- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2008

HONOLULU (AP) — Adrian Peterson stood in front of the car he had just won as MVP of the Pro Bowl. He wiggled the keys, leaned against the red roof and soaked in the acclaim.

Quite a way to finish off a rookie season.

Peterson ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns, and Terrell Owens made up for early sloppiness with two touchdown receptions in the NFC’s 42-30 comeback victory over the AFC yesterday.

Offensive rookie of the year Peterson’s performance was the first of more than 100 yards since Marshall Faulk had 180 and Chris Warren added 127 in 1995. The Minnesota running back joined Faulk as the only rookies to be voted MVP of the Pro Bowl.

“Good company,” Peterson said. “We didn’t get into the playoffs, so for me to come here and do this at the Pro Bowl means a lot.

“I came with a goal: Win the game and be MVP.”

And the car?

“I’m going to keep it,” Peterson said, smiling.

Owens’ 6-yard catch from Tampa Bay’s Jeff Garcia provided the winning points, and Owens knew the new ride could have been sitting in his driveway. Then Peterson added a clinching 6-yard touchdown run to steal the wheels.

“It didn’t surprise me,” said Owens, who finished with eight catches for 101 yards in a game that often resembled flag football on the beach. “He’ll be in Minnesota his whole life and buying a lot of fur coats.”

Peterson grew up in Texas, so the Hawaiian weather was more to his taste than the frigid upper Midwest. He had several highlight runs, particularly a 39-yarder on one touchdown drive and a 17-yard jaunt down the left sideline for a 28-27 NFC lead early in the third quarter. Four AFC defenders missed him on that touchdown.

“He’s like lightning in a bottle,” Denver safety John Lynch said. “There’s probably a handful of guys that you could say that has it all. And he’s got that. He’s got a little attitude to him.

“He’s going to wreak havoc in this league for a long time.”

Neither side held back the tricks to the delight of the sellout crowd of 50,044 at Aloha Stadium. There was a fake punt, a throwback kickoff return and a handful of fourth-down gambles.

One of those was a 34-yard pass to Owens from Cowboys teammate Tony Romo that sparked the comeback. Before that huge play, Owens had a pair of ugly drops that drew boos.

He quickly turned them into cheers.

“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish,” Owens said.

“That’s old hat,” added Romo, who had to scramble away from a big pass rush before finding T.O. “We’ve done that before.”

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