MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson's eighth fumble of the year was his costliest, but it came through the kind of circumstances that have accompanied some of the running back's other gaffes this year. Peterson had a first down after hauling in an 8-yard pass from Teddy Bridgewater early in the fourth quarter, but while Peterson was trying to fight for extra yards, Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor punched the ball loose, creating the turnover that staked the Seahawks to the decisive field goal in their 10-9 win over the Vikings in the NFC wild-card round on Sunday.
"It's tough," Peterson said. "I had the first down, and my mentality is, trying to scratch for a few yards. That's one of those times where I should have just put a double arm wrap [on the ball]. After that, you're just praying the defense gives us another opportunity. But if I don't put that ball on the ground, they don't kick that field goal to take the lead."
The fumble was the fourth one Peterson lost this season, and it will be the play that lingers with the league's rushing leader the longest. Peterson gained only 45 yards on 23 carries Sunday, and couldn't break a run longer than 13 yards against the team that held him to 18 yards on eight carries five weeks ago.
"I felt a lot of responsibility [for this loss]," Peterson said. "The last field goal, being an inch away from the first down, that haunts me. I'm sick about that. I hold myself responsible for this loss, as well."
The defeat was the fourth in five career playoff games for Peterson, who became just the third running back in his 30s to win the NFL rushing title this season. He figures to be back at the forefront of the Vikings' offense again at age 31, as the team moves back indoors to play its first season at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings will defend their NFC North championship at their new $1.1 billion home, and Peterson finished his final news conference at TCF Bank Stadium with a bold pronouncement for next year.
"Home-field advantage [throughout the playoffs as the No. 1 seed]," Peterson said. "That’s something I feel like we will have next year, without a doubt.”