MINNEAPOLIS - Adrian Peterson was fired up as always, so determined to beat Green Bay he stormed to the sideline at one point in the fourth quarter with a demeanor that could be described, politely, as angry.
Success for Minnesota's star running back, though, came as usual through patience.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 192 yards and reached across the goal line with 2:22 left to lift the Vikings to a 28-27 victory on Sunday that ended their five-game losing streak to the Packers.
Though he set an NFL record with 296 yards in one game during his rookie season, Adrian Peterson acknowledged this as the most satisfying performance of his brief career.
"That's what it's all about. We came in, knew it was going to be a dogfight, and we pulled it out,'' Adrian Peterson said.
Mason Crosby's 52-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds was just wide, helping the Vikings (5-4) pull into a first-place tie with the Chicago Bears. Green Bay (4-5) is one game back in the NFC North.
The Packers' leaking front seven - they ranked 27th in the NFL in yards rushing allowed entering the game - suffered another setback when middle linebacker Nick Barnett limped off with what coach Mike McCarthy called a bruised right knee on the first series of the second half.
The secondary was sharp, again, picking off Gus Frerotte three times and turning that into 17 points. Nick Collins ran an interception back 59 yards for a score, and 2 1/2 minutes later Will Blackmon's 65-yard punt return put Green Bay in front 24-21 late in the third quarter.
But the Packers let the Vikings march 69 yards in seven plays for the winning score after Crosby's second field goal stretched their lead to six with 5:56 left.
On the climactic drive, Adrian Peterson carried four times for 40 yards and caught two passes for 24 yards.
"He's a great back. He wanted the ball at the end. They gave it to him,'' Collins said.
Adrian Peterson ran the ball 30 times. He gave Minnesota the lead on a 29-yard scamper sprung by a big block from tight end Jim Kleinsasser and help from guard Anthony Herrera and tackle Ryan Cook. The Vikings ran right all afternoon, telling Adrian Peterson to look for the backside cut.
"Somewhere he's going to bust out on you, and I thought our offensive line did a great job of exerting their well on that defensive front,'' coach Brad Childress said.
Childress unsuccessfully challenged the spot of a no gain on third-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter. During the review, Adrian Peterson angrily walked off the field and was yelling toward the coaches - another sign of his confidence that he can take over the game when he needs to. He fumbled on fourth down and the recovery was short of the marker, but his chance came soon after.
After Crosby's miss, the Vikings' sideline erupted.
Childress had never beaten McCarthy since they were hired in 2006.
"You put so much equity into this game, you need to let it go,'' Childress said. "I'm just so happy for those guys, like I said. Players, coaches, owners, fans. Just that they're able to do that.
"I'm happy to have that game ball, and I will paint it up and put it in a prominent spot.''
Aaron Rodgers' first game at the Metrodome, the site of some of Brett Favre's worst early-career performances, wasn't good.
Trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, Rodgers dropped back and had the ball swatted from his hand by Kevin Williams. He retreated to pick it up in the end zone and chucked it underhand, drawing a penalty the officials later confirmed was for intentional grounding penalty and an automatic safety.
Then with less than one minute left before the half, Jared Allen - listed as doubtful on the latest injury report due to a sprained shoulder - blew by Chad Clifton and sacked Rodgers in the end zone for another two points to make it 14-7.
"It was a combination of we didn't do the fundamentals the way we know how to and me probably holding the ball a little too long,'' Rodgers said. "They did a great job. You've got to give them credit.''
He finished 15-for-26 for 142 yards, no turnovers and no touchdowns. The NFL's leading passer on third downs entering the game, Rodgers completed only one third-down throw that moved the chains, and the Packers went 1-for-11 in those situations.
Outgained 126 yards to 9 in the third quarter, the Packers scored two touchdowns and took the lead on those returns. Childress was asked if he found himself fretting after that.
"I don't ever feel like that because I've got a group of fighting fools on that football team,'' he said. "They don't judge quarters. They don't judge plays. They just play the next one.''
Notes: Donald Driver established a franchise record with a reception in his 104th straight game for Green Bay, besting the mark set by Sterling Sharpe from 1988-94. According to STATS the last time a team had two safeties in the first half of a game was Sept. 8, 1996, when San Francisco did it against St. Louis. The Packers lead the league with 16 INTs; six have gone for TDs.
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