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Week 1 vs. GB
Rushing: 19 / 103 / 1
Receiving: 1 / 11 / 0 on 2 targets
Peterson picked up right where he left off last season. He ran hard, spun around defenders, broke tackles, and ran right over the opposition. On one early play, he knocked DB Al Harris to the ground on his way to a first down. Peterson again exhibited the ability to bounce outside if no holes opened in the line. On the team's final drive, Peterson lined up as a wide receiver.
Week 2 vs. IND
Rushing: 29 / 160 / 0
Receiving: 4 / 20 / 0 on 4 targets
Adrian Peterson had the best first half of his career in terms of yards. After gaining 118 yards he was only able to get 42 in the second half. Most of this was due to Indianapolis winning the time of possession. Peterson was able to run anywhere on the field he wanted to. He broke tackles and was never taken down on the first hit. There were big running lanes and he took advantage. He almost broke two plays but DB Bob Sanders got him both times. Minnesota would get a good drive going only to stall out at the end. There were two trips inside the red zone and Peterson just couldn't get a sniff of the end zone. He also didn't get stopped for less than three yards much either. Peterson did do well receiving the ball and was able to create yards after the catch.
Week 3 vs. CAR
Rushing: 17 / 77 / 0
Receiving: 0 / 0 / 0 on 1 targets
Though he averaged over 4.5 yards per carry, Peterson seemed to be limited somewhat by his hamstring injury as he didn't show the explosiveness we've all come to expect when he rushes the football. He did show some signs of quickness as he sidestepped would be tacklers on longer running plays of nine and 14 yards, but nine of his carries went for three yards or less. Peterson's day could have been somewhat better, but 12 yard rush was called back because of a holding penalty.
Week 4 vs. TEN
Rushing: 18 / 80 / 2
Receiving: 4 / 21 / 0 on 6 targets
While his status was questionable all week, Peterson was able to start the game and quickly made his presence felt. In the Vikings' second series, Peterson showed few ill-effects from his tweaked hamstring and capped off the series (and started the second quarter) with a 28 yard scamper to the right side that saw him hit a hole, tight rope walk the sideline, and fight through a Titans defensive back tugging on his jersey to squeak into the end-zone. This explosiveness was again on display in the third quarter when he reversed field on a carry that saw him convert a probable loss into a 21 yard gain. Peterson later added a second touchdown, running it in from the three. The only negative on his day occurred in the second quarter as he fumbled away the ball during an attempt to rush up the middle against the imposing Titans defensive line. Ultimately, Peterson's production was limited by the fact that Minnesota was forced to play catch-up and he ended up with only 18 carries on the day. In the passing game, Peterson received regular looks, particularly in the second half, but was unable to make anything significant happen.
Week 5 vs. NO
Rushing: 21 / 32 / 0
Receiving: 1 / 9 / 0 on 4 targets
Peterson was unable to get going. He consistently faced eight man fronts and no holes were big enough for him to escape through. He faced a huge Saints push against the Vikings' offensive line and was tackled for a loss several times.
Week 6 vs. DET
Rushing: 25 / 111 / 0
Receiving: 1 / -5 / 0 on 2 targets
Peterson ran with aggression and finished off his runs by attacking the defenders. He lost two fumbles while striving for extra yards and being hit in timely fashion by the defense. Peterson showed great acceleration through the line of scrimmage, and only the Lions' swarming defense prevented him from gaining even more yards. He was the featured person in the Vikings; red zone offense, garnering six of the eight red zone running plays.
Week 7 vs. CHI
Rushing: 22 / 121 / 2
Receiving: 1 / 9 / 0 on 3 targets
Peterson opened the afternoon with an impressive cutback run for 18 yards. As the drive concluded, Peterson appeared to be stacked up on the goal line on fourth down, but a nice second effort allowed him to get the ball across the line for the touchdown. After a quiet second quarter, Peterson opened the third quarter with a bang when he broke off an impressive 54 yard touchdown run. He ended the day with 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Week 9 vs. HOU
Rushing: 25 / 139 / 1
It didn't look like there would be much to report on Peterson. Then the third quarter came to an end with a 40 yard run. After that Adrian Peterson ran at will. He was able to make people miss and break tackles. He put a lot of meaning to all day and wore the defense down. The touchdown was on the first drive, but the yards were all at the end of the game. It was impressive once the fourth quarter ended. His running probably won the game for Minnesota because it kept Sage Rosenfels off the field.
Week 10 vs. GB
Rushing: 30 / 192 / 1
Receiving: 3 / 33 / 0 on 4 targets
Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson. It was impressive to watch him wear the Packers down. Peterson literally took the Vikings on his back to victory in this one. Peterson recorded his tenth run this season for over 20 yards. He asked for the ball on a fourth down conversion and the whole stadium knew he was going to get the ball. He would have converted but Green Bay stripped the ball. Peterson only seemed to be more determined after the fumble. He had two big receptions and one huge run for a touchdown on the next possession. That won the game. This was Peterson's fourth straight 100 yard rushing performance.
