Adrian Peterson’s first carry of the NFL season was an exciting one. We saw him dashing 78 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. It looked like Adrian Peterson was on track to have a career day against the Detroit Lions. Then Adrian hit a wall. For the remainder of the game, Peterson carried the ball 17 times and gained just 15 yards. He ended the day with 93 yards.
For most running backs in the NFL, 93 yards is an excellent performance. In today’s passing league, few running backs even approach 100 in a game anymore. As a matter of fact, only two running backs had more rushing yards in week 1. But that won’t satisfy Adrian Peterson.
One thing we have learned about Peterson over the course of his career is that he wants to win. Although he is very proud of all the awards and accolades he has accomplished, he would trade them all for success as a team. Peterson expressed the frustration in the following quote.
“The only thing we can focus on is taking it one week at a time, bouncing back from last week, try and go on the road and get a tough win. We know it’s going to be tough there in that environment. But it’s a divisional game and it’s another game on our schedule and we need to finish this week 1-1.” – Adrian Peterson
Adrian, however, remains optimistic about Sunday’s game in Chicago against the Bears. He believes that with an improved performance from the team, they can have much more success in the run game.
“They’ve got some good D-tackles, but they aren’t Detroit up front. But not to take anything away from those guys, Julius Peppers and those guys are great players as well. We got to go out and be physical and make our presence felt.” – Adrian Peterson
Peterson isn’t the only one feeling frustrated by the lack of success for the team. Defensive end Jared Allen can’t figure out why this team is struggling.
“It’s becoming annoying. Honestly, if anyone can figure that one out, let me know because it just is tough I guess. I don’t know. I wish I had the magic 8-ball with the answer, but I don’t. All we can do is focus on this year and get it done.” – Jared Allen
Even Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave knew that the team could do better than the performance that they put on against the Lions. He did praise the Lions defense for playing well, but also felt they put themselves in a poor position when they would end up in tough situations after failed first down runs.
“I think the defensive front proved tough to block. We did miss some blocks. We had some negative runs too, which is uncharacteristic. Usually when we run it with Adrian once, twice, three times in a row, we end up in third-and-manageable or we’ve got ourselves a first down. On Sunday in Detroit when we’d run it, we ended up with minus yardage and that’s uncharacteristic for us. Combination of us not doing as well as we’d expect and also Detroit playing very well.” – Bill Musgrave
The Vikings will need to play well on Sunday if they want to have a chance at beating the Bears. Chicago is currently riding high on momentum after defeating a tough Cincinnati Bengals team. Hopefully, the Vikings bring their A-game to Chicago and can get back on track after the frustrating game in Detroit.