There’s 4:39 remaining in the game, the crowd is silent after a turnover-filled performance and the Vikings are on the brink of falling to 2-6 with the Arizona Cardinals holding a 14-point lead.
Time to hang it up and prepare for 2011, right?
If you were to ask either Brett Favre or Adrian Peterson at that point in time, they would refuse such an attitude and move on to the next play. And that’s exactly what they did, en route to putting together a come-from-behind OT victory on Sunday afternoon.
“I would have to say the whole focus,” Peterson told reporters as to what made the difference in the 4th quarter. “We knew that we were in a tough situation. As a group collectively, as a team, we just changed our attitude, and guys got focused.”
A change in attitude and a greater sense of focus was evident when the Vikings offense took to the field with 4:39 left in the game. Favre and Co. drove a short field in just 4 plays with Peterson capping off the 40-yard scoring drive on a 4-yard TD run, cutting the Arizona lead to 7 at the 3:38 mark.
After the Vikings defense held the Cardinals to a 3-and-out, it was time for the offense to put together another scoring drive. With the 2-minute warning elapsed, trailing by 7 and 62 yards to go to tie the game, who else would the Vikings rather have under center than their future Hall of Fame QB?
Favre orchestrated another scoring drive, but one that couldn’t have been done without the help of Peterson. On the first play following the 2-minute warning, Favre dumped off a short pass to Peterson and #28 scampered 33 yards down the field to the Arizona 29. And with :34 left on the clock, Favre found Visanthe Shiancoe in the middle of the endzone, setting up the game-tying extra point.
Overtime: The Cardinals won the toss and elected to receive, but it didn’t matter. The Vikings defense fed off the resurgent Mall of America Field crowd to the tune of another 3-and-out that included a pair of sacks.
The Vikings started the OT drive at their own 31 following the Arizona punt, but wouldn’t stay in their own territory for long. On the first offensive play in OT, Peterson scraped off the right end and dashed 30 yards down the Vikings sideline to the Arizona 39. Following a 22-yard completion to Bernard Berrian, Peterson’s number was called upon 3 times to put K Ryan Longwell in position for the game-winning FG.
It’s almost seems impossible to use the words “new career-highs” for a man that holds nearly every passing record in NFL history, but Favre ceases to amaze by throwing career-highs in yards (446) and completions (36) in the Vikings 27-24 OT victory over the Cardinals.
Peterson has consistently shown his standing as the best RB in the league and on Sunday he provided another stellar performance. The league’s leading rusher finished the game with 15 carries for 81 yards and a TD while grabbing 4 receptions for 63 yards and a TD – his 3rd consecutive game with 40+ yards receiving.
But one number stands above both Favre and Peterson’s statistics, and that’s the number 3 – the number of wins the Vikings hold to their name. And hopefully this 3rd win will be the start to a 2nd half-resurgence of the 2010 season.
But does this victory give the Vikings the sense of a brand new season?
“It’s a good way to look at it,” Favre said. “We won it, collectively. That’s the encouraging thing. We start 1-0. We go to Chicago next week. There’s a lot of football left. It was a great win.”
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