MINNEAPOLIS -- For the better part of the season, the Minnesota Vikings leaned on Adrian Peterson, crossing their fingers the running back's fumbling issues wouldn't come back to bite them. On Sunday, it cost them at the worst possible time.
Peterson's fumble after Kam Chancellor stripped him on an 8-yard reception gave the Seattle Seahawks a chance to take the lead for good in their 10-9 win over the Vikings in the NFC wild-card round Sunday. When the Vikings got the ball back after the field goal, Peterson was on the bench, with Jerick McKinnon taking snaps at running back.
The fumble helped the Seahawks come back from a 9-0 deficit and become the second team since the merger to win a playoff game after being shut out for three quarters. Blair Walsh's field goal sailed wide left at the end of the game, but Peterson's fumble had given the Seahawks the opportunity to take the lead.
The defeat will sit among the more painful playoff losses in recent Vikings history, and it ends the season of a team that had taken a major step forward in 2015.
What it means: The Vikings' season ends with a home playoff defeat after they won the NFC North title in Green Bay a week ago. They'll regroup and try to take the next step as they move into U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.
One reason to get excited: A healthy Vikings defense played a confident game against Russell Wilson, who had accounted for four touchdowns against them in a 38-7 win on Dec. 6. This time, the Vikings stationed both of their defensive ends outside the offensive tackles on numerous occasions, taking away Wilson's opportunities to run.
One reason to panic: Walsh, who had made his first three field goals of the day, ended his season with his third miss in five career chances to take the lead with under a minute left.
What were they thinking: After a botched snap sent Wilson retreating near midfield, cornerback Josh Robinson gave Tyler Lockett a courtesy shove before heading after Wilson. That left Lockett wide open, and when Wilson retrieved the ball, he hit Lockett for a 35-yard gain.
Game ball: Defensive end Everson Griffen had a sack of Wilson and was a major reason why the Vikings were able to put so much pressure on the Seahawks quarterback. Griffen finished with six combined tackles, including the sack.
Ouch: Cornerback Terence Newman left at several points in the second half with an ankle injury, leading the Vikings to put in rookie cornerback Trae Waynes. Then Waynes appeared to injure his arm early in the fourth quarter, putting Robinson in the game. Robinson lost track of Lockett on Wilson's 35-yard pass to the rookie after a botched snap, and Wilson went right after Robinson again on a TD to Doug Baldwin.