About a week ago, The Viking Age wrote an article about how the Vikings were going to return to a “run-first philosophy”. While the Vikings did have three rushing touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Adrian Peterson was the MVP of the National Football League last year. He averaged 21.75 carries per game during his franchise record shattering performance of achieving 2097 rushing yards during the 2012 season. This year, he is averaging 18.29 carries per game, but that too is deceiving. The offensive philosophy before and after the bye have been very different indeed.
Here are Adrian Peterson’s numbers before and after the bye week:
- Weeks 1-4 averages (before bye week): 23 carries, 105.25 rushing yards.
- Weeks 6-8 averages (after bye week): 12 carries. 50 rushing yards.
There is something interesting about these numbers. Peterson is running the ball consistently. He is averaging over 4 yards per carry no matter how many touches he gets. Sadly, the touches just haven’t been there. Even though the Vikings were within two scores until about midway through the 3rd quarter of the game at home against the Green Bay Packers, Peterson still didn’t see the carries that he should have in order to manage the clock and move the chains. This is the way the Vikings won games last year. However, the Vikings seem to believe that they can win more games through the air.
Averaging twelve rushes per game is even worse when you think about it in a different way. A football game is four quarters long. That means that over the course of the last three games that the Minnesota Vikings are only getting Adrian Peterson an average of three rushes per quarter of football. Three. Is that any way to treat your franchise player?
Hopefully Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is noticing this disgusting waste of talent by offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave this season. To have a weapon like Adrian Peterson and not use him is a confusing strategy at best. If Musgrave wants to stay in Minnesota, he had better make some adjustments and make them now.