The Vikings rededicated themselves to the running game in last week’s contest against Cincinnati, an effort that resulted in more rushing attempts (37) than passing attempts (30) for the first time in 3 weeks. And the effort ultimately resulted in a 30-10 win, too.
But 2 key elements to the Vikings running game – RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor – were also factors in the passing attack on Sunday. The pair of RBs combined to register 5 receptions for 72 yards. Minnesota’s top 2 WRs on Sunday combined for just 10 more yards on 3 more catches.
Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress indicated on Monday that the key to Peterson and Taylor’s success in the passing game is matchups. On several of their receptions against the Bengals, QB Brett Favre delivered the ball to the RBs in a position where they could catch the ball on the run and sprint away from pursuing LBs.
“Well, we look at them as plus matchups,” Childress said of a RB lined up against a LB. “I am not going to tell you that a corner lined up on a running back extended in a set is a great matchup or a cornerback lined up on a tight end extended is a mismatch.
“I would tell you that a running back should in our estimation be able to out athlete a linebacker when they are in those one-on-ones.”
And Peterson and Taylor did just that on Sunday.
Peterson and Taylor had long receptions of 28 and 26 yards, respectively. Peterson’s long reception came on a 2nd and 20 after a pair of penalties had backed the Vikings up. Then, 3 plays after Peterson’s 28-yarder, Favre found Sidney Rice for a TD to go up 10-0.
Taylor’s long reception came on 3rd and 12 near midfield and was part of a series that saw Taylor touch the ball 4 times and gain 54 yards while also picking up two 3rd-down conversions. Peterson finished that drive off with a 1-yard TD plunge to increase the Vikings lead to 23-7.
“Anytime you can find those guys, sometimes those are the best matchups there are even though this is an up the field, intermediate to down low,” Childress explained. “You can see being able to dunk the football off. It’s a high percentage and it’s a way to get everybody involved and get them involved in mismatches.”
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor
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