Running back Adrian Peterson was quick to point out he had more carries at halftime (14) in Sunday’s loss against the Cowboys than at the end of the last three games. Last year’s NFL MVP had 10 carries against the Panthers and 13 versus both the Giants and Packers.
“First time ever that has happened,” Peterson said about that three-game stretch on Tuesday. “I’m not a selfish player at all. I’m all about getting a W.”
But even Peterson questions the lack of carries at times when the offense gets away from the game plan. There have been certain instances in the second half where the Vikings have relied on the pass offense to dig out of a deficit, which Peterson said he understands. He received a combined 12 second-half carries against the Panthers, Giants and Packers.
“But if that’s not the case, and we’re a running team and we’ve been a running team since I’ve been here, then it’s kind of like I’m not the only one sitting there like, ‘What is going on?’” Peterson said. “I mean the world is. Probably the defense that we’re going against is thinking the same thing, and they’re probably happy we’re not running the ball.”
Peterson finished with 25 carries for 140 yards Sunday for his third 100-yard performance this season. He also scored a touchdown that’ll likely end up as one of the Vikings’ top plays this season. He dragged three defenders for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Vikings up 23-20 with 5:40 left in the game.
He couldn’t have accomplished the highlight, however, without an assist from tight end Chase Ford, who lifted Peterson as he nearly stumbled to the turf. Ford kept Peterson up enough to regain his balance and score.
“It seemed like he slammed me into the end zone, and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” Peterson said. “That’s what you’re looking for: guys scratching that every inch. And we can win with that type of effort from each guy.”
Peterson said Ford’s heady play reminded him of the style of play in Texas, where both played high school football. Ford, who has bounced from the practice squad to the active roster, attended Corrigan High in Corrigan, Texas. Peterson went to Palestine High in Palestine, Texas.
“That’s how we play football down there, so it wasn’t too surprising to see him coming in and helping me scratch for those extra yards to get into the end zone,” Peterson said.