Only Vikings stopping Peterson

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2011 - 11:25 AM

The star running back isn't getting many second-half shots.

hide

Adrian Peterson

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Mct - Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The notion that Adrian Peterson can't or shouldn't run the ball against eight- or nine-man defensive fronts has been proven faulty at times during the running back's five seasons with the Vikings.

One of them came early in the first quarter of Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Detroit Lions.

The Lions had nine defenders in the box. Yet Peterson still ran for 43 yards, sidestepping tackle Ndamukong Suh in the backfield and bursting through a gap vacated by blitzing middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

A day later, Peterson said "a lot" of his longer runs have come against similar stacked fronts.

"Because once I get a crease and I'm out, there's not too many guys left to beat," Peterson said. "I've been facing eight-, nine-men fronts since I've been here. Even when [Brett] Favre was here, I was facing eight- and nine-men fronts. I feel like I've got a lot of confidence in the guys up front that we can, no matter the situation or point of the game, we'll be able to run the ball."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier agrees. And he's now making darn sure that he and his coaching staff don't forget it in light of the fact that Peterson had only five carries for 5 yards in the second half on Sunday.

"What we have to make sure we're always conscious of -- and I have to remind myself of this -- is even if Adrian gets stopped for negative [yardage] or 2 yards because they've got so many people at the line of scrimmage, he's such a great player that even against eight-man fronts, he can still make something happen," Frazier said. "You can't ever forget that. Second half, [the Lions] came with more eight-man fronts because of Adrian, for sure, and we've just got to stay with it and it will continue to open up other things."

It sounds simple considering Peterson's multiple All-Pro honors, $100 million contract and face-of-the-franchise status. But the Vikings have strayed weekly from a core philosophy built around Peterson and a ball-control attack.

Despite halftime leads of 10, 17 and 20 points, Peterson has 14 fewer second-half carries than first-half carries. In the first half, he's rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries (6.4). In the second half, he's rushed for 66 yards and no touchdowns on 22 carries (3.0).

His third-down carries on Sunday went for 2, 3 and 6 yards. He began the fourth quarter with a 14-yard run that was negated by penalty. Then came a 1-yard loss, a 2-yard gain, and a 4-yard loss on his final carry with 5 minutes, 7 seconds left.

Granted, the Vikings had the ball for only 10 of the 32 second-half and overtime minutes. And plays were limited because the Vikings were 0-for-6 on third down and 0-for-1 on a fourth down. But even Frazier admits five second-half carries just doesn't cut it.

"It's just us always [needing to be] conscious of, 'Hey, OK, it was no gain, [but] don't stop giving it to him,'" Frazier said. "Come back next series or next play and give it to him again. He's really the bell cow for our offense and everything revolves around him. So, whatever we do, any success we have will come off of what Adrian Peterson brings to us.

"So, when we struggle on offense, it's usually because Adrian is not a big part of our offense, in general, and [Sunday] was case in point."

Peterson's 43-yard run came on his fourth carry of the game. His first three runs went for 3, 1 and 4 yards. So he was averaging 2.7 yards per carry when he took off through the middle of the Lions' stacked defense.

"Case in point," Frazier said. "In that second half, we started off with a run and they stopped it for a [2-yard] gain, and there were a couple other runs where they limited yardage. But with Adrian, you've got to continue to feed him, and that's something we've got to be mindful of."

Peterson hasn't complained, but when asked if the team should give him more carries in the second half, he said, "What do you think?"

  • VIKINGS WEEK 4 Up next: Noon Sunday at Kansas City • Arrowhead Stadium • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close