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Week 1 vs. ATL
Rushing: 19 / 103 / 0
Receiving: 1 / 60 / 1 on 1 targets
Peterson had the chance to be the primary ball carrier after Chester Taylor went down early in the game with an injury and did not return. Peterson displayed his great speed and power throughout the afternoon. He finished with 103 yards on 19 carries. Peterson was stopped for less than 3 yards on only four of his carries. Peterson consistently picked up chunks of 4, 5, 6 yards at a time, dragging defenders with him for extra yards. On his touchdown reception, he almost dropped the ball, having to reach behind him to pull the ball in with one hand. Once the ball was secured, Peterson turned on the speed and ran past defenders for 60 yards to the end zone. Adrian Peterson also played on special teams returning kicks, returning one for 22 yards.
Week 2 vs. DET
Rushing: 20 / 66 / 0
Receiving: 4 / 52 / 0 on 5 targets
Though it won't show up in the statistics, Peterson actually had an outstanding game. Considering he was the only legitimate weapon on the field for Minnesota, it's a wonder he was able to muster up 118 yards from scrimmage. He very nearly made it an outstanding day with a near-touchdown midway through the second quarter. Peterson took a short screen pass from Tarvaris Jackson 24 yards down to the one yard line. He came out of the game on the next play, and Jackson took it in himself for the short score. Peterson had made a great play on the screen by breaking a tackle that enabled him to get as much yardage as he did. The biggest roadblock for Peterson (something he may have to deal with all season) is that Detroit had so little respect for the passing game that they simply keyed on Peterson all game long.
Week 3 vs. KC
Rushing: 25 / 102 / 1
Receiving: 3 / 48 / 0 on 3 targets
Peterson was the focus of the Vikings attack throughout the day. He received a steady load of carries starting with the first series of the game. The Vikings six play drive, four of which were Peterson runs, was their only touchdown drive of the game. Peterson capped it off with a fantastic individual play, making a move on Ty Law to get to the outside and speed into the end zone. Peterson had his speed, power, and elusiveness on display at various times of the game. Peterson took one short pass from Holcomb and sped up the sideline for 35 yards, finishing the run by bowling over a defensive back. The Chiefs did bottle Peterson up on a number of players, but Peterson often made something out of nothing. Peterson did also make some rookie mistakes, occasionally looking impatient waiting for his blockers, and instead ran past or into them instead of waiting for the hole to develop. One of the biggest notes on Peterson though was his presence on passing downs. Multiple times, he bought time for Holcomb by picking up a blitzing defender, which would bold well for seeing more time on the field in these situations.
Week 4 vs. GB
Rushing: 12 / 112 / 0
Receiving: 1 / 6 / 0 on 3 targets
Peterson was the focus of the Vikings offense early in the game, but did not get enough touches for his yardage totals to be as impressive as his play. The Packers did have him bottled up several times, but he always seemed to manage to fall forward to pick up a couple yards on a play that looked to be going nowhere. His best run of the day was off tackle to the right where he made untouched going through the hole. He made a nice cutback on a defensive back and turned on the speed down the middle of the field, but was eventually tackled by Nick Collins after a 55 yard gain. Peterson was the primary kick returner, and came out of the game after a couple long returns. With Chester Taylor in the game, the Vikings were not as successful maintaining drives, so by the time Peterson was ready to get back into the game, the Vikings were almost ready to punt. Peterson was not a factor in the passing game with only two targets. One of which was a throw-away by Holcomb avoiding a sack.
Week 6 vs. CHI
Rushing: 20 / 224 / 3
Receiving: 1 / 9 / 0 on 2 targets
Peterson put on a performance rarely seen, showing tremendous ability to make defenders miss, and quickly build to top speed and get past even the Bears quickest defenders. On his 67 and 73 yard touchdowns, he bounced the play back in the opposite direction, and broke through tacklers attempting to take him out low as he was changing direction, finishing the play with breakaway speed that even Charles Tillman could not catch him on either play despite having the angle. On his 35 yard touchdown late in the game, he broke to the outside and seemed to gracefully avoid the Bears defenders and tiptoe down the sideline untouched for his third touchdown. Still, his biggest play may have been his 53 yard kickoff return in the final two minutes to set up Ryan Longwell's 55 yard field goal as time expired.
Week 7 vs. DAL
Rushing: 12 / 63 / 1
Receiving: 1 / 12 / 0 on 2 targets
Peterson played well in his limited opportunities. He was no where near the offensive force he was the week before, but he ran hard, and made plays. He finished with 5.3 yards per carry, but did have one crucial fumble that gave Dallas excellent field position. He did break a few longer runs, but was bottled up much better by the Dallas defense. Being limited to only 12 carries on the day hurt his chances for a bigger day.
