“All Day” Is Vikings All-Purpose Weapon

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 27, 2010 – 6:56 am

For a team that’s 1-2 and has faced its share of adversity so far in the young 2010 season, the Vikings also have quite a few positive trends through the first 3 games. The most positive of them all is the performance(s) of superstar RB Adrian Peterson, who is doing all the things the NFL’s best RB should be able to do.

Peterson rushed for 1,383 yard and 18 TDs a year ago and remained, for my money, the NFL’s best runner. But a bad habit of fumbling in big spots and the Vikings willingness to insert Chester Taylor into important spots such as 3rd downs and late-game passing situations yielded some criticism for young #28. Judging by his performance so far in 2009, Peterson took those criticisms to heart and through 3 games there really isn’t much to criticize in his game.

Peterson’s latest performance was his best, as he ripped through the Detroit Lions defense for 160 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries. He’s now the NFC’s leading rusher and is ranked 2nd in the NFL with 392 yards. Only Houston’s Arian Foster has more rushing yards (406) and no one in the NFC is within sight of Peterson (Ahmad Bradshaw has 253 rushing yards). On top of that, Peterson is averaging 5.6 yards per rush and 130.7 yards per game, numbers that both represent dramatic improvements from a season ago. Against the Lions on Sunday, Peterson displayed his game-breaking speed by bolting up the middle, bouncing outside and out-running everyone to the endzone for an 80-yard score, the longest of his career and the 4th-longest in team history.

But being an all-purpose back and also the best RB in the league is about more than racking up rushing yards and scoring TDs. While Peterson has had no problem with either of those tasks in 2010, he’s also been a factor in the Vikings passing game. Peterson had 5 receptions for 30 yards on Sunday against Detroit and he now has 13 receptions on the season, putting him on pace for 69 catches this season, a total that will smash his previous career high in receptions (43). In addition to his pass-catching contributions, Peterson has also been on the field frequently in 3rd down situations and a number of times he’s been the one to pick up a blitzing defender to buy QB Brett Favre extra time to convert a 3rd down pass.

In talking with my buddy Paul Allen – voice of the Vikings Radio Network – after Sunday’s win over Detroit, I thought he may have used the best adjective to describe Peterson’s performance on the season so far. He called it “professional,” which I think is appropriate because Peterson is doing all of the things you expect a professional RB to do. He’s picking up yardage as a rusher on the ground and he’s pulling his weight in the passing game both as a receiver and blocker.

On top of everything I just mentioned, Peterson has also (knock on wood) not fumbled the ball this year. This offseason much of the talk about Peterson was not about the fact that he owns 3 of the top 4 single-season rushing totals in Vikings history or that he set a team record and led the NFL in rushing TDs last year with 18. It was about his fumbling issues – he had 7 fumbles and lost 6 of them last year – and whether or not he could resolve that issue.

It’s only been 3 games, but so far so good in the fumbling department. Peterson seems conscious of protecting the ball and that mental awareness has not hindered his physical abilities. He’s displaying the running form we’ve become accustomed to and also the running form that has made him the best RB in the NFL.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »

18 Responses to ““All Day” Is Vikings All-Purpose Weapon”

  1. By Rick James on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    AP is an absolute beast. He is charging hard at MVP status and rightfully so! In my mind he is the best RB in the league! He will undoubtably be forcing more defenders to the box which will help set up a passing game that needs all the help it can get. Open up the playaction a little. For gosh sake the wr’s need to make a darn play on the ball!!!! It seems Favre has to put it right between their numbers while in stride…And even that isnt good enough sometimes!

  2. By Ryan on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Bench loadholt we might have to rebuild this oline after this season keep hutch everyone must go. They are good in creating holes for peterson but they cannot protect the qb in passing downs. They did a decent job, but that’s against the lions. The jets defense is going to blitz and injure favre if they can’t protect favre he will be out midseason. Oline is terrible one game is not enough to give them slack they need to pick up there game or chilly has got to bench some players its ridiculous how many times favre has got knocked down so far.

  3. By purplefavrefan on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    great job, ap!!! love it!

  4. By Robins on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Congratulations on a fantastic job Adrian! I have been waiting for you to get through for the long yards! Do it again against the Jets! Now I hope Brett and Hank, Greg and Percy can get some practice in so they will be great together for the Jets. ShIancoe, get well! What was with all of those penalties? Clean it up and beat the jets please! Vikings win!

  5. By NYViking on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Awesome A.P. Awesome Adrian !!!!

  6. By cynik on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    AP is doing his job and at the top level. Chili has to use him…….that is the problem and light a fire under the line and protect/block and let Favre survive to play. Go Vikes

  7. By Loren on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Adrian looks in top form.Detroits Offense came in pretty hot.Defense wins championships.Obviously you have to have overall balance too.O-line needs to get better for passing to improve.

  8. By Lito on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Your the man AP. I hope that our offensive line can both protect Bret Favre and create holes for AP and TG. The receiving corp has yet to catch up with the rest of the team. Can’t management do something to help Bret and AP, specifically in the offensive line and getting some good field positions via a real threat return specialist?

  9. By Skol_Vikings on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    I think this is a fantastic time for a bye week for the Vikings this season. I think a little more synchronization is really all they need to get back to production levels on offense. Its time to win 5-6 in a row! The team can accomplish this goal with the strong defensive backing that is presently assembled. Give the receivers a little bit of time. Although I would like to see Logan Payne activated sometime soonish, if his practice squad play is anything like his preseason play.

  10. By meswant on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    I have to admit, I did not care for AP last year. It was the first year I watched the Vikings (I am a Favre fan & I followed the teams he played for only) & was not impressed with him as he always seemed to fumble at the worst times. So far this year, I am very impressed, he is an animal!!! the 80 yr td run was one of the best things I have seen!! It is the beginning of the season & I have a new found respect for him.

  11. By steve on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Hats off toA.P.Now if we could just teach berrian how toget his ass open!!!

  12. By no1vikingsfan on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    meswant! after what you said, it would be easy to assume no one here cares a bit about your opinion regarding Peterson or Favre and would much rather you go find yourself a football team you can cheer for next year, Favre won’t be here, in fact why don’t you get started now, this place really is for Vikings fans and your opinion about Peterson last year was way off, Peterson had a good season and only fumbled the ball 7 times and got 18 TD’s, quite a productive season if you ask me.

  13. By Bigfan1 on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    AP is the man, beat the other backs this week and watch out has he develops patience and gets better. AP was key to the Vikes win this week along with both lines, especially the D–they are tremendous, holding three teams to under 14 pts.
    I can’t believe the Viking’s coaching staff let the WR corps get so shallow with Favre’s anticipated return.

  14. By Bob on Sep 27, 2010 | Reply

    Vikings offense improved catch and run are berrian and harvins strengths, they cant bomb it every play we killed the clock with catch and run routes that is how we need to play.

  15. By GOLDVIKE on Sep 28, 2010 | Reply


  16. By corey williams on Sep 28, 2010 | Reply

    This bye week coming is perfect timing. Farve is known for doing more with less(no offense to percy who is awesome). Two weeks to get more reps in should do us justice and hopefully we can get on the winning traxk and reclaim OUR division. Go vikes and keep the momentum going.

  17. By Cal on Sep 28, 2010 | Reply

    The vikes should be able to wear down any d with AP, Mckinnie, and Loadholdt, who are better run-blocking than pass-blocking. The passing game will improve with time. They should’nt get ahead of progression of the passing game just because Brett Favre is behind center. Percy also needs to start returning some kicks.

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