November 5, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS, United States (AFP) - Minnesota rookie running back Adrian Peterson and San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie combined to make history during to the Vikings 35-17 win over the Chargers on Sunday.
The Vikings' Peterson motored for a National Football League record 296 yards and three touchdowns in just his eighth pro game, while San Diego cornerback Cromartie set a league record for the longest play in history.
"I know anything is possible," Peterson said. "That is why I continue to work on the things, working hard in practice like it's a game, and really, just keeping myself in shape and ready to go out and make things happen on Sunday."
Peterson averaged a superb 9.9 yards per carry in 30 attempts for the Vikings.
He broke the record held by Jamal Lewis, who rushed 295 yards for Baltimore against Cleveland in September 2003.
Peterson becomes the first rookie with two 200-yard games in the same season as he leads the league with 1,036 rushing yards.
He proved to be unstoppable Sunday, setting the stage for the record with a 35-yard run in the second half. Two plays later he darted up the middle for a three-yard gain and the record. He was given a standing ovation from the crowd at the Metrodome.
In the first half, San Diego cornerback Cromartie returned a missed field goal 109 yards for the longest play in history. The touchdown gave San Diego a 14-7 lead at halftime.
"Honestly, I mean, when I caught the ball I looked and saw everyone going over to the sidelines," Cromartie said.
"I started walking out of the end zone and then just took off.
"I had great blocks by Eric Weddle, Shawne Merriman, and guys like that.
"They led me into the end zone, so without them, I do not think I would have done it."
The game was billed as a matchup against the reigning Most Valuable Player LaDainian Tomlinson and the upstart Peterson.
Tomlinson's numbers were microscopic compared to Peterson as the Chargers running back carried 16 times for just 40 yards and a touchdown.