Mark Craig's Sunday Insider: Vikings offense establishes itself

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 6, 2012 - 7:05 PM

Eight consecutive plays in less than six minutes illustrate just how effectively the Vikings ran the ball.

If you've only got a few minutes and you want to see how an NFL offense establishes an identity, check out eight consecutive plays from the Vikings' 20-13 victory at Detroit last week.

The Vikings led 20-6 when a Lions turnover gave them the ball at their 29-yard line with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third quarter. Here's what happened over the next eight plays:

1. Adrian Peterson follows fullback Jerome Felton over left guard for 1 yard. Thirty-seven seconds tick off.

2. With eight Lions in the box, Peterson runs behind Felton. Right guard Brandon Fusco shoves Cliff Avril inside, Fusco chips the linebacker and Peterson explodes for 10 yards.

3. Peterson is dropped for a 1-yard loss up the middle. But 45 seconds tick away.

4. Peterson heads up the middle. Center John Sullivan and left guard Charlie Johnson maul tackle Sammie Hill, Peterson cuts right, the Lions miss a tackle and Peterson goes for 15 yards.

5. After a 5-yard encroachment penalty on the Lions, Toby Gerhart hammers into a Lions front that has a safety in the box. He gets 1 yard. Thirty-seven seconds disappear.

6. On the last play of the quarter, Peterson gains 3 yards with a safety in the box.

7. On third-and-1, Detroit has nine men near the line of scrimmage. Peterson slams over right tackle, breaking tackles. Linebacker Stephen Tullock ends up with Peterson's left shoe. He spikes it in frustration after Peterson goes for 5 yards.

8. With Peterson on the sideline putting his shoe back on, Gerhart comes in and churns his legs over right tackle for 4 yards.

Combined, those eight plays consumed 38 yards, three first downs and 5:50 of clock time. The only thing that didn't happen according to script was Blair Walsh missing a 46-yard field goal at the end of that drive.

Quarterback Christian Ponder called it "a good sign" when the team can run the ball that effectively on a day when he throws for only 111 yards.

"[Detroit] was going with a lot of single-high, putting a lot of safeties in the box trying to take it away, and Adrian kept running the ball really well," Ponder said. "The offensive line was opening up holes. And I think Jerome Felton is a guy who hasn't gotten a lot of recognition, but watching him on tape, he's done a heck of a job lead blocking for Adrian.

"It's important. We're a run-first team for sure, and that's kind of our identity. So it's important for us to establish the run and establish the line of scrimmage. We're going to keep doing it against every team we play."

Running the ball consistently in the NFL is difficult enough. Running it consistently when the other side knows it's coming? Well, that's darn near impossible.

That, according to Peterson, is what makes moments like the above eight-play sequence so satisfying and encouraging.

"You see the body language of the defenders, and they have a few choice words that may come out, as well," Peterson said. "Then in the third and fourth quarters, you see those guys not coming in with the same type of physicality on certain plays. That's when you know guys are shutting it down. We sense that."

  • related content

  • Sunday Insider: Northern Intelligence

    Saturday October 6, 2012

    It's a nice thought, but Colts interim coach Bruce Arians has no chance of keeping Packers fans from invading the 82nd sellout at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. Arians challenged...

  • Sunday Insider: Fourth-and-5

    Saturday October 6, 2012

    Coach of the Year so far? 1. St. Louis' Jeff Fisher, who already has surpassed last year's win total of two. 2. The Vikings' Leslie Frazier, who has matched last...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
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
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
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
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 against Atlanta?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close