Although Adrian Peterson had another fairly unimpressive game Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers stat wise, there were plenty of things I saw that make me optimistic about his immediate future. The Minnesota Vikings are taking on the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, who have a bottom ten run defense this year, providing Peterson with an opportunity for a huge performance.
Last week against the Packers, Peterson showed the fight he was missing the previous weeks, and he once again was running easily through arm tackles. He finished the day with 60 yards on just 13 carries, once again the perfect example of the best running back in the league being underutilized. Most of the time when Peterson is able to break tackles easily and move piles, like he was on Sunday, it is only a matter of time before he gets that long touchdown run. The Vikings, however, didn’t give him enough carries to get to that point last Sunday, which is something that has happened numerous times this year.
The Packers did a solid job controlling the clock when on offense, limiting the amount of offensive plays the Vikings had, but the men in purple only had 15 first downs all game, showing it was their fault as well for Peterson’s lack of touches. The way Christian Ponder struggled last week I would expect to see Josh Freeman starting under center for the Vikings this weekend, meaning Peterson should be getting plenty of touches.
Freeman likely will still be working with a limited playbook, and the way he failed to establish any threat of a pass game against the New York Giants, Peterson should get the ball early and often, ensuring he finishes with well over 20 touches. The Cowboys’ defense won’t be at full strength this weekend, and if the offensive line can manage a depleted Cowboys d-line this could be the week Peterson breaks free for a signature touchdown run and gives the Vikings’ offense their identity back.