Adrian Peterson calls out Norv Turner, kind of
By Dan Zinski
Adrian Peterson was frustrated after the Vikings’ loss to the Packers and hinted that Norv Turner’s play-calling was partly to blame for the defeat.
The Minnesota Vikings’ offense did not perform particularly well in Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.
The offensive line in particular had a terrible day, failing to protect Teddy Bridgewater and failing to open holes for Adrian Peterson.
The Packers’ defense bullied the Vikings all afternoon, holding Minnesota to just 94 yards on the ground (nearly half of that coming on QB runs) while placing Bridgewater under relentless pressure.
After the game Adrian Peterson expressed his frustration over how the affair played out, and seemed to lay a little bit of blame at the feet of offensive coordinator Norv Turner (via SI.com):
"“I think it’s from the top to the bottom,” he said. “It’s from the coaches on both sides, and the players. No matter what position we were in, we had calls, and we didn’t execute on a lot of plays.“It came back to hurt us. But it’s the coaches’ job to put us in the best position, as well.”"
Peterson carried the ball just 13 times on the day for 45 yards, his lowest output since the opening game against San Francisco.
Peterson’s lack of carries was partly due to the Vikings playing from behind much of the day and being forced to throw. But one assumes Peterson isn’t only referring to his own lack of production in sort of calling out Norv Turner.
The big issue for Minnesota was the lack of pass protection. The offensive line was a sieve all afternoon and Teddy Bridgewater ended up running for his life.
According to PFF, Bridgewater was pressured on nearly 60% of his dropbacks. Per that site, the Vikes offensive line surrendered four sacks (the Packers had six sacks total, two of which were not blamed on the line), two other QB hits and a ridiculous 20 hurries.
Several of the sacks resulted in big losses as Bridgewater scrambled around. The Vikings lost 48 total yards on the six sacks.
One sack resulted in Bridgewater injuring his shoulder and briefly leaving the game.
The pressure led to very conservative passing, with Bridgewater targeting 24 of 32 passes within ten yards of the line of scrimmage per PFF.
How much of this was down to poor execution and how much was a result of Turner failing to adjust his play-calling to the pressure the Packers were bringing?
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Peterson certainly seems to be suggesting that the offensive coordinator needs to bear some responsibility for the way things played out.
I would point out that Peterson didn’t exactly help matters by fumbling the ball in a crucial situation in the fourth quarter.
But it is important to ask the question: Is Norv Turner’s offensive approach helping or hurting Teddy Bridgewater?
Could Turner be doing more from a play-calling point-of-view to ameliorate some of the pass protection issues?
Maybe this game was just doomed to play out the way it played out, and there was nothing Turner could have done to get things back on-track for his offense.
The truly frustrating thing was seeing Teddy Bridgewater run around doing everything he could to keep his team alive only to watch many of his teammates – and maybe some of his coaches – fail to step up and help him out.
After this one, Turner and the Vikings need to ask themselves some questions about how they’re going about their business offensively.
Another game like that and Teddy Bridgewater will end up in the hospital.