RB Adrian Peterson - Detroit Lions
|6-0, 220||Born: 3-21-1985||College: Oklahoma||Drafted: Round 1, pick 7 (2007)|
2019 Week 2 vs DAL (10 / 25 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson only was given ten carries in this game as he got Washington on the board with the first touchdown. Most of his carries came on that scoring drive and the offense was out of sync most of the game moving forward. Long drives by Dallas and playing from behind most of the second half limited Adrian's rushing opportunities. He only averaged 2.5 yard per carry but as a volume-based runner these are expected stat lines when he can't be fed. The offensive line is also under-performing so consistent production is a challenge for all running backs.
2019 Week 3 vs CHI (12 / 37 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson only had twelve carries in this game as his role diminished due to the large deficit. It was a negative game script for Adrian as Washington went pass heavy to try getting back in the game. Washington went with their passing personnel near the goal-line as well. Chris Thompson was given two carries inside the five as Adrian stood on the sidelines. Adrian's lack of versatility limits his production and opportunities, as well as the seemingly predictability when on the field. As long as Washington is facing large deficits, Adrian's role will be diminished considering he is a volume-based runner.
2019 Week 4 vs NYG (11 / 28 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson wasn't allowed to establish himself in this game as the offense was out of sync all game. Washington was already down by two touchdowns going into the 2nd quarter which minimized the run game. Too many stalled drives and negative game script kept him from being productive. Adrian had eleven carries in this game for less than thirty yards.
2019 Week 5 vs NE (7 / 18 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
drian Peterson was a victim of negative game script once again versus New England. The Redskins held onto a brief lead early but couldn't establish the run. Therefore, once the lead started to swell it slowly eliminated the opportunity to get Adrian going. He had a total of seven carries and had a big gain called back due to penalty. As a one-dimensional weapon, Adrian is finding himself in the predicament quite often with Washington.
2019 Week 6 vs MIA (23 / 118 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was finally able to get rolling in this game as Washington put emphasis on the run game. It was the perfect blend of opportunity for Adrian as the Dolphins were no threat offensively to Washington's preferred game script. Adrian had a combined twenty-five touches in this game as twenty-three of them were on the ground. In a game that was close throughout, Washington was able to feed him a consistent amount of carries. He didn't score in this game, but he did go over the hundred-yard mark for the first time this season.
2019 Week 7 vs SF (20 / 81 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was the focal point of today's offense as the weather brought made for a run-heavy attack. Adrian had a decent day controlling the tempo offensively averaging four yards per carry. He had twenty carries in this game and constantly showed off his special ability to make jump cuts even in the rainy conditions at FedEx field. Several drives were stalled due to penalties or else he could have had an even bigger day.
2019 Week 8 vs MIN (14 / 76 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 27 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was the lone bright spot for Washington on offense. He had fourteen carries and averaged over five yards per carry. He constantly gained chunk yardage, but his production dissolved along with the offense in the second half. It's clear that the ability is still there for Adrian, but the offense is simply too inconsistent for him to make a bigger impact. He made violent jump cuts all night to elude tackles and keep plays alive. Washington had one possession in the redzone and did not call Adrian's number. That may have been the only downside for Adrian in this game.
2019 Week 9 vs BUF (18 / 108 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 22 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was the centerpiece to everything Washington did offensively today. He had over a hundred yards on the ground and added one reception for twenty-two yards as well. Several drives were ended prematurely, or else Adrian would have had an even bigger day running the football. He was averaging six yards per carry versus a stout Bills defensive front. Adrian still has the footwork and acceleration to be an effective runner and it was on display today.
2019 Week 11 vs NYJ (9 / 25 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson wasn't as involved this game as he shared the backfield with Derrius Guice. Also due to short drives and a larger deficit the run game couldn't be a focal point. Adrian had nine carries for less than thirty yards and had two catches that weren't impactful. It will be interesting to see how much Adrian is involved moving forward considering the Redskins are looking towards the future.
2019 Week 12 vs DET (10 / 27 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 22 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson is now dealing with a full blown timeshare and that has had a direct relation to his production. As a volume based runner he needs consistent touches to maximize his abilities. Adrian had ten carries on the day for less than thirty yards. The offense is struggling to keep drives alive so that is hurting his chances at making plays as well. Going forward as Derrius gets healthier, it wouldn't be surprising to see Adrian's role continue to diminish.
2019 Week 13 vs CAR (13 / 99 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson combined well with Derrius Guice for a one-two punch that Carolina's defense simply couldn't handle. Peterson looked spry and powerful on his touches, bouncing off contact and showing off his terrific footwork and balance in space. As the offensive line continued to blow open holes, Peterson seemed to get stronger. With the offense backed up at the 1-yard line, Peterson scooted through a gap and bounced off contact for a huge gain. On the next play he fumbled at the exchange point but managed to recover. Late in the game Peterson put the icing on the cake for the Washington offense, breaking a run inside the red zone - right into the teeth of the Carolina defense - for a touchdown.
2019 Week 14 vs GB (20 / 76 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson took over a full-time role once Derrius Guice went down. He received twenty carries in this game as the scoreboard allowed him to be more involved than usual. Being that the game was within one score, Washington had the opportunity to continue running the football. Some of his usage could also be attributed to Washington's lack of confidence in their quarterback play. Adrian scored one of the two touchdowns on the day as he received a goal line carry. He will likely close out the year as the starter due to Derrius going down with a knee injury.
2019 Week 15 vs PHI (16 / 66 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was able to maintain a role in this game as the game script was in his favor. The game was close throughout and allowed Washington to keep him involved. Adrian had a total of nineteen touches as sixteen were on the ground. It is incredible how effective he continues to look for an older running back. Averaging four yards per carry and constantly shedding the first tackler helped keep Washington ahead of schedule on downs. He added one of three touchdowns scored in this game as he took a handoff and reversed field to find the endzone. Adrian's famous jump cut is still alive and when the game script is positive, he continues to prove he can contribute.
2019 Week 16 vs NYG (15 / 36 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Adrian had a difficult time getting going in this game although he did get a healthy dose of work. He averaged less than three yards per carry as the run game was stagnant most of the afternoon. However, Adrian scored a touchdown in this game on a goal line carry for Washington. He also chipped in two catches but didnŐt make much of an impact in the passing game. Seventeen yards was AdrianŐs longest carry but he was otherwise held in check.
2019 Week 17 vs DAL (13 / 78 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a solid game considering the Redskins were down the entire game. He had thirteen carries and averaged over six yard per carry. He would have had a larger impact in this game running the football but due to the increasing deficit his opportunities were limited. Adrian also had a fumble early in this game that contributed to the deficit. He has had a small issue with fumbles this season and it continued in todayŐs game. It will be interesting to see if Washington brings Adrian back for another season as it seems he is their most reliable running back.
2018 Week 1 vs ARI (26 / 96 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 70 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson received a massive workload in his Redskins debut. He totaled twenty-eight touches with all but two coming from handoffs. It was clear that Adrian still has a little juice left as a runner by his display of jump cuts along with short area acceleration. His vision is still there as well with several instances shows of him finding cut back lanes. Adrian longest carry of the game went for seventeen yards and it should be noted his yards per carry were below four yards. The 2nd half of this game he didn't have as many running lanes and often got stuffed. One of Adrian's two receptions was a screen pass that went for fifty-two yards. Washington is willing to use Adrian in the passing game as well which shows they are all in on him being the bell-cow back. He scored the first touchdown of the day from the goal line and was the preferred back in the redzone. It will be interesting to see how fresh he stays throughout the year with such a large workload. Today may have had much to do with game script as Washington was in control majority of this game.
2018 Week 2 vs IND (11 / 20 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was held in check versus the Colts as he only had a total of twenty yards rushing. He also chipped in thirty yards receiving but found it tough to find open running lanes for this game. The offensive line struggled to control the line of scrimmage, so the cutback lanes were shut down. Adrian is more of a volume driven runner as well so the inability to sustain drives also contributed to his lackluster day. Adrian's longest carry went for fourteen yards as they got the 3rd quarter started but he often got stuffed for short gains.
2018 Week 3 vs GB (19 / 120 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson quickly bounced back from last week's abysmal performance. He tallied nineteen carries for one hundred and twenty yards. The most impressive part of his performance was the 6.3 yards per carry average. The offensive line controlled the point of attach which allowed Adrian to get downhill consistently for positive gains. The decisiveness in his runs today was evident as he had 4 carries go over 12 yards. Most notably a 30+ yard gain in the first half. Adrian looked fresh and dominant in this game as the weather conditions called for a successful run game. As the offense was often on schedule today, it allowed for a much more effective Adrian Peterson. It is clear that he can still carry the load as a bellcow running back.
2018 Week 5 vs NO (4 / 6 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had more yards receiving than rushing which is very rare. He only carried the ball four times and got injured in this game. The game script of being down double digits and a separated shoulder contributed to Adrian having a quiet night. He had a total of 6 touches before ultimately sitting out much of the second half. The running lanes were nonexistent but playing from behind most of the game didn't help getting in a groove running the ball.
2018 Week 6 vs CAR (17 / 97 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson ran hard and had positive gains the majority of this game. Because of favorable game script, Adrian was able to absorb seventeen carries. He also averaged 5.7 yards per carry which shows just how productive he was when his name was called. It was an impressive performance considering Adrian was playing with a injured shoulder. Adrian couldn't convert on a couple of carries inside the red zone or else he could have had an even bigger day. As long as the game is close Washington can use Adrian's running prowess so today he was busy. Washington's offense had issues staying on the field so Adrian's carries didn't reach 20+. He has a couple of carries that went over ten yards that showed he is still explosive when allowed to catch a rhythm.
2018 Week 7 vs DAL (24 / 99 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was the most productive member of Washington's offense in this game. Running the ball seemed to be their best option as Adrian was a yard shy of topping one hundred for the day. As the game remained close it kept him involved and he was given twenty-four carries. He often showed power and explosion as he ran hard for 4 yard average. It was an impressive day for Adrian as the lone bright spot for Washington's offense. As long Washington isn't in 'catch up mode' the Redskins can establish a healthy dose of AP.
2018 Week 8 vs NYG (26 / 149 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 1 rec)
Adrian Peterson enjoyed another friendly game script which allowed him to absorb a high volume of carries. The passing game was abysmal so Washington went run heavy as the game wore on. Adrian seemed to get stronger as the game went along showing the power and burst as he finished runs. He accounted for both touchdowns for the Washington offense in this game. His five yard touchdown pass in the first quarter got the offense off to a good start. Then in the fourth quarter he closed the game out with a sixty yard touchdown run. Averaging over five yards a carry in this game, Adrian was the lone bright spot on offense. Without his contributions the offense had no real production.
2018 Week 9 vs ATL (9 / 17 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a dismal day as he was completely held in check. He didn't even get ten carries in this game as the running game was neutralized. It was surprising to see Washington unsuccessful establishing the run game. The Falcons have been vulnerable to the run all year as they're missing several key starters upfront. The game script was relatively favorable to Adrian as Washington wasn't out of this game until the second half. He also hauled in three catches for a total of sixteen yards. Having three starting offensive linemen leave this game was also problematic to gaining rhythm in the ground game.
2018 Week 10 vs TB (19 / 68 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 1 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had virtually no running run versus Tampa Bay. He came into this game fighting an uphill battle as three of his starting offensive linemen were out. Tampa has a soft front defensive line but Washington wasn't able to take advantage. Adrian was given nineteen carries to go along with two receptions. However, as he thrives on big volume he wasn't able to convert his touches into big yardage. Adrian did manage to get one carry in the redzone but couldn't punch it into the endzone. The offense was completely out of sync with so many backups playing and ultimately effected Adrian as well.
2018 Week 11 vs HOU (16 / 51 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was the main source of offense for Washington versus the Texans. He only had fifty-one yards rushing but the two touchdowns are what count most. Adrian's vision and decisiveness at the line of scrimmage continues to be impressive for the Washington offense. He was able to make an explosive jump cut on his second touchdown showing off great improvising. The offensive line has plenty of injuries so Adrian's instincts as a runner are dearly needed. It was a rough day finding daylight but his redzone prowess was on full display.
2018 Week 12 vs DAL (12 / 35 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson came into this game with a shoulder injury and never really got going. He was also dinged up in this game but eventually came back to play. Adrian totaled twelve carries and sat for majority of the fourth quarter as Washington was in comeback mode. Injuries and inconsistency along the offensive line led to him averaging a meager three yards per carry. Washington's 'run first' offense has cooled off tremendously and it directly effects Adrian's production as well.
2018 Week 13 vs PHI (9 / 98 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a ninety yard touchdown in the second quarter. However, he ended the game with ninety-eight yards. The Washington offensive line was further decimated by injuries as they are now down to third string guards. In addition to the offensive line injuries the offense went completely off the rails with Mark Sanchez at quarterback.
2018 Week 14 vs NYG (10 / 16 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was a nonfactor in this game as Washington was down by thirty points in the first half. Washington inability to establish the run game due to the large deficit left Adrian without much of a role to remain a contributor. The offense was also a disaster with Mark Sanchez at the helm which didn't do Adrian any favors as well. He received ten carries but was held in check on less that two yards per carry.
2018 Week 15 vs JAX (19 / 51 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a more productive day versus the Jags as he gained fifty-one yards on the ground. Considering how limited the offense has become with a quarterback recently signed this was a solid showing. Adrian's best contribution came in the fourth quarter as he had a reception and a ten yard run to set up the game winning field goal. The run game could improve as team's seemingly have to prepare for a mobile quarterback in tandem with Adrian.
