Adrian Peterson has played a lot of football games, including 107 in his eight-year career, but he’s never been as ticked off and talkative on the field as he was on Dec. 16, 2012.
The Vikings were making their playoff push and Peterson was en route to 2,097 yards, eight shy of the NFL record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984.
Wednesday, the St. Louis media asked if Peterson had watched the tape of his 212-yard performance from that day. He said he hadn’t looked at it all, and then brought up how downright angry the Rams made him early on in that game.
“What I do remember about that game is that it’s first time in eight years, I’ve ever talked off to players,” Peterson said. “Those guys had me so hot, like I haven’t ever been that mad playing football.”
Peterson lost yardage on four of his first five carries and six of his first eight. After seven carries, he had zero yards.
“They were just yapping at the mouth,” he said. “I’m talking about from the defensive front to the second level to the secondary. Those guys were just yapping.”
On his ninth carry, Peterson went a career-long 82 yards for a touchdown.
“It got a little quite then,” Peterson said.
Today – three days before the season opener at St. Louis — Peterson was asked to recall what the Rams players said that made him so mad.
“I can’t even remember, but they said enough to make me fire back,” he said. “Normally, I’m an assassin out there. I was a talking assassin that time. From the secondary on down, those guys were talking so much noise. Then we ripped a long run on them and things got quiet. Hopefully, things play out the same way.”
Peterson said he normally doesn’t hear trash talking directed at him on the field.
“Maybe because I don’t really talk trash when I’m out there,” he said. “For whatever reason, I don’t know if E.D. [Dickerson] gave them a call and was like, `Hey, you have to get in this guy’s head or something. He’s approaching my record’ or whatever. Or maybe they’re just fiery like that. I’ll be able to confirm it on Sunday.”
In last year’s season opener at Detroit, Peterson’s first carry went 78 yards for a touchdown.
“I think that Tuesday or Wednesday [before the game], me and Toby [Gerhart] and Matt Asiata was talking and I was like, `Man, I’m going to take the first carry to the house,’” Peterson said. “I never really thought about it. I meant it when I said it. And then when it happened and I came to the sideline and they reminded me that I had said that. Hopefully, it will work out the same way.”
Asked if he was calling his shot three days before the opener, Peterson thought about it for a second. Then he took the bait.
“Yeah, I might as well speak it,” he said. “Yeah, touchdown. First run.”