EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — As Vikings players packed up their things, the question continued to hang like a cloud over the locker room: After a 5-0 start, how in the world did it all fall apart?

“When you get off to a good start like we did, and you kind of just skid out of control,” guard Alex Boone said, “it’s one of those, ‘What was the problem?’ And you can never really put your finger on the problem so it kind of drives you nuts.”

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Defensive end Brian Robison said it isn’t as easy as simply blaming injuries.

“Even when we faced that adversity of not being healthy, we’ve got to make the plays,” Robison said. “We’ve got to tackle better, we can’t commit stupid penalties, we’ve got to keep creating turnovers and putting our offense in good field position. And those are things that we just weren’t able to do down the stretch.”

And now there are other questions the Vikings must answer as they head into an uncertain offseason. Most pressing: Whether the face of their franchise for the last decade has played his last game in purple.

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“We have a great team, we have some great things going on here in Minnesota,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “And I would love to continue to be a part of that.”

Peterson is scheduled to make $18 million next season, a price-tag even he acknowledged is not realistic for a 32-year-old running back who just missed 13 games due to injury.

The Vikings will certainly ask him to take a pay-cut. And then it’ll be up to Peterson whether he wants to accept it or play elsewhere.

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“It is a business,” Peterson said. “I always just let the chips fall where they may. But like I said, I would love to finish my career here, and try to help bring a Super Bowl to Minnesota.”