Through three games this season, Peterson has 69 carries for 281 yards and three touchdowns. He has also caught 11 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. Compare that to last season after three games, when he had 58 carries for 230 yards and two touchdowns while catching six passes for 44 yards.
“We have to keep swinging and swinging a lot better,” said Peterson about moving forward. “I feel like we will approach it with that mind-set and attitude and we’ll be OK.”
Does Peterson believe defenses are keying in on him more than last season?
“You know guys are stacking the box a little more, and those guys on the other side of the ball are pretty good, as well,” he said. “You’re not going to have a game every week where you get 50 here, 40 here. You know you have to come out and try and find pieces, each one [getting] 5 and 6 [yards]. That’s what you ask for out of the run game is to be efficient.”
Still Peterson, who is the hardest-working player in the NFL, said there’s no point in letting losses and frustration build up week to week.
“Yeah [losing is] a little frustrating,” he said. “But I can’t be frustrated about it, because it’s not going to help us and help us move forward. We just have to learn from this and try and focus on the things that are going to help us get better, instead of being frustrated and being down. … Don’t get me wrong, but it’s all about how you respond to it.”
Peterson knows it has to be frustrating for fans to see the Vikings come out on their opening drive and march down the field 80 yards on 11 plays and score a touchdown, then have that same offense go three-and-out on its next two possessions.
“That’s the biggest thing is continue to be consistent. We can’t come out and have the type of drive that we had and then come out and go three-and-out,” he said. “We have to take a little more pride. I don’t know what it is, but we need to clean it up.”
Peterson was asked what he thought about the fans booing Christian Ponder and calling for Matt Cassel to step in as the starting quarterback.
“That happens,” he said.
“I don’t really think too much about it. I have his back. He scored [two rushing] touchdowns in this game. They were cheering him when he scored and booing him when a pass wasn’t accurate or doing what they wanted. That’s what you get. We have to fight through that as well.”
With what is now a crucial game against the Steelers next week in London, the Vikings are going to have to fight through a lot of things if they want to turn this season around.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org