2018 Week 16 vs TEN (26 / 119 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had twenty-six carries in this game and became the centerpiece of the offense versus Tennessee. He found a rhythm within the rushing attack and went for one hundred and nineteen yards. The running game has been inconstant all year but when it clicks the Washington offense can present problems. Adrian helped dominate the time of possession battle. Their inability to convert third downs in the second half kept Adrian from having an even bigger day.
2018 Week 17 vs PHI (4 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Peterson was a non-factor for Washington in their season finale. Washington got down big in the second half and Peterson sparsely played to the tune of four total touches. Peterson's best run, an eight-yard jaunt, was called back by penalty as his lone splash play. Peterson is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and will once again be searching for an opportunity to extend his hall of fame career like in 2018.
2017 Week 1 vs MIN (6 / 18 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
This was not the homecoming that Peterson was looking for. The former star running back was only given 6 carries and targeted once in the redzone. Peterson was visibly heated on the sideline and could be seen yelling at head coach Sean Peyton. Peterson downplayed the situation in his interview after the game, but he appears to still be adjusting to his new life as a role player rather than feature back. You could also see Peterson totally baffled as to why they ran a bootleg and targeted him in the passing game from the 2-yard line rather than let him run it. The Saints could not commit to the run all night and the carry distribution was almost identical across all three running backs.
2017 Week 2 vs NE (8 / 26 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After the clear discord with Sean Peyton last week, Peterson vowed to make the best of the carries he did receive. However, Peterson was unable to get anything going just like the rest of the Saints backfield. Peterson tied Ingram with 8 rushes and aside from Ingram's 28-yard rush to close out the game had almost identical yards per rush line. The biggest knock on Peterson in this offense is that he does not catch the ball out of the backfield. Last week, Peterson drew at least one target but received none in the game against the Patriots. Peterson outpaced rookie Alvin Kamara but that is not going to make the veteran rusher happy over the course of the season.
2017 Week 3 vs CAR (9 / 33 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Despite the Saints showing more of a commitment to the run this week, Peterson did not play a big role in that today. The veteran running back was given 9 carries but was unable to do very much with them. The best thing that Peterson did was serve as a decoy on the play action touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman in the red zone. Another interesting thing to note is Peterson caught both of his targets out of the backfield today. This shows the Saints are more willing to try and use him within their own offensive scheme rather than change their overall game plan to meet his style. Peterson has remained quiet after his tumultuous first game and outburst with his head coach but the former star running back is clearly unhappy with his usage in New Orleans.
2017 Week 4 vs MIA (4 / 4 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Another week and another poor performance from Adrian Peterson. The Saints gave Peterson 4 carries on the day and the former Viking was unable to do anything with them. There was talk of Peterson having tweaked his knee during practice this week as he even sat out Thursday. However, Peterson said he was 'good to go' this week and it would not play into his performance. Peterson looks to be the odd man out in the backfield as Alvin Kamara has been more productive in every aspect of the game. Peterson does not fit the Saints system and New Orleans seems unwilling to alter what they are doing offensively to better utilize the back. Peterson's only value seems to be in short goal to go situations at this point and the Saints are not even using him there.
2017 Week 6 vs TB (26 / 134 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The trade that finally brought Adrian Peterson to the Cardinals has unearthed an array of emotions from fans. Many saw it as an act of desperation, nearly everyone re-lived one of the worst draft-day decisions in franchise history, but some believed it could be the spark that ignited a struggling team. After Sunday's explosive performance, the move looks significantly less desperate and every bit the jolt this offense needed. Peterson ran in vintage form, blending the power, grace, and speed few other running backs have ever possessed, providing the Cardinals run game with both a sense of stability and also big-play ability. Peterson picked up 54 yards on his first drive alone, capping it off with a 23-yard touchdown that sent an already excited crowd through the roof. Peterson did not see the field much on third downs, a function of both his sub-par ability in the passing game (as both a receiver and a blocker,) and his incomplete understanding of the playbook. The former will likely keep his role from growing substantially, but an improvement on the latter will help provide more flexibility within his touches. Regardless of what comes next for Peterson and the Cardinals, the trade appears to be a successful one out of the gates and allowed Cardinals fans a wistful walk down the road of 'what could have been.'
2017 Week 7 vs LAR (11 / 21 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
After an incredible debut last week against Tampa Bay, Peterson looked like another struggling Cardinals running back this week. The offensive line was overwhelmed most of the day and that clearly affected Peterson's performance. So too did the score, with the Cardinals trailing early and throughout, forcing an emphasis on the passing game. The Rams boast one of the better defensive lines in the NFL, so Peterson's matchups will likely improve going forward, but the loss of Palmer will all defenses to key in on the running game more than they had.
2017 Week 9 vs SF (37 / 159 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)
Arians lamented moving away from the run too early against the Rams, and with the injury to Carson Palmer, he sure sought to reverse course. Peterson was the bell-cow he had been so many times throughout his career, with nearly 40 carries and 160 yards. Whether the workload Sunday proves detrimental with such a quick turnaround for a Thursday night game remains to be seen, but it proved necessary in securing Sunday's victory. Peterson lacks some of the breakaway speed he once had, and could not find the end zone on Sunday, but his addition to the team has dramatically improved the run game in the absence of David Johnson.
2017 Week 10 vs SEA (21 / 29 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
Peterson fumbled away the team's opening possession and that set the ton for the offense all night. Coming off a career high 37 carries, there was not as much indication Peterson was worn out as the offensive line simply could not open any holes. Peterson's paltry 1.4 yards per carry shows just how little room the running back had. Peterson later failed to escape the end zone, a play resulting in a safety, but much of the blame there can be directed towards the punt team who opted to filed a punt at the two-yard line.
2017 Week 11 vs HOU (14 / 26 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
Peterson's box score statistics, dismal as they already appear, somehow seem worse with just a bit of context. Peterson's first two carries, both on the team's first drive, netted him 13 yards. It then took an additional 12 carries for him to gain that much again. Putting the onus on Peterson alone would obviously be unfair. The team's run blocking was less than stellar to put it kindly, abysmal to put it truthfully. At his age, Peterson is beyond the point of being able to overcome bad blocking, and Sunday was as good an indication of that as any.
2017 Week 12 vs JAX (20 / 79 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
Ever since the Cardinals acquired Peterson, it has been a very simple formula. As Peterson goes, the Cardinals go. Peterson's presence was felt early and often, not with big-chunk runs, but a consistent force moving the offense forward. The Jags came to Arizona with a much-vaunted defense, and specifically front four, but the Cardinals offensive line more than held its own. On top of limiting the hits on Gabbert, the Cardinals offensive line impressively worked double-team blocks to open lanes for Peterson all afternoon. Peterson's performance kept the offense moving, and continuously scoring, a key cog in Sunday's win.
2016 Week 1 vs TEN (19 / 31 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With Shaun Hill under center, the Tennessee Titans decided to stack the box and focus on Adrian Peterson. It started out badly with 20 yards in the first half and then went downhill from there. Along with the constant pressure in the box, the offensive line continued to struggle to open up running lanes for Peterson and he was swarmed on nearly every carry. After a while, Peterson seemed to start overthinking the plays and was slower to the hole than he normally is. He knew the lanes were closing swiftly and seemed to be stuck trying to think too far ahead as to what he would do when that occurred. With Sam Bradford under center next week--which it would be surprising if he wasn't--Peterson should see less stacked boxes but he needs to run with confidence and authority like we know he can.
2016 Week 2 vs GB (12 / 19 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Peterson had an awful game even before he was forced from it with a right knee injury in the third quarter. A Monday morning MRI revealed a torn meniscus, which one would imagine will keep Peterson out at least a week. That said, head coach Mike Zimmer wouldn't shut him down yet. As hard as it is to imagine him playing, Peterson is a physical freak. The question is, then, will he do more harm than good? Because as far as football goes, Peterson has not been effective. The offensive line is not opening holes for him and unlike in years past, Peterson has not been able to overcome that. He was struggling again on Sunday against a tough Green Bay defensive line. Even if he is healthy, he has underwhelmed so far.
2016 Week 15 vs IND (6 / 22 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Before the injury, Peterson looked terrible. Well, he came back and picked right up where he left off, struggling on the handful of carries he had before the Colts ran away and hid. Once Indianapolis blew the doors off the game, the Vikings mostly had Peterson on the sidelines so Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata could fill in. The result was Peterson on the field for just 12 snaps. "Unfortunately the game did not lay out the way we expected, so for me being in there it changed a little bit" Peterson said post-game (per a transcript provided by the Vikings PR department). "We had to drop back and start passing the ball a lot more. For me being out for a sufficient amount of time, it was obviously best for Jerick [McKinnon] and Matt [Asiata] to continue with the hurry up offense." Peterson also had a drive-killing fumble later in the game when the team was closing in on a potential score. "I remember pushing with my left arm, and as I went down the ball got loose. I don't know if someone hit it out, but it was a poor job by me with ball security." Peterson has had ball security issues in the past, and hopefully this was more rust than the beginning of a trend. That said, he doesn't appear to be able to create anything more than the rest of the backfield behind this offensive line.
2015 Week 1 vs SF (10 / 31 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
As was the case with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson clearly suffered because of poor play along the offensive line. He was frequently met at or behind the line of scrimmage by one or more defenders, and rarely seemed to be able to get up to full speed. Normally, this wouldn't slow Peterson down--certainly he has played behind bad offensive lines before--however, he is also dealing with a new offense, one focused on the quarterback not Peterson. That was certainly an issue according to Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune, who reported that Peterson didn't feel right taking handoffs in the shotgun formation. When things went smoothly, Peterson looked just as effective as he has in years past--those moments were just few and far between. Peterson had no carries in the fourth quarter.
2015 Week 2 vs DET (29 / 134 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 58 / 0 rec)
The first notable difference between this game and the Week 1 debacle against the San Francisco 49ers was how offensive coordinator Norv Turner and head coach Mike Zimmer moved away from having Adrian Peterson take handoffs in the shotgun. Last week that caused issues for Peterson, so they went back to the old way of doing things to get him into a rhythm during his first four carries. The result on those runs totaled 38 yards and got him warmed up, so when he took some carries out of the shotgun formation, he didn't lose momentum. He looked far more comfortable on those carries as well, though the Detroit Lions seemed to have an easier time getting through the offensive line and slowing Peterson down when the Vikings were in that formation. Overall, Peterson looked much closer to the player we expected than he did last week. He showed good vision, speed and strength in his runs and seemed much more comfortable than he did in Week 1. One of his best runs came with two minutes left in the first and Minnesota leading 7-0 and the offense on a 2nd-1 at Detroit's 42. The play called for Peterson to run up the middle, but it was instantaneously clear that there was no room there. Peterson immediately bounced out of the middle and ran off the right tackle, getting North-South as soon as possible to get the first. The run showed all the savvy and field awareness we've come to expect from him. Peterson also helped quarterback Teddy Bridgewater turn a disaster into a great play, though his poor block was part of the reason Bridgewater was almost sacked. On the play, Peterson held up defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker only briefly and the tackle quickly moved to take down Bridgewater. While trying not to fall, Bridgewater tossed a little underhand throw to Peterson who then took the ball 49 yards. The team has tried to get Peterson more involved in the pass game as a receiver, but he's going to have to improve his blocking or else the team will need a better blocker in there on passing downs. He's also got to protect the ball a little better as he had it knocked loose in the early third quarter. Luckily, the Lions were so inept on offense Sunday that they did nothing with the opportunity.
2015 Week 3 vs SD (20 / 126 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Peterson was everything his owners could have hoped for in this game. The Vikings used him heavily on early downs to keep the offense on schedule, he was running with great power, conviction, and downhill cuts, and Peterson generally kept the Chargers defense on their heels as the game went on. Peterson's piece de resistance in this game was a 40+ yard touchdown run that included a stiff arm, a broken tackle, a cut back against the grain from the sideline and the final kick to score. He also finished a drive in the first half with short score and was barely short of a third score in the second half. He seems to be the centerpiece of the offense and an elite RB1 going forward.
2015 Week 4 vs DEN (16 / 81 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 13 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson struggled for most of the game, until he broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run. The play was almost too easy, as the Broncos crowded the line with nine players on 4th and 1. Peterson ran through the '1' hole without being touched and was immediately in open space, as all the defenders were caught at the line. He swiftly blew past the safety and ran the rest of the way for a score. On the downside, Peterson continues to be hit or miss in pass protection, and on the last offensive play of the game it cost the Vikings. On the play, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropped back and was blindsided by Denver safety TJ Ward. There was some debate as to whether Peterson, who started the play in the backfield, should have picked up Ward. In the end, ESPN's Ben Goessling tweeted out that it was Peterson's responsibility. By letting Ward by without touching him, he allowed Bridgewater to get hammered, fumbling the ball and effectively sealing the loss. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner has wanted to keep Peterson on the field for passing downs, but if he cannot be counted on to block--especially behind a patchwork offensive line--then he cannot be on the field.
