Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: 5 players to watch

4 of 6

Sep 14, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) reacts after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi

3. Adrian Peterson

The statline was not was Adrian Peterson had in mind for his comeback to the NFL.

31 yards on 10 carries? Not exactly one for the time capsule.

The Vikings claim that the lack of action for Peterson was partly a function of game situation and the fact that they fell behind. Maybe, but that doesn’t totally explain why Peterson was yanked for much of the second quarter.

The Vikings were not far behind in the second quarter and still could have worked to establish Peterson in the run. So why was he removed for two entire series in favor of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata?

One suspects that Peterson’s early pass protection issues played a part in the decision to remove him from the game until after halftime.

In the second half, Peterson looked somewhat better in pass protection but still did not appear comfortable trying to run the ball in the Vikings’ shotgun sets.

Peterson’s performance has raised valid questions about his ability to function in the spread looks the Vikings like to employ.

Teddy Bridgewater is better in the spread, and the Vikings are certainly going to keep throwing those looks at defenses.

Peterson had better adjust to the situation or he is going to have a very long and ugly year.

Next: A safety (but which one?)