Adrian Peterson demands more of himself when his rushing stats are merely good, not great.
A 100-yard rushing performance in the NFL usually results in a hearty pat on the back and maybe even a game ball for most running backs. Adrian Peterson rushed for 100 yards last week and said he needed to do some “soul-searching.”
That’s example 2,097 why the reigning NFL MVP is not like everyone else.
“I was worried about the things that I left out there on the field and how much better I could’ve performed,” he said.
Peterson admittedly wasn’t himself in a 31-30 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Yes, he reached 100 yards for the 38th time in his career, but he lost one fumble and didn’t seem to blast away at opposing tacklers like he normally does.
Afterward, he described himself as hesitant. Film review reinforced that opinion.
“Yeah, I was just able to confirm that I was hesitant on some [runs],” he said. “Even though I didn’t realize it when I was out there, I could see on film that I was trying to do too much instead of taking what the defense gave me.”
As clichéd as it sounds, Peterson has encountered those moments at different times in his career. He’s so explosive and so confident in his abilities that he expects every touch to result in a home run. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson looked like he was trying to run 60 yards on every carry, which sounds good in theory but is not practical.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to get what’s there,” Frazier said.
Peterson often recited a favorite saying when he found himself becoming overly anxious early in his career. “Famine, famine, feast,” he’d say.
In other words, keep plugging along and big plays eventually will happen.
“[Sunday’s game] is just another reminder,” he said. “You can kind of get out of whack at times, and you’ve got to be able to evaluate yourself and see how you can improve and get back on track. So it’ll be a pretty easy adjustment for me.”
Nobody doubts that. Peterson has rushed for 193 yards through two games, third-most in the league. But subtract his 78-yard run on his first carry of the season and he’s averaging only 2.7 yards on his next 43 carries.
Frazier said he believes the running game is close to functioning normally after a sluggish start in Detroit. Sunday’s game against the 0-2 Cleveland Browns should serve as a worthy test.
As depleted as they are on offense, the Browns are tied for fourth in the NFL in run defense (59.5 yards per game) and only allow a league-best 2.0 yards per carry.
“We pride ourselves on being able to establish the run game,” Peterson said, “so it will be a good challenge for us. I’m excited for it.”
If he needs an extra dose of adrenaline, Peterson can revisit his 2009 performance against the Browns in which he rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns, including a freakish run that he still ranks in the top three of his career highlight plays.
Peterson broke five tackles and literally tossed one defender out of bounds on a 64-yard touchdown run in the ’09 opener.
|Minnesota - WP: C. Thielbar||7||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Banuelos||3|
|Seattle||2||Bottom 10th Inning|
|Cleveland||103||4th Qtr 1:50|
|Stephen F Austin||85|
|Sam Houston St||69||FINAL|
|San Diego St||59|
|Utah Valley U||69|
|Texas-Arlington||65||2nd Half 4:58|
|Boise State||29||2nd Half|
|CS-Bakersfield||42||2nd Half 14:17|
|New Mexico St||38|
|CS-Northridge||32||1st Half 5:03|
|Long Beach State||23|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||64|
|(25) Bowling Green||55|
|New Mexico St||65||FINAL|
|Coll of Charleston||70|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon||X||29-26|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon||X||48-30|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon||X||42-14|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||14-13|