2015 Week 6 vs KC (26 / 60 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)
The Kansas City Chiefs decided it was Teddy Bridgewater or nobody who beat them Sunday and as that was the plan, they stacked the line to stop Adrian Peterson. The Chiefs lined up five men at the line of scrimmage on any play they suspected might involve Peterson, and usually had another two or three men in the box as well. On top of this, the offensive line struggled especially on the right side. So there were often defenders in the backfield as Bridgewater was handing Peterson the ball. All in all, it was a long day for Peterson, though he has adjusted and overcome such things before. For his own part, Peterson was satisfied that he could free things up for the passing game. "That's what it's all about," he said according to the team's PR department release. "Forcing the team to pick their poison. You're either going to stop the run or the pass, and they chose the run today. It opened it up for us in the passing game, and we were able to be productive and get some points on the board." As long as the Vikings can keep taking advantage of that, Peterson will continue to be a weapon.
2015 Week 7 vs DET (19 / 98 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)
The offensive line which gave the passing offense some issues caused problems for Adrian Peterson as well on Sunday. While his final stats were OK, the majority of the day saw him getting hammered at--or more often, behind--the line of scrimmage. Statistically, his day was saved by a 75-yard run in the third quarter, though you can argue that this was the result of the constant runs which wore the defense down. On the play, Peterson took the ball in the backfield and made the defensive end miss with a nice jump-cut. He then ran to the left sideline and accelerated along it. After making Lions safety Glover Quin miss, he was hauled down by Ziggy Ansah just short of the touchdown. Peterson also caught the ball and several times was lined up as a wide receiver.
2015 Week 8 vs CHI (20 / 103 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
A lot has been said in media and on Twitter about how Peterson doesn't look the same and isn't as good as he used to be. After three sub-100 yard efforts in a row with only one touchdown, perhaps that's understandable, though Kansas City is ranked 13 in DVOA against the run at Football Outsiders and Denver is, well Denver. Still if you were worried Peterson didn't have 'it' anymore, you might be graying your hair for no reason. Peterson looked as good as ever against an admittedly awful run defense, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, hitting the holes hard and slipping past defenders with ease. One of his better runs was a 12-yard effort in the second quarter. Peterson's prior two carries were for 9 yards and 11 yards, and the offense was lined up with a fullback and Peterson in the backfield, so it was fairly obvious this was going to be a run play. The Bears rushed four and then brought the outside linebackers on a delayed rush to contain the outside. Peterson got the ball and made one defender who had gotten into the backfield already, miss. He then broke right to the outside edge, only to see the linebacker and corner lurking. Stopping and changing direction on a dime, Peterson cut back inside as he made another defender miss then accelerated through the hole there. Peterson made another player miss with a nice cut, then got a few more yards before he was brought down. It was a classic Peterson play--it showed speed, vision and quickness and resulted in a large gain. No matter how many defenders the Bears brought into the box, Peterson pushed them back and he only had one negative yards carry (a loss of two in the second quarter) all day. Peterson did most of his damage in the second quarter where he ran for an average of 7.1 yards per carry, though he also broke off a nice 9-yard run just before the Vikings kicked a game winning field goal in the fourth quarter.
2015 Week 9 vs LA (29 / 125 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
It was a record-setting kind of day for Adrian Peterson as as this was the 100th game he has led the team in rushing yards, became only the sixth player to have 90 rushing touchdowns in his first nine NFL seasons and moves into ninth place All-Time for most 100 yard rushing games in the first nine NFL seasons as well with 46 (all per Vikings PR/Game Notes). The Vikings took an interesting approach on Sunday, one which they haven't really tried before. Rather than pound with Peterson early, wearing the defense down and hopefully opening passing lanes for the offense, they threw the ball often early on in an effort to take advantage of the stacked fronts Peterson tends to face. The idea was to 'throw the lanes open' and force the defense to respect the pass in order to help Peterson get more room to run. For the most part, it worked and Peterson was able to gain yards at an average of 4.3 yards a carry. His touchdown was very straightforward, as Peterson took the ball deep in the backfield and ran to the edge on the right side of the line. The offensive line did a nice job of blocking for him and he was easily able to zip into the end zone untouched. Peterson ended up basically having his way against a defensive front missing Robert Quinn, Chris Long and TJ McDonald. While he would have likely still had a solid day, the lack of those playmakers made his life a lot easier, especially down the stretch. When Teddy Bridgewater left the game with a concussion, the Rams once again tried to stack the box against Peterson, but he put the offense on his back and kept the chains moving.
2015 Week 10 vs OAK (26 / 203 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Even at age 30, Adrian Peterson is relentless, highly motivated and plays with a chip (maybe a whole 2 by 4) on his shoulder. Peterson was the main weapon in this offense, especially as the Raiders worked were able to shut down the receivers and limit where Teddy Bridgewater could throw. Peterson continues to show tremendous speed, a first-rate jump-cut and the ability to see the seams in a defensive front which allows him to break free and gain yards regardless of how many guys are in the "box." Once the Vikings decided to grind the clock down with Peterson, the Raiders focused on stepping up the safeties to play the run and stack the front line with as many defenders as they could. The problem with that is, if a running back like Peterson gets behind that front seven, it's a disaster. That's exactly what happened with 1:50 left in the game with the Vikings trying to kill the clock, up 23-14. On the play, the Raiders had seven men in the "box," with a safety just a shade back from the front, but who stepped up immediately when he saw Peterson with the ball. The result was nine players at the line of scrimmage after the snap, with one cornerback on a receiver and another playing contain on the opposite side. Peterson took the snap and went off the right tackle, moving too quickly for the corner to react and leaving him grasping at air. Once Peterson was past that guy, it was over--there was nobody left to even come close to tackling him and he was gone for an 80-yard touchdown.
2015 Week 11 vs GB (13 / 45 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
The solution to the offensive line woes the last few weeks has been to feed the all to Adrian Peterson, but that didn't quite go to plan this weekend. At first, Peterson looked like he had the Packers' number, with runs like the one he bounced outside late in the first quarter, where he looked as quick and nimble as he ever has. However, the Green Bay defensive line started imposing their will upon the offensive line of the Vikings, and Peterson started to see a lot of traffic in the backfield before he could react or find his hole. Peterson did have a nice touchdown in the late third quarter as he took the ball off-tackle, jukes the linebacker and dragged another defender into the end zone. The problem became, the Packers took a huge lead and Peterson just stopped being effective because of the offensive line issues, so Peterson didn't see much work after the half.
2015 Week 12 vs ATL (29 / 158 / 2 rush, 4 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)
Even the No. 1 rushing defense could only contain Peterson for so long, as he wore them down over the course of his 29 carries. After averaging 4 yards a carry in the first half his average jumped to 6.47 as he wore the Falcons down. Throughout the game, Peterson showed his usual burst, overall speed and vision, coupled with a sharp jump cut and great instincts. He repeatedly found ways to gain yards where there seemed to be none, and most impressive is his ability to "get skinny" and fit through tight holes at the line. While Peterson bulled his way to a touchdown early in the game, it was his 35-yard touchdown with really broke the Falcons' back. On the play, Peterson took a pitch and took the ball left towards the edge of the offensive line. Peterson then planted his foot and headed upfield. He was so quick he blew past a defender who appeared to have a perfect angle, then cut to the sideline and accelerated for an easy score. It was his final carry of the day and a perfect way to cap off a win. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Peterson because the sixth player NFL history with 30 games of 125 or more rushing yards.
2015 Week 13 vs SEA (8 / 18 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 6 / 0 rec)
The Seattle Seahawks came ready to shut Adrian Peterson down, and they did just that, hitting him at or behind the line of scrimmage constantly and swarming him to bring him down and limit his ability to gain yards. Peterson was more effective receiving as he could get the ball in space and gain some extra yards. For the most part though, he was stymied. He also spent much of the game on the sidelines as the Vikings fell behind early and had to throw the ball. After the game, Peterson was asked if it was just a bad day. "I felt like we were out of sync," he responded per the Vikings PR release and game notes. "Definitely give credit to Seattle; they did a good job of coming in and forcing us to do things differently. They were just the better team. They were more aggressive, more physical, and they outcoached us as well." Peterson, not comfortable out of the pistol or shotgun, was often on the sidelines when those formations were called for. That didn't sit well with Peterson. "I felt like, as one of the leaders on the team, and seeing how the running game has been all season, you definitely want to be able to go out and establish the run and then let things feed off of that. I finished with eight carries, and it's tough. I feel like we need to sit back and evaluate some things again and get back to where we need to be."
2015 Week 14 vs ARI (23 / 69 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 17 / 0 rec)
During the opening drive, Peterson ran hard and angry, averaging 9.5 yards a carry and capping it off with a touchdown and including a fantastic 21-yard run through the "2" hole which featured a pair of very nifty jump cuts. Peterson then showed great vision and a few nice moves to avoid or break tackles on his 9-yard touchdown run. After that though, Peterson was held up more often than not at the line of scrimmage and he gained just 31 yards on 19 carries with a 1.6 yards per carry average. He still broke a few 6 or 7 yard runs where he showed his ability to get skinny through a tight hole or catch the edge off tackle, but the Cardinals stacked the box on too many downs and hit him at or behind the line of scrimmage, which limited his overall impact for the second game in a row.
2015 Week 15 vs CHI (18 / 63 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
It was a pretty pedestrian day for Peterson, though part of that was due to a sprained ankle which reportedly isn't serious but certainly hampered him after he had it injured in the second quarter. He is expected to play against the Giants on Sunday. In his carries on this Sunday, Peterson started off very effectively, ripping off some 6 and 9 yard runs, but more and more often the Bears met him at the line of scrimmage and stopped him there if not behind it. Peterson was also not used in the pass game Sunday, with Matt Asiata and Jerrick McKinnon filling in.
2015 Week 16 vs NYG (22 / 104 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)
Peterson didn't look like someone who was hampered by an ankle injury in practice last week as he had success behind an offensive line which did better than usual in clearing lanes for him. He showed off his tremendous jump-cut more than once, and continues to look fast when he gets into the open field. On his touchdown he showed good power and determination, bashing his way to the one and extending the ball for the score. Overall, Peterson looks ready for the playoffs and the expected drop off at the age of thirty seems to have been held off for a year.
2015 Week 17 vs GB (19 / 67 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Aside from a lower-back pain which forced him from the game for most of the fourth quarter, Peterson had an OK game. The offensive line gives him little help, but that hasn't slowed him down all that much even if it often hampers his overall yards per carry. He still manages to make a first down or a big play when the team needs it. Peterson showed his vision and agility on a 10-yard carry in the third quarter where he took the handoff, got skinny and slipped through the hole and quickly got to the second level. He then used a jump cut to avoid another defender, then turned upfield again before being brought down for a first. Peterson also showed tremendous determination on his 3-yard touchdown run. He was held up at the one yard line but kept pushing and bulled his way and kept his legs pumping to the goal line. Peterson will be a huge factor going up against Seattle next week and is going to need some help--either with a pass game to loosen the defense up or better blocking up front- against the front seven of Seattle.
2014 Week 1 vs STL (21 / 75 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
he most notable part of Adrian Peterson's game were the three targets (two of which he caught for 18 yards) he received in the passing game. It's way too early to tell, but it could be worth tracking how frequently he is targeted in the first month, as offensive coordinator Norv Turner has said he wanted to get Peterson more involved in the passing game. The St. Louis Rams very clearly focused mostly on jamming up Peterson, and as a result he had a less-than-exceptional day. He still sees enough seven and eight men fronts to slow him down on occasion and until Matt Cassel and the rest of the offense get going, he will continue to. That said, Peterson did fine against one of the best--of not the best--defensive line in the league. Peterson broke off several long runs despite the stacked fronts. The longest one, a 17-yard run in the middle of the first quarter--came against a seven man front. On the play, Peterson was solo in the backfield, took the handoff from quarterback Matt Cassel and cut to the right side, where he could get behind the center and right guard, who had pulled outside past a pair of blocking tight ends. The blockers sealed off his running lane and cleared the way for him to get to the second level where he turned on some speed. Peterson dodged a couple of tackles before finally being brought down. While his totals weren't what we like to see from him (last time he was in St. Louis he dropped 212 yards on the ground) he looks good and his production should only go up from here, especially if the passing offense stretches the field more.
2013 Week 1 vs DET (18 / 93 / 2 rush, 4 / 4 / 18 / 1 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a very deceptive game. Statistically you can't complain about a 93 yard, two touchdown game. However for most of the day he had very little success gaining traction against a tough Detroit Lions defensive line. Naturally his first carry was a 78 yard touchdown run. The offensive line gave him a huge hole, which he hit fast, then he made one jump cut, dodged some trash at the second level and showed off his speed as he ran for the score. After that, though, Peterson found himself hit and taken down behind the line of scrimmage too often. When he gets a head of steam, it's hard to take him down, but if you hit him right after he gets the ball, you have a chance. He second touchdown at 12:22 in the second quarter showed that. Peterson did a great job there as well bouncing the ball outside when he found his lanes clogged. But he also had momentum and while several Lions got a hand on him, they couldn't take him down. Peterson also had some nice catches, scoring on a shovel pass and shedding a tackle on his way to a touchdown. Overall it was a tough day for Peterson as the Lions' defensive line did an outstanding job,something Peterson himself praised them for.The fullback had one catch, a little dump off down the middle. Otherwise Line was in just as a blocker in replacement for the suspended Jerome Felton.
