SEATTLE (AP) — Adrian Peterson made one of the best defenses in the league look lost. Whether he was running in between the tackles or going to the edge, Peterson galloped through Seattle’s defense like no one has in more than three years.

It was in other areas where the Vikings could not match what Peterson was doing.

Peterson ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns, his best game since 2008, but Minnesota could not overcome three first-half touchdown passes by Russell Wilson and 124 yards from Marshawn Lynch in Seattle’s 30-20 win on Sunday that could have greater implications later in the season.

Minnesota lost for the third time in four games and this one stings more because of how dynamic Peterson was in the first half. He went for 74 yards on the second play of the game, getting tracked down at the 1-yard line before scoring two plays later. His 144 yards on 12 carries was the best first half performance of Peterson’s career. He had runs of 74, 24, 16 and 15 in the opening 30 minutes.

And then he disappeared. Peterson had just five carries for 38 yards in the second half with 28 coming on one run. His last carry came with 13:06 remaining and the Vikings trailing 27-20. In the final 11:49, Minnesota had possession for all of 56 seconds.

Seattle ran out the final 5:27, converting a pair of fourth downs and relying on the legs of Lynch while Peterson was left to watch.

While Peterson was mostly a second-half spectator, the Vikings tried to get Christian Ponder going. It was a failed attempt, as Ponder was just 4 of 9 for 21 yards in the second half. No Minnesota receiver had more than 14 yards receiving and Peterson was the leading receiver with three catches.

Ponder finished 11 of 22 for 63 yards and was sacked four times. He threw an interception in the fourth quarter when Minnesota barely held possession despite entering the quarter trailing just 27-20. It was the second time in three games that Ponder failed to top 70 yards.

The matchup between the top two rushers in the NFL didn’t disappoint, with Peterson’s elusiveness causing headaches for Seattle’s defense and Lynch’s bullying runs giving headaches to the Vikings.

Lynch had a 3-yard TD run in the third quarter to give Seattle a 10-point lead. He ran for 69 yards in the second half and added two receptions that included a key 24-yard screen pass that led to Steven Hauschka’s 40-yard field goal with 6:23 left and a 30-20 Seattle lead.

The difference turned out to be Wilson, Seattle’s improving rookie QB. Wilson threw a pair of touchdowns to Golden Tate and another to Sidney Rice. His 11-yard strike to Rice in the first quarter came when Wilson bought time moving out of the pocket then found Rice sprinting across the back of the end zone.

Tate later caught a 6-yard touchdown before making a highlight reel leap that nearly became disastrous. Tate took a short screen pass, danced away from a couple of defenders near the line of scrimmage, then jumped over Minnesota cornerback Josh Robinson at the goal line, just getting the ball over the line before it was knocked loose on a big hit by Everson Griffen.

Wilson finished 16 of 24 for 173 yards and didn’t throw an interception for just the second time in his last six games.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.