Week 11 vs. TB
Rushing: 19 / 85 / 0
Receiving: 1 / -3 / 0 on 3 targets
Adrian Peterson had a big first half, where he ran the ball 13 times for 71 yards, but was neutralized in the second half, where due to great ball control by Tampa Bay, he received just six rushes for a total of 14 yards. Peterson was targeted three times, but caught just one pass for a three yards loss in the passing game.
Week 12 vs. JAX
Rushing: 17 / 80 / 1
Receiving: 0 / 0 / 0 on 1 targets
Peterson did not start the game, giving way to backup Chester Taylor. It was initially reported that Peterson was suffering from a chest cold. Later, FOX reported that Brad Childress said he simply wanted to mix things up with the starting lineup. Later on Sirius radio, the talk was that Peterson had been late to a meeting this week and that's why he didn't start. Whatever the reason, Peterson did not take part in the first two series of the game. On one of those series, Taylor scored a three yard touchdown --- a situation that Peterson would normally find himself in. Peterson came in for the third series and took his first handoff for a 21 yard gain up the left side. It appeared he was set up for a big afternoon, but that was his longest run of the game. Not only that, it was his last significant gain of any kind for quite awhile. Finally, a fourth quarter handoff resulted in a 16 yard touchdown for him. The fullback and offensive line opened a massive hole for him, and he waltzed into the end zone untouched off the left side. Late in the game when Minnesota was trying to run out the clock, Taylor was the player Minnesota opted to give the carries to.
Week 13 vs. CHI
Rushing: 28 / 131 / 1
Receiving: 2 / -1 / 0 on 3 targets
RB Adrian Peterson ran with a fierce determination through the Bears' defense. He was difficult to tackle and jumped, cut, and juked his way to over 100 rushing yards in the first half despite facing a stacked box for most of the game. By the end of the game, Peterson's uniform was splattered with blood. His touchdown in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach for good.
On two occasions, Peterson was seen limping to the sidelines but each time he was able to return to the game.
Week 14 vs. DET
Rushing: 23 / 102 / 0
Receiving: 1 / 15 / 0 on 2 targets
Peterson had a very odd game. Despite facing one of the league's worst rushing defense coming in, he was bottled up for most of the first half --- that is, when he even got the ball. He simply wasn't given many opportunities by the coaching staff to make plays before halftime. In the second half, with Tarvaris Jackson filling in at quarterback for Gus Frerotte, more holes opened up for Peterson. He took advantage by breaking several nice runs, though he failed to get into the end zone. He had a nice 21 yard run early in the third quarter that took Minnesota to the Detroit 17 yard line. He left the game, seemingly to get a one play breather, but Chester Taylor ensured that it would be longer than one play by taking the ensuing handoff 17 yards off the right tackle for an easy score. Peterson never came close to scoring the rest of the way to finish with a fairly disappointing 102 yards. On a more positive note, the 100 yard effort was his eighth of 2008, tying Robert Smith's team record for a single season.
What made the game even more odd was Peterson's trouble holding onto the football. He fumbled his second carry of the game, but it bounced out of bounds. Later, he lost a fumble on a run up the middle but it was challenged by the Vikings and eventually ruled that he was down by contact. He fumbled a third carry out of bounds and finally, lost the handle on a handoff from Jackson in the fourth quarter. While his stat line will show that he didn't lose any fumbles, he certainly had issues hanging onto the football in this one.
Week 15 vs. ARI
Rushing: 28 / 165 / 0
Receiving: 0 / 0 / 0 on 1 targets
Peterson had a 100 yard game wrapped up by halftime and found holes in the Cardinals rushing defense. He finished with 165 yards on 28 carries. He had five runs of more than ten yards on the day. He ran hard and found holes on the perimeter of the Cardinals rush defense. With 168 yards, it was Peterson's fifth career 150+ yard game.
Week 16 vs. ATL
Rushing: 22 / 76 / 0
Receiving: 2 / 16 / 0 on 3 targets
Adrian Peterson was stifled. He did not break any big runs. He also fumbled three times. One of his fumbles was credited to Tavaris Jackson but Jackson put the ball in his stomach. Both fumbles were in Atlanta territory on sustained drives. These fumbles probably cost Minnesota the game. Tavaris Jackson matched Peterson in rushing yards. Atlanta kept Peterson contained all day.
Week 17 vs. NYG
Rushing: 21 / 103 / 1
Adrian Peterson had one great run on a great play. The misdirection fooled the Giants and that was all Peterson needed. The rest of the day was different. Peterson had one fumble that could have been the game breaker. It was recovered by a lineman. There were no rushing plays for over ten yards the rest of the day.
Week 18 vs. PHI
Rushing: 20 / 83 / 2
Receiving: 0 / 0 / 0 on 1 targets
Adrian Peterson put up good, but not great numbers against Philadelphia, as he ran the ball 20 times for 83 yards, and a 4.2 ypc average. Fortunately for the Vikings, Peterson was able to make two big plays as he ran for touchdown runs of 40 and 3 yards that accounted for all of Minnesota's scoring in the game. Peterson did have his bell rung in the game, but bounced back up and returned quickly. He was targeted one time in the passing game, but did not record a reception.