2013 Week 2 vs CHI (26 / 100 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
While the offensive line struggled to open lanes again for parts of the game, Adrian Peterson looked much better this week. After the very first carry which saw the line act like a sieve and allow multiple defenders in the backfield to tackle Peterson for a loss, the next four carries for Peterson resulted in positive yards and he didn't lose any yards the rest of the quarter. The second quarter was where Peterson really found his groove with two runs for eight yards and one 36 yard run. On the long run, the defense bit and over-pursued into the backfield while Peterson found a huge hole and quickly got to the second level. At that point he is very hard to bring down, as evidenced by the three defenders who failed as he ran by them. Along with two blockers, Peterson got to the sideline but was knocked out of bounds shortly thereafter. The low point for Peterson's day came on a third quarter fumble. The Vikings had first-and-ten, and Peterson took the ball into the "Two hole" (between the center and right guard) where he was immediately engulfed by defensive tackle Nate Collins who stripped the ball. It's not all that common to see Peterson cough the ball up and luckily, it didn't result in any points as the Bears offense stalled on its own drive. Despite this, Peterson came back later and continued to run hard and gain positive yards on nearly all the rest of his carries. There were a few times when Peterson found everything clogged up because the offensive line was overwhelmed (as when he was tackled for a 13 yard loss in the fourth quarter) but more often than not he was able to overcome the issue. Peterson has had a so-so start to his season and one wonders if he's missing the suspended Jerome Felton cleaning up the line's messes.
2013 Week 3 vs CLE (25 / 88 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 27 / 0 rec)
In the first half, Adrian Peterson looked a lot more like the 2012 Peterson than what we've seen this year. He was getting good blocking for the most part, only having to dodge tacklers in the backfield a few times. One run where he did have some defenders in his space early turned into a display of how hard it can be to take "All Day" down. The handoff was a delay and the Peterson was past the oncoming defensive line before they could react. He then slipped by a trailing linebacker at about the line of scrimmage, ducked underneath another defender's outstretched arms and then dragged the last two defenders across the first down line. In the first half, Peterson ran the ball 14 times and only had one negative yardage play and one no gain. Then, on an early carry of the second half, Peterson took the ball up the middle and had it stripped by linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Peterson didn't look like he was holding the ball particularly loosely but Jackson just hit him directly on the ball and out it popped. That is the second fumble in as many games for Peterson, who struggled to hold onto the ball several years back. Peterson bounced back though and showed some really nice moves on a five yard gain later in the fourth quarter. On the play, Peterson took the ball off the left tackle and quickly found the lane jammed. He then dodged a tackler and cut all the way outside, only to discover nowhere to go there either. While the run only netted five yards, Peterson pulled that five out of thin air, as he does so often. He still seems to miss the blocking of Jerome Felton, who sprung him for some of his longest runs in 2012. One more block here or there seems to often be the difference between a small and a big gain. Felton returns next week.
2013 Week 4 vs PIT (23 / 140 / 2 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Over the first three weeks of the season we've noticed two things about Adrian Peterson. First, he was very involved in the pass game. Eleven catches over three weeks is a pretty good start to the season and we wanted to see if that trend would continue, especially with a new quarterback in Matt Cassel. Secondly, his average yards per carry was down to just over 4 yards per carry from 6 yards per carry last season. The offensive line play was definitely an issue, but we also wondered how much he might have missed fullback Jerome Felton, who had served a three game suspension for violating the NFL drug policy. With those two questions in mind, Sunday's game in London was an interesting shift for Peterson. He was targeted just once in the passing game, though he did contribute several nice blocks while Cassel waited for his receivers to get open. Cassel was looking downfield a lot and looking to stretch the field much more than Christian Ponder had been. We'll have to see if that was by design or choice, but it's safe to say that Peterson may see a lot less passes going forward. As for missing Felton, Peterson has said in the past he prefers to line up solo in the backfield but the first two carries Peterson had in this game had Felton lined up as a lead blocker. Those both went for four yards each, while the first solo carry only went for two. On that play the line simply didn't open up the gap for Peterson. While the previous two plays were, for the most part, better blocked by the offensive line, Felton picked up an extra defender in both cases and it made a big difference. That wasn't always the case because at times the offensive line just couldn't hold up. Case in point a second and ten play late in the first where Felton picked up his block, but the middle of the line let two players through. Peterson had to shift away from the hole Felton opened up and was caught just past the line of scrimmage. Felton also threw a key block on Peterson's 60 yard touchdown run, though most of the run facilitated by Peterson's ridiculous running ability. The play took place early in the second quarter on a first and ten at the Vikings' 40 yard line with Peterson deep in the backfield and Felton and receiver Joe Webb on the right side of the line, just behind the tackle and guard. Right tackle Phil Loadholt did an excellent job sealing off his man while Webb and Jerome Felton cleared their guy out the other way. This opened a huge gap at the six hole, which Peterson was through in an instant. He hopped over a diving defender, stiff armed a linebacker and was at the second level where there was nobody to stop him. After that it was a footrace nobody but Peterson was winning. Felton threw another key block on Peterson's second touchdown, a seven yard run which saw Peterson gash through the defensive line. On the play, linebacker Jarvis Jones got into the backfield quickly but was picked up and knocked down by Felton. Peterson ran right by then into a massive hole on the right side of the line and crossed the goal line untouched. The difference between having Felton on the field and not having him was pretty clear. The Vikings ran the ball 18 times with the fullback in front of Peterson and averaged 7.64 yards per carry for 130 of his 140 yards. On the five carries without Felton (one of which had John Carlson unsuccessfully blocking instead) Peterson averaged just 1.66. While the numbers skew heavily due to the total of carries which Felton led on, it was very clear all game that having him in there means fabulous things for Peterson the rest of the year.
2013 Week 6 vs CAR (10 / 62 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
In what must have been the most difficult game of Adrian Peterson's career, Peterson found himself hit early and often behind the line of scrimmage. The key to the Vikings getting a big day out of their stud running back is to clear the trash off the line and allow him to hit the second level at full speed and when they did that--such as on one 11 yard run early in the second quarter--he can break off big chunks of yardage. On that play, the line did an adequate job of opening up a small lane for Peterson, who slipped through and accelerated into the open field. Unfortunately, rookie Cordarelle Patterson picks the wrong defender to block, heading upfield and leaving Peterson to deal with cornerback Josh Thomas. Peterson had to slow down to try and cut around Thomas, which allowed the corner to break down and hit him, as well as the rest of the defense to catch up. Overall the Vikings didn't lean on Peterson since they fell behind so completely, though they did use him as a receiver several times and he added yards that way. The Carolina Panthers continue to be one of only five teams (the others being Washington, New Orleans, San Francisco and Dallas) against whom Peterson has never had a game where he rushed for 100 yards.
2013 Week 7 vs NYG (13 / 28 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)
When you have, arguably, the best running back in the NFL and a brand new quarterback only sort of familiar with your playbook, the smart thing would be to run the ball a lot. The Vikings were not smart. Adrian Peterson saw his second lowest carries in a game this year--it's the second week in a row where Peterson has seen less than 15 carries. That's a disturbing trend, though at least you could say the game in Carolina was a lost cause by the midpoint of the third quarter. No such excuse here, as the Vikings were in the game for at least three quarters. Peterson did struggle against a stacked front which got surprising amounts of penetration into the backfield, hitting him often right after he received the ball. Even his normally stout lead blocker, Jerome Felton, had trouble clearing the way. When Peterson did find a hole, he was often one leg tackle away from breaking a long run, but that never came because he had so few chances. Yes, the lack of holes were a problem, but he's already overcome that this season. And sure, the stacked fronts are tough to run on but he's seen those for his whole career and was wildly successful against it last year. But in 2013 the Vikings have run the ball just 138 times including quarterback runs--that's 29th in the NFL. Peterson is a back who gets better as the game progresses, breaks off his big runs after he's carried the ball 15-20 times. Which brings us back to the burning question going forward--if you're not running your all-world back when you have a quarterback desperately in need of a run game, when will you?
2013 Week 8 vs GB (13 / 60 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson did a lot of dodging and cutting in his backfield as the Vikings offensive line struggled to open holes for him, especially early in the game. The truly baffling things about the Vikings' use of Peterson right now are 1) why not run him more? And 2) why is fullback Jerome Felton only on the field for 10 snaps? The first has been an issue for weeks as the Vikings chose to throw the ball 50+ times with Josh Freeman. With Ponder back in the fold, it was almost more of a matter of the defense not getting off the field and limiting offensive opportunities. The Packers had the ball for 40 minutes while the Vikings had it just under 20. Still, when you struggle at quarterback, why not focus on running the ball? It worked last year despite stacked fronts. Which leads into question No. 2: where is Felton? Felton was a terrific help for Adrian Peterson last season and he got paid for it too. So why is he on the field for so few snaps? Especially with a struggling offensive line? Felton was instrumental in Peterson's longest run of 17 yards. On the play, Peterson took the ball off-tackle to the right, with Felton leading the way by sealing off the oncoming defenders in the "A" gap. He then cut up to the second level to seal off two more defenders to spring Peterson for another seven yards. This isn't to say Peterson is incapable of running for yardage on his own. He can, as evidenced by his eight yard touchdown run. On that play, Peterson lined up solo in the backfield and Ponder handed it off to him immediately. Peterson bounced to the right out of the "B" gap and then got very low, submarining one tackler and then stretching for the touchdown. The truth is, though, that it would be much smoother sailing for Peterson if Felton was on the field more. For some reason, that's just not happening and it seems to show in the overall stats Peterson is accumulating.
2013 Week 9 vs DAL (25 / 140 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 37 / 0 rec)
Unlike the last few weeks, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line did a great job early of opening up holes for their lead running back. While Adrian Peterson is the type of back who can break tackles even in the backfield, that's not optimal. Peterson did his own heavy lifting at times of course--on one play near the end of the first quarter, Peterson got to the line of scrimmage and found nothing but clogged running lanes. So he simply bounced outside, turned upfield and gained four yards where many running backs would have grabbed one or two at most. Sometimes though, even when the line does its job, Peterson has to will himself a few more yards anyway. His 11-yard touchdown near the end of the fourth quarter was one of those moments. On the play, Jerome Felton cleaned out the running lane the offensive line had opened up and Peterson blew through the gap at full speed. Dallas strong safety Jeff Heath met him at the five--the only Cowboy between AD and the end zone. He did what few have done before--hit Peterson hard enough that the running back nearly stopped. He then briefly lifted Peterson off the ground, though Peterson kept moving forward somehow. By the time Peterson's feet hit the turf, two more defenders had joined the tackle, but Peterson would still not go down. He kept his legs churning and broke two of the tackles, stretching for the end zone as tight end Chase Ford appeared to be pushing him along. Peterson dragging three defenders and Ford, crossed the end zone and put the Vikings in the lead. While the lead didn't stand up, Peterson once again showed why he is one of the most dominant backs in the NFL.
2013 Week 10 vs WAS (20 / 75 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
The Vikings finally gave Adrian Peterson his full load of carries against Washington and while he didn't crack 100-yards, he still put together a great performance. He was helped by consistent blocking up front, which just makes his job a whole lot easier. The key to Peterson is to get him to the second level where he is very difficult to stop. On his 18-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, he was sprung by a key block by center John Sullivan. Sullivan snapped the ball, then fired out to engage the defender in front of him. However, he didn't just hold that block, but passed the defender off to right guard Brandon Fusco and then steps up to engage Washington linebacker Perry Riley. Meanwhile, left tackle Matt Kalil and left guard Joe Berger do a fantastic job of sealing off the incoming defenders on the left side. The result is a clear run lane for Peterson to get him to the second level where he turns the run outside, floors the accelerator, sidesteps a tackler and scores his eight touchdown of the season. The interesting thing about the blocking on Thursday was the absence of fullback Jerome Felton. Felton was key in Peterson's huge 2012, but has largely been reduced to only occasionally being on the field for Peterson's runs. This week, that didn't seem to make a difference and most of Peterson's longer runs didn't have him involved. There were still times when Peterson needed to make something out of nothing, where he was hopping around tacklers in the backfield. Still, this was one of the better blocked games by the offensive line and while Peterson didn't have the yards we generally expect, it was one of the better games he has had this season.
2013 Week 11 vs SEA (21 / 65 / 0 rush, 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
This was about the worst game you will see from Adrian Peterson, though he didn't practice last Thursday or Friday and complained after the game that his groin was bothering him. As always, he faced stacked fronts of eight players very frequently, and as has been the case frequently this season, his offensive line wasn't very good. Early on, Peterson was hit behind the line of scrimmage very frequently, and even when he got outside--as he did on his second carry of the game--there always seemed to be a Seahawk defender there to stop him. This might be where the groin injury he mentioned comes into play as he might have had a better chance to gain some more yards if he wasn't in pain. "There were a couple plays in the first half, oh man, I knew if I was able to explode the way I normally do I could have gotten some big chunks, even taken it to the house," he told the Pioneer Press. Near the end of the game, Peterson hit the bench, more than likely so that his injury won't worsen. Indications are he will play against Green Bay, but we won't know until much later in the week.
2013 Week 12 vs GB (32 / 146 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
More often than not, when Adrian Peterson goes up against the Green Bay Packers, he has a solid day. That was certainly the case on Sunday as he was able gash the Packers defense early and often throughout the day. This was a day when the Vikings offensive line was on point blocking for him as well and it all started off on the right foot with an 11-yard gain on Peterson's very first carry. On the play, the line opened up some space for Peterson along the right side, and the running back quickly hit the hole. He slipped a tackler but was brought down a few yards later by a trio of Packers. Even more impressive was a 22-yard carry in the second quarter. On the play, Peterson found no room at the line of scrimmage and decided to shuffle-step to his right, stretching the play to the outside. He broke one tackle and then hit the sideline and accelerated. The Packers secondary had a good angle on him and he slowed down again to make one miss, but was eventually overwhelmed. The run showed that while he may be dealing with a groin injury, his vision, strength and overall talent remain unaffected.
