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"Brett tried to force it in there and the running back bobbled it and slipped out of his hands and it fell into my lap," Fox said. "I had just run across the field after Peterson and I was winded, so it felt like it was 100-plus yards."
The Vikings' most significant missed opportunity came when they had the ball only a foot or so from the goal line midway through the third period. Peterson, held to 69 yards on 18 carries after averaging 161.5 yards in his first two games against AFC North teams, failed to get in on first down.
On the next two downs, Favre couldn't get the ball to covered receivers in the end zone. Coach Brad Childress then settled for Ryan Longwell's 18-yard field goal rather than go for it on fourth down, as the crowd of 65,597 -- a Steelers record at Heinz Field -- loudly cheered the potentially decisive stand.
"We had three chances," Favre said. "It's easy to look back now and say we should've done this or should've done that. I would think handing it to Adrian, he'd get it in. I'm sure he will say he should've went in, but ..."
Said Peterson, "Playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers and their defense -- I felt it's the best defense we're going to face -- you've got to get those seven points. I was highly upset about having to settle for three points."
Favre (34 of 51, 334 yards) was better statistically than Roethlisberger (14 of 26, 175 yards) -- except for the turnovers. The Vikings outgained Pittsburgh 386-259, but couldn't outscore the Steelers defense.
NOTES: Steelers DE Travis Kirschke (calf) and LB Lawrence Timmons (ankle) left with injuries during the frantic fourth quarter, after Vikings WR Bernard Berrian (left leg) was pulled. ... Minnesota had only four turnovers in its first six games. ... Pittsburgh hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in its last 25 regular-season games.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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