Instead of pointing fingers after getting taken down in the backfield far too often against the Chiefs and Lions, Adrian Peterson decided to take a closer look at himself. And he believes he had been repeating a bad habit.
Peterson realized that on several of his carries he stopped his feet in the backfield as he tried to shimmy, shake and make defenders miss. He was trying to break a big play, but they turned into big ones for the opposition.
So against the Bears, Peterson made a conscious effort to keep moving downhill. He believes that was a big factor in his productive afternoon, though a pretty strong effort from the offensive line helped, too.
“Coming back and watching the game, it was like, ‘Wow, that’s how you used to run the ball.’ Let me just keep it straight-up 100,” Peterson said. “You take away your power by stopping your feet and trying to do too many moves. I was able to notice that and fix it and be able to see how I was able to finish through runs and how I appeared more physical because of it. And it was such a small thing that changed the way your game is viewed.”
In the win over the Chiefs in Week 6, he averaged just 2.3 yards on his 26 carries. Against the Lions a week later, he broke free for a 75-yard run in that win but averaged just 1.3 yards per attempt on his 18 other carries.
Last weekend in Chicago, Peterson consistently picked up usable yardage. Only four of his carries went for two yards or fewer. He finished the game with 103 yards on 20 carries for his first 100-yard game since Week 3.
“Keeping my feet moving, keeping my power in front of me and under me and just keeping my momentum going,” the 30-year-old running back said. “It was kind of hard to do that when you’re stopping your feet and you’ve got guys running at you full speed. So that helped me eliminate that.”