2013 Week 13 vs CHI (35 / 211 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Chicago Bears had very little luck containing Adrian Peterson on Sunday, even when they stacked the box or hit him in the backfield. Peterson ran hard Sunday, often gaining yards after contact at or behind the line of scrimmage and being his usual difficult-to-tackle-self. While a lot of Peterson's yards came in four or six yard dribs and drabs, he broke multiple longer runs, the biggest being a 23-yard run in the first quarter. On the play, the Bears stacked nine men in the box--a pretty standard tactic for stopping running backs. The problem is, if you let Peterson get outside--as they did on this run--there aren't many players to contain him. With a great block by left tackle Matt Kalil and a second by tight end Johns Carlson, Peterson got out to the left side of the line and the only thing stopping the run from being truly devastating is a well-timed tackle by safety Chris Conte. Throughout the day, Peterson kept hammering at the Bears defense, wearing them down bit by bit and moving the chains, making it a little easier for Matt Cassel (who replaced starter Christian Ponder at the half) to throw the ball and bring the Vikings back from a 10-point deficit.
2013 Week 14 vs BAL (7 / 13 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Peterson was forced from the game in the early second quarter when he was tackled after a catch just out of bounds. It appeared as though his right was turned and then landed on by Baltimore linebacker Arthur Brown. Reports as of Monday were that X-Rays were negative, but an MRI was also scheduled and as of Monday afternoon, he was still being examined. Peterson got to run in a lot of snow early on, when it was coming down heaviest and he had a hard time getting going before his injury.
2013 Week 16 vs CIN (11 / 45 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
While he had some success against the sixth best run defense in the NFL, he was clearly still battling the foot and groin injuries which have hampered him at times the last few weeks. He only saw one carry in the second half before the team pulled him when the game was completely out of hand. It wouldn't be a shock to see Peterson in street clothes come next Sunday. With Peterson out, the Vikings barely ran the ball for the rest of the game.
2012 Week 1 vs JAX (17 / 84 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Remember all that worrying about Peterson coming back too soon, much less at all? Yeah, you can bury those. While Peterson isn't quote 100%, his 80% is better than most backs' 100%. There was no hesitation to his game, he ran decisive, cut well and literally jumped over defenders for the touchdown. We watched him make some very quick and abrupt cuts which seemed to hold no ill effect for him. He also carried the full load for the team and as of Monday was not dealing with any swelling or issues with the knee.
2012 Week 2 vs IND (16 / 60 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)
Peterson didn't have as good a week as he did against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but still looked pretty good running the ball. The Colts were determined to stop Peterson up though and make Christian Ponder beat them, both of which were goals they achieved. While the output was disappointing, Peterson will have more good games than bad and will have to be relied upon against San Francisco next week if the Vikings have any hope of winning.
2012 Week 3 vs SF (25 / 86 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
The running game for Minnesota was consistently positive. Rarely was Peterson hit in the backfield, and though his final line of 86 yards and no touchdowns on 25 attempts isn't staggering by any means, his ability to get 3 or 4 yards on every carry against a swarming San Francisco run defense allowed the passing game to stay in rhythm. The blocking of the offensive line was average to good throughout the day, but even when holes opened the 49ers were able to fill them. That didn't deter Peterson, who displayed both the power and cutback ability that made him such a dangerous running back before his injury. Peterson was also a valuable checkdown target on two separate plays, resulting in 2 receptions for 21 yards and 2 first downs. When the Vikings were near the goal line he was fed the ball numerous times, but with the 49ers keying on him Peterson wasn't able to find the end zone. However, that presence did allow Ponder to execute play action twice in the red zone for touchdowns. His one mistake on the day was a fumble while trying to extend for the first down. Peterson extended the ball and allowed Justin Smith to tear it from his hand. Luckily for Peterson, Harvin was quick enough to recover.
2012 Week 4 vs DET (21 / 102 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
If you were still waiting for an official proclamation, here it is: Peterson is officially 'back'. He looked every bit the player he has in the past, showing some wonderful burst and explosion through the hole, fantastic strength and determination as well as the vision and instincts which were evident from week one. Peterson did a great job of getting yards even when he was hit early. To date, Peterson had been averaging 2.4 yards after contact. On Sunday, his average jumped up to 3.76. Part of that was fantastic blocking by the line, but a lot of it was Peterson who showed very strong legs fighting for yards. As the day wore on, the Lions looked more and more gassed, as the San Francisco 49ers did last week when they got the full dose of Adrian Peterson. The Vikings came to play a physical game the second week in a row and the key was once again an onslaught of Peterson wearing the defense down. One of his best runs came in the second quarter where he showed tremendous burst to get through the hole, slipped two tackles and then outraced a defender to the edge. If he had been able to make one more move, he would have been gone, but ran out of room along the sideline.
2012 Week 5 vs TEN (17 / 88 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
Peterson reportedly tweaked his ankle early in the contest against the Titans although you wouldn't know it by watching him. He ran with power all day after a slow start and totaled 103 yards. Peterson did lose a goal-line carry to Percy Harvin but otherwise was the model of production against the porous Tennessee offense. His best carry came on a 34 yard run that saw him bounce outside to the right and accelerate through the flat-footed Tennessee linebacker corps before being taken down 34 yards later. Peterson looks very quick getting to the line after receiving the ball and his surgically repaired knee continues to show no ill-effects on inside runs. He also appears to be doling out punishment to defenders regularly by lowering his shoulder and powering forward for extra yards on most of his carries. Peterson also had three short catches on designed screens.
2012 Week 6 vs WAS (17 / 79 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 50 / 0 rec)
We keep thinking we've seen everything we can from Peterson, and then he shows us another wrinkle we weren't looking for. Sunday's word was 'elusive' as several times Peterson avoided tackles for a loss or no gain and turned them into positive yards. His second carry--a 32 yard run--was an amazing example of this. Peterson took the handoff from quarterback Christian Ponder and went to a gap on the left side of the line. However, the hole was quickly plugged and it appeared Peterson was going to be stopped for one or two yards at most. Suddenly, Peterson emerged from the pile, still on his feet. It was like he teleported to the spot--one second he's not there, the next he is. Peterson then headed for the sideline, broke a tackle and galloped for 32 yards. He might have gone further but he out-ran his blockers by a fair margin. On the very next play, Peterson showed great balance and agility as he took the ball up the gut, then bounced it to his right when there was nothing there. He shed a tackle, used his left hand to stay standing and fought his way to a five yard gain. Peterson was also targeted frequently in the passing game to great effect. On the down side, Peterson is not scoring touchdowns, but it's not his fault. For some reason, even when Peterson is crushing a team (as he was on that first drive), offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave overthinks things and you get too many passes into too much coverage. Physically, Adrian Peterson is fine. Schematically, we might need to be worried.
2012 Week 7 vs ARI (23 / 153 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
The entirety of the Minnesota offense lay on the back of Adrian Peterson. With a passing game that was sputtering and making mistakes, Minnesota needed Peterson to contribute heavily. Against a very good defense, Peterson did just that. His cutback ability was incredible, his combination of both speed and power was awe-inspiring, and by the end of the game he looked far and away like the best running back in the league. He was able to make long runs with defenders hanging on his back. He was able to hit a pile 3 yards from the line of scrimmage and move the entire pile 12 yards from the line of scrimmage. His touchdown was a full display of his lateral agility, as he cut left and right at full speed and wrong-footed defenders, barreling through two defender and stretch in to the end zone. On a safety blitz, the offensive line was able to crack a hole and Peterson burst through, running in the open space vacated by the safety and broke a tackle to finish with a 21 yard gain. By the fourth quarter, Minnesota completely leaned on the running back to finish the game, and Peterson showed the same strength and speed at the end of the game as he did in the beginning. If one had to nitpick something, it would be his inability to generate much yardage on his catches, as Arizona was able to swarm him after the catch. He also had a bad drop at the beginning, but that doesn't really diminish how great Peterson was with the ball in his hands.
2012 Week 8 vs TB (15 / 123 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
This may have been Peterson's most impressive game of the season. The offensive line paved the way for his elite lateral explosion to shine against second-level defenders. His day was only limited by the game situation with Minnesota falling behind in the first half. Peterson did fumble in Minnesota territory at a time when it was a one-possession game in the second quarter. He was fighting for additional yardage at the second-level and was hit while the ball was away from his body. It was rare chink in the armor of one of the best running backs in the league. In the passing game, Peterson was rarely involved. One notable play came in pass protection. In a simple read of an outside linebacker blitz, the defender worked past Peterson easily, hitting Ponder just as he released the pass. Peterson did not see any red zone opportunities in the game. It was fortunate for fantasy owners that he broke a long touchdown run, as over the past three seasons, 24 of his 28 rushing touchdowns have come from inside the 20-yard-line.
2012 Week 9 vs SEA (17 / 182 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
The combination of strength and speed that Adrian Peterson possesses is staggering. On the second play of the game, Peterson was bounced outside and met Alan Branch in the backfield. Peterson stiff-armed Branch, shed another tackler, turned the corner and ran down the sideline, but right as a defender was about to meet Peterson head on, Peterson made an incredible cut back inside that left the defender tackling his own teammate and Peterson in a footrace to the end zone. He was tackled on the 1 yard line by Brandon Browner, but two plays later Peterson got the goal line carry and drove right through Red Bryant's gut for a touchdown. Peterson's strength and ability to always keep his legs moving ensured that the running back rarely had a negative play. On Peterson's second touchdown, he was met at the 2 yard line by a group of tacklers. With his legs constantly churning, Peterson forced his way through and twisted forward to push the ball across the goal line. In addition to strength, Peterson had the speed and acceleration to burst through any gaps and rip off long gain after long gain when the Minnesota offensive line was able to open up holes. On one play, the offensive line created a gap right in the middle and Peterson burst through to get to the secondary, where a safety attempted a tackle and Peterson spun right off the lowered shoulder to pick up even more yards. Peterson's speed, strength, and cutting ability often left Seattle defenders overwhelmed and unable to stop the running game.
2012 Week 10 vs DET (27 / 171 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 5 / 0 rec)
For most of the day, the Lions swarmed to the football in the running game and contained Peterson as well as anyone can expect to. However, when you have a superstar running back, you expect him to make impact plays and that's exactly what he did. Peterson's first big run went for 17 yards in the second quarter. On the same drive, Peterson took a handoff from Ponder and sprinted forward for 13 more yards on a very well blocked running play. Peterson played well all day, and more importantly ran hard all day, so it was no surprise that his biggest runs came in the fourth quarter. On a sweep to the left he broke a 20 yard gain down the left sideline, before going 61 yards down the right sideline with his very next carry. The Lions defense couldn't get near him once the blocking of his offensive line sprung him off right tackle. After a quick Calvin Johnson fumble, Peterson again broke into the open field with his next carry for a big gain. He proved to be the difference in the result of the game.
2012 Week 12 vs CHI (18 / 108 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 30 / 0 rec)
Despite having just 25 yards rushing in the first half and being down by 22 points, Adrian Peterson got stronger as the game wore on and was the lone bright spot for the Vikings all day. In the second half, he came alive though and frequently gashed the Bears for big gains up the gut and off tackle. While the Chicago running backs averaged less than three yards a carry, Peterson averaged six and 13 of his 18 carries were for four or more yards. While Peterson did finish the day with six receptions, five of them came with under eight minutes to play and the Bears were up by 18 points. He finished with his fifth consecutive 100 yard rushing game, but also coughed up two fumbles and was stopped short on 4th and 1 on Minnesota's final offensive play. Peterson's first fumble came in the 1st quarter, a short run off tackle where the Bears stripped the ball and Charles Tillman was able to recover. The Bears took advantage of the short field and drove down for the TD. In the 4th quarter, Peterson fumbled the exchange with Christian Ponder and the Bears were able to recover it but were not able to put any additional points on the board. However, it killed any momentum that the Vikings were hoping to generate for a comeback. It killed a drive that Peterson kicked off with his best run of the day - a 23 yard pure power run to the outside where Peterson ran around, over and spun out from multiple defenders to create the highlight of the day.
2012 Week 13 vs GB (21 / 210 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
What more can be said about Adrian Peterson's season? Despite awful-to-no support from the pass game, stacked fronts and two torn ligaments Peterson is virtually unstoppable and just keeps on trucking. His 82 yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty. On the play, Peterson took the handoff about six yards behind the line and broke right. He swiftly found the edge and turned upfield, slipping a tackle about three yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He then collided with a Packers defender along the sideline while another tried to grab him from behind. The player he ran into bounced off him, delaying the pursuing defender and allowing Peterson space to really turn on the jets. After that he was gone. Ever the wily vet, Peterson made sure to glance up at the scoreboard to see how close any Packers were. That touchdown was critical, turning the game around at a point when the Packers were in charge. That's what Peterson does, and did again all day Sunday. Unfortunately, the passing offense wasted his effort and worse, both of quarterback Christian Ponder's two interceptions came within a few plays of a big Peterson run which put the Vikings within the red zone and on the verge of scoring. The upside is the struggles of the rest of the offense doesn't seem to be hurting Peterson as he is playing better than he has possibly in his entire year and since Ponder and company are struggling, he will continue to have a heavy workload and put up good numbers.
