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So, when we last left off, we were almost to training camp for the 2012 season. Let's continue our journey, shall we?
(In case you didn't see Part 1, you can look at it by clicking right here.)
-Adrian Peterson was arrested in a night club in Houston, with the only charge being for "resisting arrest." This implies that he was being arrested for something previous to that, but nothing else ever surfaced. The charges were eventually dropped because the whole situation was a whole lot of nothing, but you can bet that the next time some idiot brings up the Minnesota Vikings' arrest record that this incident will be included. Why? Because facts are hard sometimes, you know?
July 27 - Minnesota Vikings start Training Camp
-And, once again, we were there. We had a whole ton of stories. . .far too many to link here, but we had people breaking down personnel, Skol Girl getting exclusive invites to events thanking stadium supporters, and a good time generally being had by all. Thanks once again to the Minnesota Vikings for allowing us to be a part of the festivities. (To see all the good stuff, check out the archives for the time Training Camp was underway.)
-At the Vikings' one big scrimmage at training camp, on the last play of the session, fourth-round pick Greg Childs goes up for a pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson and proceeds to tear both his patellar tendons in one shot. Childs had really been impressing during camp, and hopes were high for him. He's currently on injured reserve, and it's doubtful as to whether he'll be able to contribute in the future.
August 10 - Vikings fall to 49ers, 17-6, to start pre-season
-And it was every bit as exciting as I just made it sound.
-Audie Cole returns two interceptions for touchdowns in a 14-second span. Internet, somehow, does not spontaneously combust.
-Chargers kick four field goals, including one with time expiring to give them the win.
-Vikings finish the pre-season with a mark at 1-3. . .pre-season really does mean jack, doesn't it?
-Of course, everyone on the planet knew he was going to play. . .the question was simply how much.
-It looked like the Jaguars were going to walk out of the Metrodome with a victory, as Blaine Gabbert found Cecil Shorts for a touchdown with under a minute remaining, but an frantic final drive by Christian Ponder allowed rookie Blair Walsh to drill a 55-yard field goal to send the game to extra time and win it in overtime with another field goal. Vikings miraculously avoid becoming first team in NFL history to score in overtime and still lose courtesy of the NFL's new overtime rules.
September 16 - Vikings fall to Colts, 23-20
-Live by the last-second field goal, die by the last-second field goal. Ponder leads another late drive to help the Vikings tie the Colts, but Andrew Luck moves his team downfield and gets Adam Vinateri close enough for a game-winning field goal as the Vikings fall to 1-1.
September 23 - Vikings pull off huge upset of 49ers, 24-13
-Minnesota was a sizeable underdog going into this game at the Metrodome, but came out swinging with a 16-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Ponder finding Kyle Rudolph on a 4th-and-goal from the 1, and the Vikings stayed in control all day, knocking off what was (at the time) the consensus best team in the NFC, if not the NFL. (As far as the link. . .I can't find the first quarter open thread anywhere in the archives for some reason. Oh, well.)
-Thanks to Percy Harvin taking the opening kickoff 105 yards and a big punt return for a touchdown by Marcus Sherels, the Vikings beat the Detroit Lions without scoring an offensive touchdown. Adrian Peterson had his first 100-yard game since his return from knee surgery in this one.
-Despite Christian Ponder throwing his first two interceptions of the season, the Minnesota Vikings whipped the Tennessee Titans all over the Metrodome in this one. Tennessee didn't score until late in the fourth quarter, denying the Vikings their first shutout in. . .well, a really long time.
-The Vikings couldn't get out of their own way in this one, but still had a chance towards the end of the game. Then Robert Griffin III added his name to those of Steve Young and Michael Vick in the pantheon of "quarterbacks that have had ridiculously long runs against the Vikings" to seal the game for the Redskins. Vikings drop to 4-2.
-The Arizona Cardinals were one of the surprise teams of the early season, and despite two more Christian Ponder interceptions, the Vikings took down Arizona by a score of 21-14. Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards on 23 carries, notching the first of his seven 150-plus yard games of the season and kicking off a streak of eight straight 100-yard games in a row.
-The Vikings' lone (scheduled) prime time appearance of 2012 was a Thursday night contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Adrian Peterson once again put up big numbers, but it was Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin that got the headlines on this night as the Vikings just looked bad in prime time again.
-Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson became the third rookie signal caller to beat the Vikings in 2012, throwing three touchdown passes in a 30-20 Seattle win. More importantly, the Vikings lost receiver Percy Harvin to a nasty ankle injury in this one. He wouldn't take the field for the Vikings again in 2012.
-Without Percy Harvin available, rookie Jarius Wright finally got on the field and made a big impact, catching a 54-yard bomb and a 3-yard touchdown on his first NFL drive. Adrian Peterson added another 171 yards to his rushing total, and the Vikings went into the bye week at a very unexpected 6-4.
November 25 - Vikings get ripped by Bears at Soldier Field, 28-10
-Success at Soldier Field has been rare in recent years for the Vikings, and despite Adrian Peterson's 108 rushing yards on 18 carries, this game was no different. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall tore the Vikings up, and the Vikings dropped to 6-5.
-Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder pretty much bottomed out in this one, throwing two killer interceptions. . .one in the end zone, and one on the edge of the red zone. . .in a 23-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, allowing the Pack to overcome a 210-yard rushing performance by Adrian Peterson.
-The Vikings officially determined that Percy Harvin wasn't going to be healthy enough to play a role for them the rest of the season, so they placed him on injured reserve. Has he played his last game as a Viking? I hope not. . .but I guess it's possible.
December 9 - Vikings exact revenge on Bears with 21-14 victory
-A long Adrian Peterson run to set up a touchdown on the first drive and a long interception return by Josh Robinson put the Vikings ahead of the Bears early, and Minnesota made it stand up to beat the Bears for the first time in the Leslie Frazier era.
-Going over the 200-yard mark for the second time in three weeks, Adrian Peterson put up 212 yards on 24 carries. That included an 82-yard touchdown in the second quarter to open the floodgates for the Vikings, who got a win they desperately needed at the Edward Jones Dome over the St. Louis Rams.
-Despite Adrian Peterson's streak of consecutive 100-yard games getting snapped at eight, the Vikings pounded a team that could have secured home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a victory. Houston managed just two field goals, the first time they were held without a touchdown in a game since 2006.
-Adrian Peterson came up just short of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, but set up Blair Walsh to drill a game-winning field goal from 29 yards out to push the Vikings into the post-season for the first time since 2009. Christian Ponder played the best game of his NFL career, connecting on three touchdown passes and not turning the ball over. Minnesota defeated Green Bay for the first time since Leslie Frazier became coach, cost the Packers a first-round playoff bye, and knocked the Bears out of the playoffs all in one fell swoop.
And there you have it. . .all of the major events that shaped the 2012 Minnesota Vikings' season. Can 2013 be at least as good as 2012? We can all certainly hope so, can't we?