Sid Hartman: Peterson not getting into end zone lately

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 10:44 PM

 The All-Pro running back hasn't scored in a career-high five games, a big reason for the Vikings' red zone issues.

The fact that Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson has scored only two touchdowns this season is surely one of the major reasons that the Vikings are having trouble producing in the red zone.

The Vikings offense has gone quite a while without Peterson scoring, a rarity over his great career.

He hasn't recorded a touchdown since reaching the end zone twice in Week 1 against Jacksonville, going five weeks without a score. That is the longest touchdown drought of his career.

Prior to this season, the 2007 first-round draft pick hadn't gone more than three weeks in a row without scoring, and that only happened once, in Weeks 14-16 of the 2008 season, although he still rushed 72 times for 346 yards in those three games: victories at Detroit and Arizona followed by a home loss to Atlanta.

Four other times, Peterson went back-to-back games without a score: once in his rookie season of 2007, twice in 2008 and once in 2010. In the 12 games he played last season, he scored a touchdown in all but three of them, finishing with 13 touchdowns (12 rushing, one receiving). Right now, he's on pace to score only five touchdowns.

Surely the Vikings know that getting Peterson into the end zone and giving him the ball when they get inside the 20 will help turn around their current struggles.

The Vikings rank 19th in the NFL in red zone touchdown scoring percentage at only 50 percent. That percentage was greatly affected by them scoring just two touchdowns in seven red zone attempts against Washington last week. Their percentage this year is even down from last year's miserable 3-13 season, when they scored touchdowns on 56.6 percent of their chances.

Still the Vikings have been successful in at least producing points once they reach the red zone -- they have made 22 trips inside the 20 this season and have scored 11 touchdowns and kicked 10 field goals, a 95 percent success rate. The only time they haven't scored is when Christian Ponder threw an interception with 22 seconds left in the game Sunday.

I'm sure fans took notice during last week's loss to Washington when the Fox cameras cut to the sideline on key plays in the red zone to show Peterson standing next to his coaches.

Ponder said this week that the team fully understands the importance of using Peterson in the red zone, and that doing so eventually will lead to an uptick in Peterson's low touchdown numbers.

"I mean we have to keep giving him the ball," Ponder said. "He'll punch it in and find ways to get in."

Teague supports coach

University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague is in complete support of football coach Jerry Kill. Teague backed Kill and paid North Carolina $800,000 to get out of a home-and-home football series the next two years, and is negotiating to replace the Tar Heels with a home-and-home with New Mexico State.

Not to be critical of former athletic director Joel Maturi for not spending the $800,000 when he had the same opportunity, but most athletic directors wouldn't have done what Teague did and faced the PR nightmare of paying big money to weaken the schedule.

North Carolina is 5-2 this year having beaten Elon, East Carolina, Idaho, Virginia Tech and Miami (Fla.) while losing to Wake Forest and Louisville. On the basis of their record this year, the Tar Heels would be tough for the Gophers to handle next fall on the road.

New Mexico State beat the Gophers 28-21 in Minneapolis last year and wouldn't be an easy opponent on the road again next year, if the contracts are finalized.

"It was a tough decision and I am going to make the tough decisions," Teague said.

The Gophers go to Madison, Wis., this week to face the Badgers, where they have lost eight consecutive times, last winning in Madison in 1994. The Gophers have won only four of the past 19 games against the Badgers, last winning in 2003.

They have had eight different head football coaches since they last tied for a Big Ten title in 1967 and need to create a culture of winning at the U. And the Gophers aren't the only team trying to schedule nonconference teams they can beat. Most teams do it.

Jottings

• Look for former Minnetonka standout Beau Allen to be a big playmaker for the Badgers this weekend against the Gophers. Last week against Purdue, the defensive lineman blocked a punt and recorded a tackle. The week before that against Illinois he recorded three tackles, a sack and forced a fumble.

• In the Vikings' two losses this year against Indianapolis and Washington, Ponder was sacked four teams in each game, totalling 13 yards lost against the Colts and 25 yards against the Redskins. In the four victories he has taken a combined five sacks for 15 yards lost.

• That was St. Paul native Jeff Nelson who the Yankees blamed for losing Game 2 of the ALCS after he called Tigers baserunner Omar Infante safe while diving back to the bag at second, when replays showed Robinson Cano clearly tagged him out.

• Gophers hockey recruit Justin Kloos, who Thursday was named to the U.S. select team that will compete in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in November, has four goals and five assists in his first five games for Waterloo of the USHL and is second in the league in scoring. ... Another Gophers hockey recruit, Hudson Fasching of Apple Valley, had a goal and two assists in the USA Under-18 Team's 6-4 exhibition loss to North Dakota on Friday night.

• Former Cretin-Derham Hall standout Michael Floyd will be in town this weekend to face the Vikings. Floyd didn't have a reception in his first two games with the Arizona Cardinals, but the Notre Dame grad has picked it up recently, grabbing seven receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown over his past four games.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 2 FINAL
San Jose 1
Boston 1 1st Prd 2:01
Toronto 0
NY Rangers 1 1st Prd 2:25
Montreal 1
New Jersey 0 2nd Prd
Ottawa 0
Dallas 1 2nd Prd
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 2nd Prd
Philadelphia 0
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
Colorado 37
Akron 21 FINAL
Ball State 35
Massachusetts 35 FINAL
Toledo 42
Ohio U 21 FINAL
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 FINAL
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
Fla Atlantic 16 FINAL
(23) Marshall 35
Louisiana Tech 31 FINAL
Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 27 FINAL
(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
Boston College 23 FINAL
Wake Forest 17
Central Mich 20 FINAL
Buffalo 14
Vanderbilt 14 FINAL
Missouri 24
Old Dominion 51 FINAL
Western Ky 66
UNLV 20 FINAL
Utah State 34
Temple 14 4th Qtr
UCF 34
(15) Arizona 31 3rd Qtr
Washington St 16
Texas-El Paso 14 2nd Qtr 11:55
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 3 2nd Qtr 15:00
Colorado State 10
Syracuse 3 2nd Qtr 12:02
(21) Clemson 0
Texas State 0 2nd Qtr 9:39
ULM 6
(3) Ole Miss 0 1st Qtr 1:35
(24) LSU 0
(4) Alabama 6 1st Qtr 10:54
Tennessee 0
So Carolina 7 1st Qtr 9:21
(5) Auburn 0
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 0 1st Half 35:00
New England 0
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 24 FINAL
Toronto 26
Brt Columbia 7 12:16
Winnipeg 4
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
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 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
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 Sunday in Tampa Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close