2012 Week 14 vs CHI (31 / 154 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Peterson opened the game with a big 51 yard run behind a jumbo package to start off the game for the Vikings. Minnesota lined up three tight ends at multiple times during the game and overloaded one side of the ball. When Chicago was caught flat-footed, big things resulted, including the 51 yard rumble from Peterson on play #1. He ripped off another 16 yards behind a similar formation a few plays later. Despite the Bears having nine guys in the box, they couldn't stop him from tearing it up. Peterson carried the ball five times on the opening drive for 69 yards, including the 1 yard TD plunge. After the interception return gave Minnesota the ball on the five yard line, Peterson carried the ball another three times for his second score of the game. The Bears held him in check on the next series, but just before the end of the first quarter, Peterson again gashed the Bears for two cut back runs of 14 and 15 yards to end the quarter. He finished the quarter with 12 carries for 104 yards and 2 TDS. The Bears held him to a respectable 19 carries for just 50 yards after that, but the damage was already done. He also chipped in two receptions, including a nice 14 yard catch and run in the third quarter. As the game wore on, the Bears started penetrating more and more when it became clear that Christian Ponder wasn't going to be throwing the ball much, and Peterson had just 20 yards total on his final 10 carries of the game. Fantasy owners should note though that even when the Vikings were leading by 14 points with under five minutes to play, Peterson was still the primary ball carrier and lost very few touches to Toby Gerhart in this game.
2012 Week 15 vs STL (24 / 212 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Peterson was bottled up as the Rams completely sold out to stop him early on. After his first seven carries, he was in negative yardage although a handful of those carries came in the redzone. With the Rams running so aggressively to the football, the Vikings used that aggression against them with a delayed handoff. The result saw Peterson run for an untouched 82 yard touchdown. Even though he was untouched, it wasn't a simple run as he cut back after seven yards to find a hole before sprinting away from the defense. Amazingly, defensive end Robert Quinn was the only one who was able to stay with him, but Peterson even managed to lose him comfortably with 30 yards to go. Peterson ran hard all day, as his nickname would imply, and while he was sometimes taken down in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage by the Rams crowding the line of scrimmage, he broke big plays whenever his offensive line gave him any sort of opportunity. No play epitomizes Adrian Peterson more than his biggest in the fourth quarter. The Rams had just scored eight points on one drive, with over six minutes left, the crowd was coming alive and the Rams had Peterson dead to rights six yards deep behind the line of scrimmage. Peterson reversed the field, beat two defenders set up his blocking and carried the ball for a 52 yard gain. The only surprise was that he didn't score the touchdown.
2012 Week 16 vs HOU (25 / 86 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
despite having his worst yardage game since early October, Peterson was instrumental in helping the Vikings keep their playoff hopes alive with a hard fought win against the Texans. The Vikings fed Peterson the ball primarily between the tackles in an effort to keep the pass rush off of Christian Ponder. Peterson's best run came on a first half rush off guard to the right. The Texan defense appeared to have him stopped at the line of scrimmage, only to see Peterson break free to the middle of the field for a 12 yard gain. He had one goalline carry on first down from the 4 but was tackled for no gain. Peterson also had a four yard reception on a screen pass to the left side. Peterson is 102 yards shy of his quest for 2000 yards with one game to play and although his week 16 yardage total may have disappointed fantasy owners, he was more than respectable against one of the league's toughest defenses.
2012 Week 17 vs GB (34 / 199 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 1 rec)
On just his second carry, Peterson bounced outside at the line of scrimmage before breaking down the field for an 11 yard gain. Peterson nearly broke free on his next two carries, as he ran off either edge and was dragged down just before breaking into the secondary. On his very next carry, he broke free off right tackle for 22 yards when he stiff-armed that final defender to get outside. Peterson should have had a touchdown on his next carry when he cut back across the field, but he hesitated for a moment which allowed the defender to wrap him up after a five yard gain. He wouldn't be stopped on the next play as he took a delayed handoff through an excellent running lane to get into the endzone with ease. Not until Peterson's ninth carry did the Packers stop him behind the line of scrimmage. Two plays later, Peterson converted a fourth and one despite having to break a tackle in the backfield before running into his own blocker. The Packers bottled Peterson up for his next few carries, before Peterson bounced off of a tackle in the backfield before breaking outside for a 20 yard gain. On a play designed to go over right guard, Peterson set up the defense by attacking the hole before accelerating around the edge for 20 yards down the right sideline. The very next play sent him over right guard again, when he danced through multiple gaps for six yards. On second and 27, Peterson ran through a gap over right guard and converted for 28 yards down the right sideline. Although he didn't run it in, Peterson eventually finished off the drive with a touchdown after Ponder threw it to him in the endzone on a rollout when he was uncovered. After Jairus Wright's big play, Peterson carried the ball forward for 13 yards to the goalline. He couldn't punch it in though and did appear a step slower in the second half overall as his workload took it's toll. He was still effective, but not as dominant and dangerous as he had been in the first half. Yet, when his team needed him to, he broke loose again. Peterson broke free into the secondary over left guard, before beating two defenders in space to set up the game-winning field goal. Peterson was nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's effort, but couldn't have had a bigger smile on the sidelines.
2012 Week 18 vs GB (22 / 99 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
The crowd cheered Adrian Peterson's first carry. It was telling that they were cheering a four yard gain. After just four carries, including two handoffs in read situations, Peterson had already gained 33 yards between the tackles. Finally, a delayed handoff stopped Peterson up the middle when Charles Woodson shot through the line of scrimmage. From that point onwards, Peterson failed to make his usual impact. The Vikings didn't commit to him as they had in previous matches with the Packers and the play-calling appeared to lack direction after the initial drive. Couple that with better tackling from the Packers and more disciplined defense, and Peterson was made to look mortal. Peterson's most impressive run on the day was a 17 yard gain when he slipped in the backfield initially, bounced outside before breaking two tackles. He followed that up with an 11 yard gain, but it was too little, too late.
2011 Week 1 vs SD (16 / 98 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
Aside from one very long second quarter run, Peterson never had much room to run. At times, it appeared the Chargers were selling out against the run because there was absolutely no fear about Donovan McNabb or the receivers beating them downfield. His afternoon mostly consisted of 1-2 yard runs where he ran into a wall, was tripped up, and fell forward for as many yards as he could muster. Despite leading for most of the afternoon, Peterson was given just 16 carries for the entire game. His big gain was a 46 yard scamper up the middle that brought the Vikings inside the five yard line, but that was really his lone highlight for the game. Despite preseason whispers about Peterson being more involved in the passing game, he caught just two short passes in this game and wasn't much of a factor there.
2011 Week 2 vs TB (25 / 120 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
The Vikings lost this game despite a lights-out performance by Adrian Peterson. The Tampa defense simply had no answer for him. Every time they stuffed him, he'd come back and burn them again. He started off the game with a bang, taking a delayed handoff from McNabb as Ronde Barber came blasting in on a corner blitz. Peterson ran right by him and by the time Barber realized he had blown the play, Peterson was 10 yards down the field. On the next play, he took another off tackle handoff for a big 11 yard gain and a first down. It was a sign of things to come. He showed patience in this game, hesitating just long enough on few runs up the guy to pick his way around the defenders and turn a three yard smash into an eight yard gain. His first rushing TD was his 53rd career rushing TD, a team record. He also threw some great blocks, picking up defenders and giving McNabb more time to find receivers like Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe down the field in the first and second quarter. Late in the second quarter, Peterson took a handoff up the middle, hesitated and then cut back as he found his way through the defense, then exploded into the open field for a big 19 yard run. Later in the drive, he reached the end zone again on a nine yard run up the gut, dragging defenders with him as he scored. In the second half, the Vikings gave the ball to Toby Gerhart more, and focused on the short passing game. It wasn't until the 4th quarter that Peterson got back into the swing of things, but by then the momentum had shifted toward Tampa. On the final drive of the game, McNabb was about to be sacked for a game ending safety, but he flipped the ball to Peterson who ran for another 10 yards and got out of bounds, stopping the clock for one final play. Peterson finished the game with the most yards from scrimmage and two rushing TDS. It's a shame that it was all in a losing effort.
2011 Week 3 vs DET (17 / 78 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
Peterson was not the problem on the Vikings' offensive side of the ball. The only problem was, when the Vikings needed to make a play in 2 critical short-yardage situations, Peterson's number was not called. The first, a 3rd and 1 from their own 29, was an incomplete pass to WR Percy Harvin. The second was a 4th and 1 early in the 4th quarter where Peterson waved off the kicking team, only to watch Toby Gerhart fail to convert on the fullback dive. In fact, after a 12 carry, 73 yard first half that included a 6-yard TD run, Peterson only carried the ball 5 times in the second half for 5 yards despite the Vikings having the lead for most of the second half. As a result of abandoning the run to start the second half, Minnesota's first 3 possessions were 3 and out. The Vikings failed to protect the 20-0 lead and keep the high-octane Lions offense off the field and their commanding lead had been slashed to 3 points by the first play of the 4th quarter. When given the opportunity, though, Peterson was his usual decisive, dynamic, and punishing self, demonstrating his willingness to initiate contact at the second level. Peterson also had runs of 14 and 29 yards negated by offensive holding penalties.
2011 Week 4 vs KC (23 / 80 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
After last week's debacle (5 carries for Adrian Peterson in the second half) you might have expected the Vikings to get Peterson involved early and often. You would have been wrong. Peterson did not touch the ball on the Vikings first drive (3 and out). When the Vikings got the ball back for a second time, Peterson really got going with 5 rushes for 33 yards on the drive. He looked good on runs up the middle, where Peterson had no room but still pushed the pile for 3-4 yards, but it was when he got outside that you really felt like he was about to break one. On 3rd and 1 from the 41 he almost did but Hali caught him around the ankle to hold him to a 7 yard game. We didn't know it at the time, but that play proved to be a bit of foreshadowing as the opportunity for a huge game closed quickly for A.D. Even getting back to the line of scrimmage proved a challenge for the rest of the half as the Vikings offensive line stopped opening up holes and Peterson's remaining 6 carries in the half resulted in 11 yards. While it would be unfair to say that Peterson stopped running hard in the second half, he was definitely less aggressive in hitting the line of scrimmage. That can be attributed to the fact that there were virtually no holes to be found in what had been a fairly porous Chiefs' defensive front for most of the season. He did get four chances in the red zone in the fourth quarter, but he was unable to find the end zone.
2011 Week 5 vs ARI (29 / 122 / 3 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Vikings found the cure for blowing big 4th quarter leads: hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and let him tear up the Cardinals. Peterson was on fire in this game, and he had three rushing TDS at the end of the first quarter. In the first quarter, from the five yard line, Peterson followed a great block by Jim Kleinsasser and exploded through the defense for the big TD. On the next series, the Cardinals turned the ball over and on the first play, Peterson broke off tackle, stiff armed a defender and exploded past everyone into the end zone for his second TD. On the third, He took a handoff up the middle for 14 yard gain, and he ran OVER the Arizona secondary, dragging a guy with him into the end zone for his third score. For the rest of the game, the Vikings turned to Peterson - and he carried the ball 10 times in the fourth quarter on the way to a big victory. With the Vikings losing confidence in McNabb and having to put several blown leads behind them, expect the Vikings to lean hard on Peterson for t
2011 Week 6 vs CHI (12 / 39 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
The Bears started the game, determined to take away Adrian Peterson and make the Vikings beat them through the Air. They frequently stacked six, seven and sometimes eight men in the box, in an effort to contain Peterson and keep him from breaking loose. Whenever he touched the ball, Chicago swarmed to him, with multiple guys looking to make a play. In fact, on several play action passes to Visanthe Shiancoe and Michael Jenkins, the receivers were wide open because the defense was keying on Peterson going in the other direction. His best series was to open the third quarter - where Peterson took two separate runs up the gut, bounced them outside and managed to get 8 yards each. He capped the drive off with a burst through the line off tackle untouched for his only TD. It shifted momentum back to Minnesota for a few moments until Devin Hester returned the following kickoff for a TD.
2011 Week 7 vs GB (24 / 175 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson ripped off an impressive 175 yard game against a very stingy Green Bay Defense. Despite the fact that Peterson had 13 carries of three yard or less, he still managed to break huge gains against the Packers, and he had five rushes of 10 or more yards. Even when the Packers were up 33-17 at the end of the third quarter, Peterson took a run up the middle, ran through the arm tackles, broke to the outside and cut back to the middle of the field for a BIG 54 yard gain. On the previous series, he had a similar breakaway for 25 yards that put the Vikings in great field position, but Ponder threw an Interception on the next play. For the game, Peterson showed no signs of wear and tear, and didn't even give up his usual 2-3 touches to Toby Gerhart or Lorenzo Booker. He ran hard for the entire game, and even when the defense stuffed him, he continued to plug away and take what the defense gave him. The presence of Ponder prevented the Packers from stacking the box like Chicago did last week, and while they made some great plays and stopped Peterson for losses at times, there were other plays that the defense couldn't get to him in time, and Peterson took full advantage of the big holes that were being opened. As Ponder continues to move around and keep defenses guessing on what he will do, it will only make Peterson that much MORE effective going forward.