Week 8 vs. PHI
Rushing: 20 / 70 / 0
Peterson was the obvious focal point of the offense. Peterson was the announced starter for the first time this year, and was not returning kicks in the first half. He was fed the ball consistently throughout the game, but he did not have much success finding running room. His longest run of the game was called back on a holding penalty. His longest run that counted was just 17 yards. Though Peterson did not receive a target, he was on the field the majority of time and was only replaced on third downs and after several rushes in a row. He promptly returned to the field each time. Peterson was put in the game to return kicks in the second half, and made a rookie mistake on his fist opportunity. With the ball bouncing near the sideline, he picked the ball up and immediately stepped out of bounces at the one yard line. On his second chance, he again picked up a bouncing ball at returned it just 11 yards. He did not return any more kicks.
Week 9 vs. SD
Rushing: 30 / 296 / 3
Receiving: 1 / 19 / 0 on 2 targets
We could just tell you to go and look at the stats. After all, when a player breaks the all-time single game rushing record there are only so many superlatives to describe the performance. Despite a rather pedestrian first half (14 carries for 43 yards), Peterson really took off in the second half. He broke big gain after big gain, and seemingly picked up a first down or a touchdown on almost all of his carries after halftime. It appeared as if his speed to the edge caught the Chargers defenders by surprise, in particular LB Shawne Merriman. On several occasions, Merriman appeared to have the corner contained only to have Peterson run right by him. It wasn't just Merriman, of course. All of the San Diego defenders looked about seven steps slower than Peterson. He ran with power to both sides of the field, and once he got into space there was no stopping him. Other teams that will play Minnesota in the upcoming weeks can look to the highlights of this one to see that arm tackles on Peterson aren't quite going to get the job done. He ran over, through, around San Diego defenders the entire second half. He actually came out of the game after a 35 yard gallop while sitting on 293 yards. Following a Chester Taylor run, Peterson got back into the game and was able to pick up the necessary three yards to break Lewis' record before exiting for good. About the only blemish on Peterson's afternoon was a fumble that he coughed up in the fourth quarter. But his next carry went for a 46 yard touchdown, so he kind of made up for it.
Week 10 vs. GB
Rushing: 11 / 45 / 0
Receiving: 3 / 14 / 0 on 4 targets
Peterson was bottled up fairly well by the Green Bay defense. His yards per carry average was ok at 4.1, but he managed only 11 carries on the afternoon. His longest run of the day was just 12 yards. He did catch three of the four passes thrown his way, but the one he didn't bring in was a catch he should have made, as it went right off his hands. He was hit immediately after catching two of his other targets. He last catch was his last play of the game. After taking a short pass, he sped upfield and a defender hit him low, right at the thigh/knee area. His knee did not appear to hyperextend on the replay, but he was writhing in pain on the ground. He walked off the field leaning on the trainer, and was examined thoroughly on the sideline. He did not return to action.
Week 13 vs. DET
Rushing: 15 / 116 / 2
Receiving: 1 / 10 / 0 on 2 targets
Fantasy owners held their breath waiting for the return of Adrian Peterson. It turned out to be a triumphant return, as Peterson showed no ill effect from his knee injury three weeks ago. On his fifteen carries, Peterson displayed all of the speed, quickness, power, and moves he exploded onto the NFL scene with. Despite Coach Childress indicating Taylor would get the start, Peterson was in on the first snaps of the game. He soon made his presence felt on his third carry of the game. He exploded through a hole on the right side of the line, broke an arm tackle, sped to the sideline and raced 28 yards. It was clear at that point that his knee was not slowing him down. On each of his two touchdown runs, he made spectacular moves on Lion defensive backs. On his first, after shedding arm tackles, he made a tremendous cut, planting firmly on the braced up right knee, and left a Lions defender standing still. On his second touchdown run, he made a stutter step move on a defender, and again planted hard on his right knee, cutting to the left and walked in for the score.
Week 14 vs. SF
Rushing: 14 / 3 / 0
Peterson was completely shut down for the first time in his brief career. His longest carry went for just four yards, and the majority of his carries were for zero or negative yardage. He had no room to run all game. He did have one 20+ yard run called back on a holding penalty, but had nothing else to speak of. Peterson was also not involved in the passing game at all.
Week 15 vs. CHI
Rushing: 20 / 78 / 2
Receiving: 1 / 17 / 0 on 1 targets
As expected, Peterson was the focal point of the Vikings offense. Overall, the Bears did an excellent job containing the rookie RB (a telling stat: he was held to two yards or less on 13 of his 20 carries). Peterson ran hard and busted off a few good runs, but his final stats were disappointing for sure, considering he had annihilated the Bears in their earlier meeting. Still, two rushing TDs made everything right for his owners. Two down notes: Peterson was thrown to only once (but for 17 yards), and he muffed a first quarter handoff that resulted in a lost fumble (plus he almost muffed the handoff on the play he scored his second TD).
Week 16 vs. WAS
Rushing: 9 / 27 / 0
Receiving: 2 / 21 / 0 on 3 targets
Peterson struggled to get going against the eight man front the Redskins used. It did not help that Tarvaris Jackson was unable to get the passing game going to open up the running game. Peterson was quick in the open field where he caught his two passes. He was used as a kick returner in the second half.
Week 17 vs. DEN
Rushing: 11 / 36 / 0
Peterson had a rough game, and did not find many holes to run through. The Broncos seemed to key on the run when Peterson was in the game. His longest run of the afternoon was just eight yards.