Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) carries the ball during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Still Not Getting Peterson Rushes


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.

Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) celebrates his touchdown run against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) dives for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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.

 

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  • Lisa Guevara

    I have been saying all season that no one is blocking for him and they aren’t sending him to the outside lane. I get that they are loading the line to stop him but if we can’t throw the ball why isn’t our O Line working harder on blocking for him and forget protecting the QB? Have you seen him take off down the outside lane? Why is he constantly headed straight ahead?

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  • Paralus

    The O-line has given up 20 sacks and nearly 18 or 19 tackles for loss. It’s hard for AP or whoever the QB that week is to make plays when defensive lineman are in the backfield with them.

    Plus, the inability to convert on 3rd downs in the passing game means drives stall and the offense loses playing time. Every game we’ve seen the offense stall on numerous drives which means we turn the ball over and then watch the Vikings defense get pushed around the field for 12, 13, 14, 15 play drives that each eat up 8-10 minutes of playing time. Adrian can’t run if he sitting on the sideline with the rest of the offense watching our defense get its ass handed to it and he can’t run if our QBs are too thick-headed to make them pay for stacking 8 in the box.

    Defensive line that can’t stop the run or put pressure on the QB leaves a mediocre/oft-injured secondary exposed. Offense is led by a mediocre QBs who are sapped by poor blocking by their o-line.

  • David Crosby

    No my friend there is NO HOPE that Musgrave will remain here after this season. Musgrave, Williams, Frazier, Singletary all them are almost a certain to be fired. I wish I could add slick rick to that equation but we all know the Wilfs won’t clean house completely and there in lies the problem.