2011 Week 8 vs CAR (21 / 86 / 1 rush, 5 / 5 / 76 / 1 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a tremendous game despite being shut down by the surprisingly stout Panthers run defense time after time. The Panthers keyed heavily on the run but Peterson continued to run with a terrific mix of power, burst and speed. Peterson got going early by catching passes out of the backfield, notably on a shovel pass inside for 22 yards which helped to convert a third-and-long. His first touchdown came on a screen pass as he cut it all the way back across the field with very little pursuit. Peterson continued to chip away at the defense and it eventually paid off. Peterson scored a fantastic 9-yard touchdown late in the game. His effort on the play was simply incredible as he dragged tacklers, spun away, maintained his balance to finish the run - it was a play that summed up his game. Peterson was a key factor in the victory for the Vikings today and he looked good doing it.
2011 Week 10 vs GB (14 / 51 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
The box was loaded up most of the night so it was hard for ADP to find a lot of running room. He did cash in on a punt muff from Cobb which gave the Vikes a short field and also set Peterson up in the red zone. On his touchdown score he lined up about 8-10 yards deep to get a full head of steam going to bowl into the end zone for the score. Peterson flashed his usual array of power, speed, and elusiveness but again with so many stacking the box and the Vikings being behind at times 24-0 and 31-7 there just were not a lot of opportunities for Peterson against the Packers.
2011 Week 11 vs OAK (6 / 26 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Peterson had mixed success against the Raiders early in the game before leaving due to injury. In the first quarter, Peterson had just six carries, but two of them were for 12 yards, including the TD run. Peterson was most effective running north and south, as the speedy Raider defense prevented any effective running to the outside. On the TD run, Peterson took a delay straight up the gut, cut back and went almost untouched into the end zone for a 12 yard gain. On his final play of the game, Peterson ran an almost identical play up the gut, running through arm tackles and was eventually dragged down from behind. When he was tackled, the defender rolled up on his ankle and he had to be helped off of the field. He was carted to the locker room and returned to the sideline after the half in his street clothes. Peterson has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain that should cause him to miss the next game vs. the Falcons at a minimum
2011 Week 15 vs NO (10 / 60 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
In his first game back from an ankle injury that caused him to miss 3 games, Peterson looked like he never left, running with explosiveness and violence in the hole. Peterson was given some rest, but made great use of his opportunities, breaking off some big runs, including a 39-yarder that set up a Toby Gerhart receiving TD. Peterson nearly broke a long run a couple of plays earlier, but was tripped up as he broke into the second level of defenders. Peterson's touches were limited as much by the flow of the game as they were by the concern over the health of his ankle as the Vikings only ran the ball 18 times as a team.
2011 Week 16 vs WAS (12 / 38 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
Peterson was off to a decent day but went down with a torn ACL & MCL at the start of 3rd quarter. What a disappointing end to his season, and the start of next season may be in jeopardy depending on how quickly he can recover from the gruesome injury. Peterson had a really nice 20 yard run called back on a penalty, and he also just missed another long run on a shoe string tackle by the Redskin defender. Peterson scored on a 1 yard plunge when the Redskin defender met him in the backfield yet he was able to break the tackle and make a nice cut for the score. This injury was hard to watch as the Redskin defender hit Peterson square on the knee and his leg bent back violently. Peterson was in great pain, and it is tough to see such a great runner get this kind of injury in his prime.
2010 Week 1 vs NO (19 / 87 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Peterson was all the Vikings really had going in this game and he had redemption on his mind. His last game in the Big Easy was neither big, nor easy, and he definitely had more focus and ferocity in this rematch of last year's NFC title game. What was most interesting and worth noting was the multiple opportunities he received as a 3rd down back in this contest, something that was foreign to him last season as the Vikes bell cow. Peterson looked good in the 3rd down role, catching 3 passes and turning the ball up field after each catch. This new dimension could add some real nice value to his fantasy prospects this year as long as the Vikings get the WR position sorted out and keep defenses honest.
2010 Week 2 vs MIA (28 / 145 / 1 rush, 8 / 5 / 41 / 0 rec)
Peterson ran well all day, as the box score indicates. He often crossed the line of scrimmage before being touched, and clichéd as it may be, he really got stronger as the game went on. It was typical Peterson once he got into a groove: he was simply electric on some carries, so often shedding the first tackler with ease, and displaying great balance in turning one play into a 23 yard gain after nearly going down for a loss. He also showed that he can be an effective receiving outlet, though he wasn't targeted heavily; mainly in the 2-minute drill to end each half. His TD was a bit of a gift, coming on the heels of a turnover that gave the Vikings the ball inside the 5 yard line. But later, he was stopped on 4th and goal, which sealed it for the Dolphins.
2010 Week 3 vs DET (23 / 160 / 2 rush, 7 / 5 / 30 / 0 rec)
Peterson had a solid game against a surprisingly intense Detroit defense. Five of Peterson's first six touches were for three yards or less. However, as the game wore on, Peterson began to make progress. On the drive leading up to his first TD run, Peterson had five touches, and four of them were for five or more yards. His TD run was a hard run up the middle where Peterson was not to be denied. His other TD run was classic Peterson: He broke through the middle of the line, stiff-armed CC Brown, broke to the outside and out ran all of the defenders for an 80 yard TD. Peterson was also a big part of the passing game, and finished the game as the #2 pass catcher for the team. Although Gerhart took a few snaps away from him, it was clear that Peterson was the workhorse of the team. Even with two minutes to go and the Vikings up by 14, Peterson was still running the ball. He finished with a big game, both for the Vikings and for fantasy owners. He would have had an even better game, but he had two runs of eight and ten yards called back due to penalties late in the fourth quarter. Until the Vikings can find a way to push the ball downfield in the passing game, expect Peterson to be the main focus of the offense from both the rushing and receiving point of view.
2010 Week 5 vs NYJ (18 / 88 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 20 / 0 rec)
With the vaunted Jets Defense looming, the Vikings timely addition of a deep threat to stretch the field had to bring a smile to Minnesota's workhorse back, Adrian Peterson. Make no mistake about it, Peterson's violent running style is the engine that makes the Vikings offense run. And when he isn't given the opportunity to control the tempo, this team struggles. They started the game with some nice runs from Peterson but their opening drive was stalled by 2 false start penalties and they seemed to abandon the power running game in favor of a quick passing attack that never found it's rhythm until late in the 3rd quarter. Peterson had some strong runs downhill to answer the Jets 5th FG of the night and seemed to energize the offense and make the game interesting again.
2010 Week 6 vs DAL (24 / 73 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / -2 / 0 rec)
Peterson was held in check for most of the game. He was unable to get any type of rhythm going on his runs, and was frequently tackled after a short one or two yard gain. His longest run came in the second quarter when he took the ball off tackle down the left side of the field and was able to break it for a nice 15 yard gain before being pushed out of bounds. He followed it up with a nice seven yard run up the gut on the next play. On the TD run, it was obvious that Peterson was the primary focus of the offense, and they were going to feed him the ball until he was able to barrel into the end zone. Peterson also received the bulk of the offensive carries, giving way to Toby Gerhart only when he Peterson twisted his ankle and had to sit out for a couple plays. It didn't bother him much though and he was back in the lineup a couple plays later. The biggest concern for Peterson should be his lack of involvement in the passing game. With the addition of Randy Moss, it's clear that Farve is looking to push the ball down the field more now. He was never happy with the dink and dunk check-down type of plays that he was calling without a legitimate deep threat, and with Moss in the lineup, it's clear that Peterson is not going to see as much involvement in passing game going forward.
2010 Week 7 vs GB (28 / 131 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 41 / 0 rec)
The Vikings RB is one of the most violent runners in the league and he didn't fail to impress in this game. Peterson was dominant in this game, running low to the ground with power and push while the Packers had no answer for him. His TD was a 1 yard run in the 2nd quarter and seemed to make big plays every time he touched the ball. He ended the game with 30 touches and looked like he could have handled another 30. And the Vikings may have been better off had they given him the opportunity. Peterson also looked good in the 3rd down role once again, reeling in 2 passes making some nice runs after the catch.
2010 Week 8 vs NE (25 / 92 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 50 / 0 rec)
Peterson was the whole offense early, with six of the first seven touches and 18 carries in the first half. He was involved as a receiver, even downfield, and he capped the second drive of the game with a TD. Peterson was also stuffed on third and one for the first time this year, and again on fourth and goal, although neither play was blocked well enough to be converted. Peterson was less involved in the second half when the Vikings fell behind, but he is doing enough to stake a claim to being the most valuable player in fantasy football.
2010 Week 9 vs ARI (15 / 81 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 63 / 1 rec)
There are no more words to describe how truly dominant and special a player that Adrian Peterson is. Peterson ran with a purpose, knocking over defenders and juking them out of their shoes regularly. His receiving touchdown was a nice swing pass from Favre which Peterson dutifully took into the end zone, weaving between bodies like they weren't there. Peterson ran in for a score late in the fourth to make it a one score game. He also had a massive 33 yard run in overtime to essentially end the game for the Cardinals. Peterson was spectacular and continues to be the engine of this offense.
2010 Week 10 vs CHI (17 / 51 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
Peterson was not effective on the ground but it wasn't his fault. Peterson had to deal with great penetration and gap control by the Bears defense and he played well to even get the yards he did manage. The Bears never allowed Peterson to get into the open field and swarmed to him rapidly as soon as he touched the ball. Chicago routinely hustled to the ball and made life tough for him. Peterson had two uncharacteristic drops and fell over on one play, leading to an INT by Favre. He ran hard and he fought for every last yard, but the Bears defense deserves the credit for slowing him down.
2010 Week 11 vs GB (14 / 72 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Peterson found no room early in the game. Even when it looked like he might gain a few yards, the Packers defense did a great job of closing on him quickly and bottling him up. Late in the second quarter, Peterson started to find his groove, rattling off consecutive 10 yard runs. The Packers D still closed in fast, but the Viking blockers were winning more of the battles at the line. Down 24-3 in the second half, the Vikings turned mainly to the passing game, which included Peterson, though it's really not his forte. He made a great play on a screen pass, reading the blocking well to find an open space and gain first down yardage, and showed incredible vision in picking up 15 yards on a 3rd and short. He could have easily gone for the one yard play, but saw the field well and got outside for a bigger gain.
2010 Week 12 vs WAS (6 / 36 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 34 / 0 rec)
Peterson was having a monster game until his ankle injury with 9:48 to go in the 2nd quarter. Averaging 6 ypc, scoring a TD, and ripping off a 34 yard reception on a screen, it was clear that the Vikings were going to re-build their offense around Peterson. His injury changed all that, but his owners should like what they saw...an offense that finally is being built around their best player.
2010 Week 13 vs BUF (16 / 107 / 3 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson put on a simply beastly display despite being gimpy with an ankle injury. Peterson showed no ill effects of the injury as he powered into the end zone near the goal line twice early on. On a six yard run, Peterson was completely stacked up in the teeth of the defense, but managed to squeeze away, shift his momentum to the outside and dash to the first down marker. His best play was undoubtedly his 43 yard touchdown run where he showed his remarkable acceleration to the outside to outrun the defense, a few of whom had great angles to make the tackle. Peterson's world class speed and moves allowed him to make the play.
2010 Week 14 vs NYG (14 / 26 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson struggled to get anything going against the Giants this week. When it became clear that the Vikings were not able to go deep, the Giants focused on stopping the run, and Peterson was unable to get anything going. His best run was early in the first quarter when he hit the pile at the point of attack, bounced off and broke it outside for a nice seven yard gain. It would be his longest of the day. Peterson was not able to contribute in the passing game either, and he finished the game without a receptions. There were several plays when he would take the handoff and be hit before he even got back to the line. With no credible threat to go deep, Peterson is going to face a lot of seven and eight man fronts from here on out.
2010 Week 16 vs PHI (22 / 118 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson ran for 118 yards and a score against Philadelphia in Week 16, breaking through the first line of defenders often and getting to the second level for several big runs. He looked to set up his blocks all night, which appeared to be a questionable tactic when he was starting to break away in the Eagles' secondary. Peterson was one move away from a few big touchdowns on the night, which has to make people wonder if he is not at full strength. That lack of top end speed is probably related to his injured knee sustained a few weeks ago on a backfield collision with Tarvaris Jackson on a botched handoff. Regardless of the questions about his breakaway abilities, he remains a must start against Detroit in Week 17.
2010 Week 17 vs DET (14 / 31 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / -2 / 0 rec)
Whether it was the constant pressure from the Detroit front four or the frustration of a season that was filled with disappointments, Adrian Peterson really struggled in this game. He lacked that characteristic pop to his step and was never able to engage his higher gears on the few carries that he had. He seemed to start the game strong, taking his second carry outside for a nice 10 yard gain that could have been longer but he ran into Percy Harvin who was trying to block for him. However, two plays later, Joe Webb floated a swing pass to him and the defense was able to crush Peterson after he caught the ball, resulting in an eight yard loss. In the second half, he looked like he might get back in the game, with three back to back to back carries for 17 total yards but it never really amounted to any momentum. After converting a critical 4th and 1 later in the 3rd, he took the handoff on the next play and was immediately dropped for a six yard loss. It was typical of a day that saw him bottled up at every turn.
