Peterson runs for 203, Vikes atop North
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) A heavy dose of Adrian Peterson, a big special teams play and Minnesota’s usual stout defense moved the Vikings into sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Peterson ran for 203 yards and a touchdown in his record-tying sixth career 200-yard game, Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kick 97 yards for a score and the Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders 30-14 on Sunday for their fifth straight win.
Teddy Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass, and the Vikings (7-2) held the Raiders’ potent offense in check. Minnesota moved a game ahead of Green Bay in the division heading into next week’s showdown at home with the Packers.
Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes for Oakland, but also was intercepted twice. The Raiders (4-5) lost their second straight game to fall further behind in the AFC playoff race.
Minnesota squandered chances to build a two-score lead as Blair Walsh missed a 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half to snap a streak of 17 straight makes and then had a 39-yarder blocked by Keith McGill early in the fourth to keep the score at 20-14.
But after the Raiders went three-and-out following the second miss, Bridgewater hit Stefon Diggs on a 37-yard pass that helped set up a 34-yarder for Walsh that made it 23-14 with 3:50 to play.
After scoring at least 30 points in three straight games, the Raiders struggled for most of the day against a Vikings defense that hasn’t allowed more than 23 in a game all season.
With nose tackle Linval Joseph dominating the middle against backup center Tony Bergstrom, the Raiders struggled to get a consistent running game going and Carr was often under pressure and sacked twice.
Minnesota sealed the win when Terence Newman intercepted Carr in the end zone with 2:03 left for his second pick of the game. Peterson scored on an 80-yard run on the next play for the exclamation point.
Peterson has four straight games with at least 100 yards and leads the NFL with 961 yards on the ground this season. Peterson also tied O.J. Simpson with his sixth 200-yard game.
The Vikings started fast, getting an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Rhett Ellison on the opening drive, intercepting Carr later in the first quarter and breaking out to a 13-0 lead.
It could have been even bigger except Kyle Rudolph dropped a pass when he was all alone in the end zone, leading to one of Walsh’s three field goals.
The Raiders quickly erased that hole as Carr led a pair of touchdown drives, throwing a 10-yarder to Clive Walford and then a 34-yard score to Andre Holmes that put Oakland up 14-13 with under two minutes left in the half.
That was short-lived as Patterson bobbled a squib kick from Sebastian Janikowski before taking it back all the way untouched for his third career kick return touchdown, making it 20-14 at the break.
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