Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Rams couldn't keep up with Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday; their slim playoff chances evaporated after a final score of 36-22.
The St. Louis Rams briefly held Adrian Peterson in check, but briefly wasn't enough--an 82-yard touchdown run from the Minnesota Vikings' astonishing running back kicked off a 26-point uninterrupted scoring run on the way to a final score of 36-22. Peterson finished with 212 yards on 24 carries, leaving him within range of the all-time single-season rushing record and pushing the Rams' record down to 6-7-1 after a brief playoff fling.
Sam Bradford's final numbers--35-for-55 with 377 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception--belie a game-breaking botched snap and pick-six, but they also come despite an offensive line that allowed four sacks. Steven Jackson, meanwhile, ran for 73 yards on 13 carries in Peterson's shadow and, while he was at it, caught eight passes for 73 yards. (He also passed 10,000 career rushing yards, which puts him in an elite company.) Danny Amendola, in his first full game back after a foot injury put him out of commission for almost a month, caught six balls for 58 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams will play out the string on the road; they draw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, and the Seattle Seahawks to close a season that's been equal parts encouraging and frustrating. Jeff Fisher's new regime has already successfully revived a team that looked historically bad in 2011--if anything, the problem on Sunday was that he did it a little too fast.