2009 Week 1 vs CLE (25 / 180 / 3 rush, 1 / 1 / 18 / 0 rec)
If it were possible to upgrade the consensus top overall fantasy player in the NFL, we would do it. As Peterson is already the top overall player in our Top 250 forward, we'll mark him as a "hold steady" and heap plenty of praise on him. Peterson started slowly, as the Browns were able to generate some push during the first quarter, but gradually wore the Cleveland defense down. He was effective between the tackles and bouncing runs outside, and showed his usual power running style with a number of broken tackles and strong stiff arms, particularly on a 68 yard touchdown run in which he had multiple Cleveland defenders on their heels and grasping at his jersey as he cruised past them. Peterson came off the field as expected on many passing downs, but did show good hands on a short route that he turned into a 18 yard gain. The only potential area for concern was some inconsistency in short yardage situations. Peterson needed multiple attempts to convert around the goal line and sometimes gave way to other options in short yardage. That's nitpicking at best, though, as the Vikings gave Peterson the ball three straight times inside the three on one series and there's no indication he won't see the majority of their short yardage and goal line calls.
2009 Week 2 vs DET (15 / 92 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
Saying that Adrian Peterson is the heart and soul of the Minnesota offense almost seems like a waste of letters. Yet unless you really see the kid in action, you cannot truly appreciate the value that anyone with pick 1.01 in a fantasy draft really has. This kid is the real deal, and you wonder why he doesn't touch the ball on every play. The Vikings opened the game with four consecutive plays to Peterson: two runs and two passes. He's a safety valve when Favre gets into trouble and the go-to guy when they need a big play. Early in the 3rd quarter after the Lions turned over the ball, Peterson took the first play from scrimmage into the pile, bounced back and literally out-ran everyone into the end zone. It broke the backs of the Lions and they never covered. He frequently made people miss and it often took two or three guys to bring him down. He's not afraid to lower he head and take on defensive guys for the extra yards. Early in the 4th quarter he had a great play where he ran up the middle, hit the pile and bounced outside, and ran for a solid six yards. When Anthony Henry went to tackle him, he lowered his shoulders and banged ahead for another two yards rather than go out of bounds. It was classic AD.
2009 Week 3 vs SF (19 / 85 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
The 49ers came into the game with the intention to keep Peterson in check. Aside from one running play where Peterson bounced to the outside for a 35 yard gain where he ran away from the defense, the Niners succeeded in their plan. Peterson has several short and medium gains at various points in the game, but was stuffed for a loss almost as often as he had a solid run. He did not have any red-zone opportunities because the Vikings two key scores were from 30 yards out. Peterson was also pulled on the second and long and third and long situations for Chester Taylor, further contributing to his 'average' fantasy performance.
2009 Week 4 vs GB (25 / 55 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Peterson was held in check for the second week in a row. He had a nice run in the first quarter where he was stuffed up the middle, bounced to the outside and almost scored. Aside from that, he was held to minimal gains. The fumble that was returned for a TD was a case where he was gang tackled by four players. When he continued to fight for yards, the defense stood him up and ripped the ball out of his hands. Even Superman has a weakness. Peterson was not involved in the passing game much, and after his TD just before half time, he was quiet for the rest of the game.
2009 Week 5 vs STL (15 / 69 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
A 'quiet' game for Peterson as the Vikings were out early and never looked back. Peterson's opening TD was an outside run to the wide side of the field where Peterson beat everyone to the corner. Later in the fourth quarter, he ran hard up the middle, breaking arm tackles and striking the final blow to St. Louis on his last TD. He had solid runs for most of the game, but was pulled on passing downs and missed most of the fourth quarter like Favre as the Vikings were running out the clock.
2009 Week 6 vs BAL (22 / 143 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 23 / 0 rec)
Despite not reaching the end zone against one of the toughest defenses in the league, Adrian Peterson had a great game. His first carry from scrimmage resulted in a 26 yard run of tackle. Later in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Peterson came up big again, cutting outside on a delay and outrunning almost the entire defense for a big 58 yard gain that eventually set up Longwell's FG to extend Minnesota's lead to 13 again. He was also more involved in the passing game this time, catching screens and dump offs out in the flat and turning them into medium sized gains. He finished the game with more than 160 yards from scrimmage. He took a bad fall late in the fourth quarter and sat out for a couple plays, but eventually came back in the game and appeared to be fine. He should be 100% for next week.
2009 Week 7 vs PIT (18 / 69 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 60 / 0 rec)
Peterson had a quiet game against a tough Steeler defense. He was stopped behind the line of scrimmage multiple times, and the defense was too fast and dragged him down from behind on several runs to the outside. He was even stuffed on the goal line multiple times. However, he kept chipping away at the defense and eventually broke a couple longer runs off tackle for big gains. His best play came on a short dump pass where he lowered his shoulders and just ran over DB William Gay for a big 26 yard gain. But the Steelers were tough, and Peterson definitely earned every yard that he ran. Ultimately it wasn't enough and the Vikings lost.
2009 Week 8 vs GB (25 / 97 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 44 / 0 rec)
Peterson was really bottled up for much of this game. He only scored on fourth down in the first quarter after getting six carries in the red zone, and got most of his yards on three touches - a long run in the second quarter, and a long run and reception in fourth quarter that both seemed to stop any momentum the Packers had built. He showed how he can't be kept down, even when the Minnesota offensive line is not getting a consistent push. With Favre's red zone efficiency and Green Bay's strong performance against the run (on most plays), this level of production was Peterson's floor in this contest. He still has some massive games left in him this year.
2009 Week 10 vs DET (18 / 133 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)
Peterson tore up the Lions for most of the game. Seven of his 18 carries went for more than six yard, including gains of 22, 27 and 43 yards. He frequently cut back across the middle when the Lions were looking to stop the run, broke containment and blew up in the opposite direction. On his first fumble, Peterson fumbled a pitch to Percy Harvin on a reverse and the Lions recovered the ball. On the second fumble, he was caught from behind on a big break-away and the ball was punched out, rolled into the end zone and the Lions recovered it for a touchback. Without that, Peterson was well on his way to his third TD. Peterson gave way to Chester Taylor in the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand, and the Vikings were just trying to run out the clock. He finished with almost 150 yards from scrimmage and 2 TDS.
2009 Week 11 vs SEA (24 / 82 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 16 / 0 rec)
Peterson was contained for the first three quarters of the game. Despite frequently being tackled for minimal gains or even losses, he played hard and kept fighting on every play. The Vikings used him on passing downs in an attempt to get him untracked, but the Seahawks keyed on him the entire game. To counter this, the Vikings began to split him out, running with Chester Taylor to the opposite side of the field. It was successful once and stuffed the second time. Peterson would probably have torn up the exhausted Seattle defense in the fourth quarter, but with the game well in hand, the Vikings turned to Chester Taylor to run out the clock.
2009 Week 12 vs CHI (25 / 85 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
Peterson had a quiet game for the Vikings, and was held (relatively) in check by the Chicago defense for most of the game. Despite 25 carries, Peterson only finished with 85 yards and a TD, well below his season average. Peterson faired better on the receiving end of the ball, catching a nice swing pass to start the game for 16 yards and extending his career high reception total to 27. Peterson broke off a sharp 15 yard off-tackle run in the first quarter and had a couple other runs for mid-range gains later in the game. He was untouched on the TD run late in the fourth quarter but was stuffed for no gain the play before. All in all he had an 'adequate' game, but it was his second game of sub-par performance for a guy who went in the top three of every league this season.
2009 Week 13 vs ARI (13 / 19 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 46 / 0 rec)
Peterson owners should be a bit nervous as this is really the third game in a row that the Peterson has finished well below his 4.5 YPC average this season. He also has only one TD in the last three games, compared with five in the previous three before that. In Arizona, the banged up offensive line couldn't' open any holes for Peterson, and he was frequently hit in the backfield and had to fight just to make it back to the line of scrimmage. He faired a little better in the passing game, taking a couple short check-down passes for medium gains. But the 'big play' explosiveness that makes Peterson so dangerous never really appeared in this game and he finished with his lowest offensive and fantasy output of the season.
2009 Week 14 vs CIN (26 / 97 / 2 rush, 5 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
The best news for Adrian Peterson was that his offensive line was back at full strength for the start of the game. Peterson seemed to run harder in this game, determined to prove that the 19 yard performance against Arizona last week was simply a fluke. He was patient while searching for an opening, and exploded through the gaps when he saw them. He ran hard on every carry, bouncing to the outside when nothing was up the middle, breaking arm tackles and making defenders miss. On his first rushing TDS, Peterson took his third consecutive goal line carry and dove over the pile into the end zone for the score. On the other, he ran an outside route, moving with his blockers until an opening appeared and then diving through the hole for the score. He was actively involved in the passing game as well, with his best play being a reception in the second quarter when Favre dumped the ball to him over the middle and he blew by everyone to the outside for a big 28 yard gain. Although he didn't finish with 100 yards rushing, he had over 130 yards from scrimmage and set a team record with his 14th and 15th rushing TDS this season.
2009 Week 15 vs CAR (12 / 35 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 73 / 0 rec)
Peterson owners should be concerned as he is averaging less than 3.2 yards per carry over the last five games. In this one he was completely shut down by the Panthers for most of the game. Aside from gaining 21 yards and a TD on three carries late in the second quarter, and the 63 yard catch and run just before the end of the game, Peterson was a non-factor. He was gang-tackled whenever he touched the ball, and lacked explosion through the holes when he was able to find them. In the end, he finished rewarded fantasy owners who started him with an adequate game. However, Peterson owners should be concerned with his serious downturn in performance over the last five weeks.
2009 Week 16 vs CHI (24 / 94 / 2 rush, 6 / 3 / 43 / 0 rec)
Peterson was a force to be reckoned with after a few early losses got him off to a slow start. He was running over would-be tacklers and making 5-7 yard gains look routine when the Bears weren't selling out to stop him. Peterson was running hot all game and didn't slow down in the extra period. His fumble in overtime came on a good strip more than bad ball security by All Day. He was very prominent in the early game plan after some friction between Favre and Childress over Favre audibling out of runs. He kept chewing up yardage in the second half and finished off two drives with easy short TD runs (well, easy for Peterson). Peterson slipped on the Soldier Field surface at least three times or he would have had an even bigger night.
2009 Week 17 vs NYG (9 / 54 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson was not asked to carry the ball very often against the Giants in Week 17 but he did punch the ball into the end zone in a goal line opportunity without too much effort. Peterson likely would have had much more work if the game was not such a blowout as Minnesota pulled all the starters early in the final quarter. Peterson is not the primary offensive force with Brett Favre throwing the ball so well, but the Vikings do need to have more balance in the postseason so expect Peterson to get more touches in two weeks.
2009 Week 19 vs DAL (26 / 63 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
Peterson was a bell-cow against Dallas and despite his inability to break 3 yards per carry, his effect on the Dallas defense was notable. Peterson did not find much room to run against the Cowboys front seven but still managed to power his way for positive yardage on most every carry. Just as importantly, he did not turn the ball over despite running right in to the teeth of the defense on every carry. Peterson's best run came on a carry in the second half to the left-end where he was met at the line by 4 Cowboys defenders. Peterson dug in and pushed his way for a 5 yard gain. Peterson has not been the gamebreaker this season that he was in 2007 and 2008, but his power is certainly felt by defenses, particularly when the Vikings have jumped out to a lead as they did Sunday.
2009 Week 20 vs NO (25 / 122 / 3 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
Adrian Peterson had a huge game for the Vikings - both good and bad. Peterson ran for 122 yards and found the end zone three times but he struggled with ball security the entire night against New Orleans, fumbling the ball several times and losing two of them. He was credited with two fumbles lost but it seemed like many more as at one point it felt like the Vikings were about to abandon Peterson and possibly the ground game entirely with so many fumbles by the entire Minnesota squad all night long. Peterson was removed from the game for a stretch in the second half in favor of Chester Taylor, but later after Percy Harvin fumbled a carry and with Brett Favre not feeling well with an ankle injury, Peterson got another shot. He returned and ran hard and angry, picking up a big 28-yard gain which helped the Vikings to get in a position to possibly win the game. Peterson finished with over 100 yards for the first time in over two months but it was not enough to get to the Super Bowl.
2008 Week 1 vs GB (19 / 103 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 2 vs IND (29 / 160 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 3 vs CAR (17 / 77 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 4 vs TEN (18 / 80 / 2 rush, 6 / 4 / 21 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 5 vs NO (21 / 32 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 6 vs DET (25 / 111 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / -5 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 7 vs CHI (22 / 121 / 2 rush, 3 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 9 vs HOU (25 / 139 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 10 vs GB (30 / 192 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 33 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 11 vs TB (19 / 85 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 12 vs JAX (17 / 80 / 1 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 13 vs CHI (28 / 131 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / -1 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 14 vs DET (23 / 102 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 15 vs ARI (28 / 165 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 16 vs ATL (22 / 76 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 17 vs NYG (21 / 103 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2008 Week 18 vs PHI (20 / 83 / 2 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 1 vs ATL (19 / 103 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 60 / 1 rec)
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.
2007 Week 2 vs DET (20 / 66 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 52 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 3 vs KC (25 / 102 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 48 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 4 vs GB (12 / 112 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 6 vs CHI (20 / 224 / 3 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 7 vs DAL (12 / 63 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 8 vs PHI (20 / 70 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 9 vs SD (30 / 296 / 3 rush, 2 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 10 vs GB (11 / 45 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 13 vs DET (15 / 116 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 14 vs SF (14 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 15 vs CHI (20 / 78 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 17 / 0 rec)
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).
2007 Week 16 vs WAS (9 / 27 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
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.
2007 Week 17 vs DEN (11 / 36 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
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.