2,000 Yards For Peterson?

Posted by cjsiewert on August 29, 2010 – 6:43 pm

Saturday night’s 24-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks saw many of the Vikings regular starters playing into the second half with many of the offensive players getting an opportunity to show what they could do with the football. The Vikings offense had a nice balanced game plan – 36 passing attempts and 33 plays on the ground.

Last year’s squad found themselves relying heavily on the passing game with the emergence of WRs Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice receiving the ball from future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre. But with Harvin dealing with migraines and Rice sidelined after hip surgery, will RB Adrian Peterson return as the staple of the Purple’s offensive attack just as it was in the pre-Favre years?

Peterson rushed for 37 yards on 11 attempts and reached the endzone once on a 24-yard handoff from Brett Favre Saturday night. The 2007 Rookie of the Year also caught 2 passes for 36 yards, one that came on a screen pass where #28 scampered through the Seahawks defense for a 31-yard gain.

After Favre’s return to Winter Park on August 17, he mentioned during his press conference that he doesn’t feel that he has to be as great as he was last year for the team to reach the Super Bowl – one reason being that the men in purple have so many different weapons. The Vikings star RB may be a huge factor under that assumption.

Saturday night’s victory over Seattle may well have been an indication as to how the offense’s approach, and the use of Peterson, will unfold for the Vikings during the course of the regular season. If that’s the case, AP may end up recording a career year on the ground.

A lot of attention has been centered on Titans RB Chris Johnson self-proclaiming himself as the league’s best back over Peterson after rushing for 2,006 yards last season. The Vikings RB has been less vocal on the situation than Johnson but told a group of reporters after Saturday night’s preseason game that Johnson’s success last season serves as a tool of motivation.

“I look at him like, ‘hey, it’s time for me to get it now,’” Peterson said. He also related back to Favre’s comments on the potential that the Vikings offense has this season to be successful.

“With our offense we have so many different weapons. So the ball is going to be moving around with different guys. So I can’t trouble myself or waste on focusing on just 2,000 yards, 2,000 yards. I just set my goal and go out and perform my best, and if it comes it comes.”

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Some Good, Some Bad With 1st Team Offense

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 29, 2010 – 2:45 pm

The Vikings came away from Saturday night’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks with a 24-13 victory thanks to a 4th-quarter offensive surge that included a pair of TD drives led by QBs Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb. But being that it was the team’s 3rd preseason game, much of the post-game analysis is centered on assessing how the starting unit looked.

So let’s assess.

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said it the best, telling reporters during his post-game press conference that his offense remains “in flux.”

“It’s no different than my answer to you the other day; it is still in flux,” Childress said. “There’s moving parts, there are parts that are still being added. Whether it’s the quarterback just getting here a couple of weeks ago, whether it’s (Greg) Camarillo just getting here or Percy (Harvin) coming back or that offensive line playing all-together. It’s still in flux.  There’s still a lot of work to do.”

Taking into account Childress’ quote and the fact that Minnesota’s 1st-team offense tallied just 10 points in 2+ quarters, the assessment could justifiably be fairly negative. QB Brett Favre was 16 of 26 for 187 yards, but he had no TD passes, 2 INTs (one of which was a tipped pass) and a lost fumble.

But an objective assessment of the 1st-team’s performance also yields some positives. Although Childress also said during his press conference that he’d like the offense to be more explosive, Favre and Co. did register 5 explosive plays – 4 passes and 1 run (an explosive play is a run of 12+ yards and a reception of 16+ yards). The Vikings also converted their first 4 third-down tries, which enabled them to move the ball. The Vikings drove 34 yards in 3 plays on the 1st series, 65 yards on 16 plays on the 2nd series, 38 yards in 3 plays on the 3rd series and 66 yards on 13 plays in the 5th series. While the offense needs to convert those drives into more points, it’s still a positive sign that they were able to sustain drives and pick up big chunks of yardage.

“Yeah, we would have liked to score more,” Favre said after the game. “[We] turned the ball over. [There is] a lot of stuff on film that we can learn from. We obviously are not hitting on all cylinders yet, but overall I was pleased. I think I had 26 passes. I thought I threw the ball well for the most part.”

A few other positive signs included Adrian Peterson’s 24-yard TD dash, seeing WR Percy Harvin (2 rec. for 30 yards) back on the field and in a good mood after the game, Greg Camarillo contributing in big situations and Javon Walker’s acrobatic TD grab in the 2nd half.

So the 1st-team offense finished its work on Saturday night with mixed reviews. The main concerns going forward are shoring up the offensive line play, eliminating costly penalties and dropped passes and finding a way to get Peterson and the ground game going to keep opposing defenses off-balance.

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