of 191 (56.0%) for 970 yards (5.1 YPA), 6 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Adrian Peterson is awesome...

Turning point: Season-saving fast 4 minutes

The Vikings were starting to let momentum turn to the Rams when Adrian Peterson ripped off a TD, the defense followed suit and Blair Walsh crushed another 50-yarder.

Minnesota Vikings: Week 15 NFL Power Rankings (#20)

Last week: 20 (+0) Record: 7-6 Net points per drive: -0.14 (20th) DVOA: -5.1% (18th) Weighted DVOA: -8.8% (24th) The Vikings pulled the huge upset at home over the Bears, but things don’t get easier as they have to face the suddenly surging Rams in St. Louis, the Texans in Houston, and then head home to face the Packers. Even Adrian Peterson might not be enough to save them from...
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