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

Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati 3 Top 7th Inning
St. Louis 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 9 3rd Qtr
Carolina 3
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 3rd Prd 11:13
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 3rd Prd 6:41
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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 Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
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: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close