Peterson steals show

KEN FIDLIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:48 AM ET

On a day when one particular game on the NFL schedule captured the football world's attention so thoroughly, who would have believed that so many others could stand up on their hind legs and shout, "Hey! Look at me!"

The New England-Indianapolis "Game of the Millennium" lived up to its billing, no doubt. The NFL's two best outfits went toe-to-toe like the heavyweights they are.

As expected, the Patriots pulled it out with a late surge but nothing was settled in this marvellous rivalry. Yesterday's game simply makes the inevitable return meeting in the AFC championship game even more compelling.

But while the Colts and Pats were pounding on each other, a kid barely old enough to shave ran to daylight in a way that Jim Brown, Walter Payton or O.J. Simpson never did. In a game at Minneapolis that was supposed to feature San Diego's Ladainian Tomlinson, Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson stole the show, running for 296 yards, one more than the existing single-game NFL rushing record previously held by Jamal Lewis.

And if you think it's a fluke, then be aware that Peterson already ran for 224 yards against the Bears at Soldier Field a few weeks back and now has rushed for more than 100 yards in five of his nine pro games.

And get this for timing. Peterson's record happened on the same day, in the same game, that featured the longest scoring play in NFL history. Don't even try to figure out the odds on that one. On the final play of the second quarter, San Diego's Antonio Cromartie ran back a missed field goal attempt 109 yards for a TD. Someday somebody might -- probably will -- beat Peterson's record. But unless the NFL decides to make its field longer, then Cromartie has a permanent place in the league's record book, because 109 yards is as long as a run can get.

HE'S STILL THE ONE

Ever wonder what Green Bay Packers fans will do for excitement when Brett Favre finally does retire? Forget just Packer fans. What will people who are simply fans of football do?

The old man of the tundra just keeps making it happen. The game in Indianapolis yesterday might have had all the bright lights shining on it but it wasn't any better entertainment than the Packers at Kansas City. When the dust had settled over Arrowhead Stadium, the lead had changed hands six times. Favre and the Packers were on the right side of a 33-22 score but it required the 40th fourth-quarter comeback of Favre's storied career to make it happen.

Favre helped give Green Bay the lead for good with a 60-yard TD pass to Greg Jennings, the same hookup that Favre used to beat the Broncos in Denver last Monday in overtime. Yesterday, he was good on 24 of 34 passes for 360 yards. Sixteen years and still ticking.

LIGHTING IT UP

It was a huge day in Orchard Park, a coming-out party for rookie RB Marshawn Lynch, who ripped the Bengals defence apart for 153 yards and threw the game-winning pass on a halfback pass to teammate Robert Royal. The Bills offence had its biggest day in seven years, racking up 479 yards of total offence, best since it rolled up 579 yards against Seattle in 2000.

The Bills aren't exactly making the Patriots shake in their boots but now that they're back at .500 (4-4), they can set themselves a wildcard goal that's realistic.

UGLY AND UGLIER

Some folks make fun of Los Angeles and the fact they don't have an NFL team but it might be better than having two teams, as the Bay Area to the north does. In the past 77 weeks of NFL play, including yesterday, the 49ers and the Raiders are a combined 39-105 in the win-loss column and have been outscored by 1,044 points. Over that time period, the Niners and Raiders have won on the same day only twice. They've lost on the same day, as they did yesterday, 31 times.

Who's laughing now?


Videos

Photos