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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Adrian Peterson riled after chat with Jim Schwartz

By Wesseling, Chris

Adrian Peterson spent a week soul searching after an “out of whack” performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 2.

That was a major upgrade from his post-game reaction to an innocuous Week 1 comment from Jim Schwartz, who revealed that the Detroit Lions had been game-planning to stop the Minnesota Vikings‘ ground attack for a month leading up to the season opener.

“(Expletive.) A month y’all been game-planning to stop the run? (Expletive.) Y’all better do a good job,” Peterson said in frustration Wednesday, via USA Today’s Tom Pelissero. “(Expletive.) That’s what we’re facing. Guys are coming in, and they know our run game. They’re doing everything they can to stop it. It’s not easy.”

Peterson actually is ahead of last year’s three-week pace when he was easing back from reconstructive knee surgery, but he’s averaged a paltry 2.9 yards per carry since opening the season with a 78-yard touchdown scamper against the Lions.

So what’s different this year?

He’s faced more stuffed boxes than any other running back, which backs up his contention defenses are doing “everything they can” stop the run.

The quarterback is the same as last year. Peterson still is forcing missed tackles at a high rate.

The most significant difference this year is that Peterson hasn’t burned those extra safeties in the box for long runs, as he did in rushing for nearly the same amount of yards (1,598) over the final 10 games as second-leading rusher Alfred Morris (1,613) did over the course of the entire season.


Those missing big plays are on the horizon with fullback Jerome Felton returning from his three-game suspension this week.

The 2012 rushing leader averaged an eye-popping 7.25 yards per carry out of two-back sets with Felton as the primary lead blocker last season. Peterson failed to top 4.0 yards per carry in single-back sets.

Peterson isn’t going to reach his outlandish goal of rushing for 2,500 yards, but he needs only to increase his current per-game rushing average of 93.7 by 40 yards to reach the 2,000-yard marker again.

With Felton back, that’s not an unrealistic milestone for a freakish talent who averaged 160 yards per over the final 10 games of last season.


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