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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Counting snaps: Adrian Peterson gets highest playing time rate under Norv Turner

By Andrew Krammer

In lieu of an immediate all-encompassing film review, we bring back the ‘counting snaps’ post from the Vikings’ 23-20 loss in Arizona on Thursday night.

Adrian Peterson got what he wanted, and didn’t have to wait long.

The Vikings established the run early, and a vintage Peterson juked his way to 38 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive, which saw him finish with his trademark cutback that left a few Cardinals defenders on the turf.

A rekindled commitment to Peterson helped the Vikings (8-5) find a groove on offense, even if Peterson was limited to just 31 yards rushing after the first drive. Just days after Peterson said the Vikings were ‘outplayed’ and ‘outcoached’ following his 20 snaps against Seattle, the coaching staff kept Peterson in for 82 percent of the plays in Arizona — his highest playing time rate in 14 games under offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

Peterson’s increased playing time came from his involvement in hurry-up and passing situations, where he previously hadn’t been involved much this season. He was in on the Vikings’ final drive, a two-minute drill that saw Peterson successfully pick up a blitz on Kyle Rudolph’s 14-yard grab to help them move the chains.

A 20-10 deficit to start the fourth quarter was the farthest the game got away from the Vikings, and Turner responded on their next drive by calling three consecutive handoffs to Peterson, who was held down to just 13 yards on 11 carries after halftime.

Offense (out of 68)

Quarterbacks
Teddy Bridgewater: 68
Shaun Hill: 0
Inactive: Taylor Heinicke

Notes: Bridgewater tossed a career-best 335 yards against the Cardinals’ No. 4-ranked defense, resurrecting a Vikings’ passing attack that had lied dormant for weeks. He thrived vs. the Cardinals’ generous blitz pressure, including on a 23-yard toss to Mike Wallace. He produced out of many personnel sets, but perhaps the most intriguing play came from under center, which he’s struggled with this season. Bridgewater found targets for big gains off play-action to Peterson, including a 32-yard anticipation throw, over the shoulders to tight end MyCole Pruitt.

Running backs
Adrian Peterson: 56
Matt Asiata: 7
Zach Line: 6
Jerick McKinnon: 5

Notes: Peterson was much more involved, which limited the work for Asiata and McKinnon. Typically, Turner has given McKinnon or Asiata an entire series, but that was not the case on Thursday in Arizona as the Vikings made a concerted effort to keep Peterson involved. Peterson saw more work in three-receiver sets, and the Vikings compensated by running some of those looks from under center instead of the shotgun.

Receivers
Stefon Diggs: 68
Mike Wallace: 58
Jarius Wright: 39
Adam Thielen: 13
Charles Johnson: 0
Cordarrelle Patterson: 0

Notes: Diggs was shadowed by Patrick Peterson the entire night and struggled to find room to operate against one of the NFL’s best. Diggs had two catches on a team-high seven targets. Mike Wallace had just his second touchdown grab with the Vikings. With Diggs staying on the field for the entire game, Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson did not crack the lineup. Jarius Wright had one of the Vikings’ critical blunders when he had the ball knocked out on an eight-yard grab in Cardinals’ territory.

Tight ends
Kyle Rudolph: 57
Rhett Ellison: 26
MyCole Pruitt: 5

Notes: The big boys were heavily involved in the passing game, compiling nine catches for 144 yards, including a 41-yard screen to Ellison and a 32-yard crossing route to Pruitt, who had two grabs in his five snaps. Bridgewater looked much more comfortable in play-action passes, dropping back and finding his big targets for crucial gains.

Offensive line
Matt Kalil: 68
Brandon Fusco: 68
Joe Berger: 68
Mike Harris: 68
T.J. Clemmings: 68
Austin Shepherd: 0
Jeremiah Sirles: 0
Inactive: Nick Easton

Notes: Obviously, an improved day for the Vikings’ offensive line was overshadowed by Matt Kalil getting tossed aside by Dwight Freeney on the final play. Freeney hit Bridgewater’s right arm, knocking the ball loose and ending the Vikings’ upset bid in Arizona. There were mishaps here and there, but overall Bridgewater had much more time to throw than the week prior vs. Seattle. The line did struggle to open up consistent holes for Peterson, who faced a blitz-happy Cardinals defense.

Defense (out of 67 snaps)

Defensive line
Everson Griffen: 61
Tom Johnson: 61
Brian Robison: 55
Sharrif Floyd: 48
Danielle Hunter: 42
Kenrick Ellis: 14
Scott Crichton: 3
Inactive: Linval Joseph (foot)

Notes: Perhaps the best play on defense came from the edge rushers as Griffen, Robison and Hunter had impactful days against Carson Palmer and his vulnerable offensive line. He was only sacked twice, once by Hunter on third down and another by Griffen in a critical goal-line stand by the Vikings’ depleted defense. Johnson stayed on the field for 61 snaps, his second-most in two years as a Viking. Floyd shifted to nose tackle for the injured Joseph.

Linebackers
Chad Greenway: 67
Eric Kendricks: 67
Edmond Robinson: 26
Jason Trusnik: 0
Inactive: Anthony Barr (hand/groin), Brandon Watts (rib)

Secondary
Anthony Harris: 67
Terence Newman: 64
Trae Waynes: 61
Xavier Rhodes: 61
Captain Munnerlyn: 41
Shaun Prater: 7
Robert Blanton: 6
Inactive: Harrison Smith (knee/hamstring), Andrew Sendejo (knee)

Notes: The Vikings’ secondary remained a carousel throughout the game, but rookie Trae Waynes still remained for all but six snaps at left cornerback. Perhaps Waynes’ ‘welcome to the NFL’ moment came when he seemingly jumped the wrong route, leaving Michael Floyd open down the sideline for what turned into a 42-yard touchdown. Waynes did have an interception negated by an offside penalty, though it’s worth questioning if Carson Palmer knew he had a free play to take that risk. Anthony Harris, a 2015 undrafted signing, made his first start at safety and had some ups and downs, including a near interception. He was also flattened by Larry Fitzgerald on the aforementioned 42-yard touchdown. Missed opportunities highlighted this makeshift secondary as Xavier Rhodes dropped an interception on a Cardinals drive that ended in a field goal. Rhodes left the game briefly following a collision in which his right wrist was pinned against Harris’ helmet and a Cardinal. Terence Newman started at safety, and moved between corner and safety when needed.

The post Counting snaps: Adrian Peterson gets highest playing time rate under Norv Turner appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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