No big days no big deal for Peterson

Adrian Peterson is OK with 50- and 60-yard games as long as his team is winning. So far, so good at 5-0 and with Brett Favre taking advantage of run-focused defenses.

Adrian Peterson hasn't rushed for 100 yards in the past four games. So how concerned are the Vikings about their Pro Bowl running back?

Not at all.

In fact, in many ways this is exactly how the Vikings had hoped their offense might work. The difference was that previously when teams stacked the box in an effort to slow Peterson, Vikings quarterbacks such as Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte weren't able to make opponents pay.

Thus, Peterson put up some monster games against big odds. But with Brett Favre now running the show in Minnesota, the need to make Peterson do all the work has disappeared. If teams are going to focus on stopping the run — and that is often still the case — the 40-year-old quarterback will be more than happy to throw the ball.

That doesn't mean Peterson isn't the superstar of this offense, it just means the Vikings have more ways to beat teams these days. Case in point: a 38-10 victory on Sunday in St. Louis in which Peterson rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries.

It will be interesting to see what happens this Sunday when the Vikings play host to the Ravens. The Ravens are very good against the run but have given up yardage against the pass, so the Vikings will have to plan accordingly.

As far as the talk Peterson has heard about his start, well, he isn't too worried. Especially since the Vikings are off to a 5-0 start.

"I get a lot of questions about, ‘How are you feeling? Are you frustrated because the run game is (getting) 50 yards here, 60 yards here?'" Peterson said. "I've said all along, if I go into a game and we come out with 60 or 80 yards rushing as a group and we get a ‘W,' I'm excited, I'm happy. That's what it's all about."

NOTES

  • QB Brett Favre improved to 5-0 for the first time in his 19-year career with Sunday's victory over the Rams. Favre completed 18 of 24 passes for 232 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Although the pick was a poorly thrown pass, he had a very solid 101.4 passer rating. That marked the third time in five games that Favre's rating has exceeded 100. It's clear the surgery done to repair Favre's partially torn biceps tendon in late May was a success. Although he just turned 40 years old Saturday, he still has plenty of zip left on the ball.

  • QB Tarvaris Jackson saw limited playing time for a third consecutive road game because the Vikings had a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter. Jackson played in Minnesota's final offensive series Sunday, completing three of three passes for 68 yards as the Vikings drove 80 yards on nine plays and scored on Chester Taylor's 1-yard run. Jackson has been the No. 2 quarterback behind Brett Favre for all five of the Vikings games this season.

  • RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns against the Rams, marking the fourth consecutive game in which he was held under 100 yards rushing. Peterson opened the season with a 180-yard, three-touchdown performance against Cleveland, but with teams focusing on the run game, the Vikings are more than happy to throw the ball with Brett Favre running the show.

  • RB Chester Taylor continues to be the Vikings' primary third-down running back and a quiet contributor to the offense. Taylor had three catches for 49 yards Sunday and leads the team with 21 receptions for 187 yards. The veteran, who rushed for 1,216 yards in his first season with the Vikings in 2006, was third on the team last season with 45 receptions.

  • TE Visanthe Shiancoe is fifth on the Vikings with only 13 catches, but his three touchdown receptions lead the team and he appears to be among those building a better chemistry with Brett Favre. Shiancoe tied for the team lead with four receptions against St. Louis and caught a touchdown pass.

  • WR Bernard Berrian has risen to second on the Vikings with 19 receptions and has become a favorite target of Brett Favre on slant routes. The fact Berrian has the explosive ability to take a short pass and turn it into a significant gain means he should be seeing plenty of those darts from Favre.

  • WR Percy Harvin continues to play like a veteran and not a rookie. He had four more catches for 66 yards Sunday, including two for 46 yards on a game-opening touchdown drive. Harvin's 233 receiving yards are tied with Sidney Rice for the team lead. Harvin and Rice have caught two touchdown passes apiece.

  • DE Jared Allen continues to be at the top of his game. Allen had two fumble recoveries Sunday, one of which he returned for his first career touchdown on defense. Allen did not have a sack against the Rams, but he leads the Vikings with 6.5 for the season.

  • DT Kevin Williams has created havoc for teams this season as he continues to play at a Pro Bowl level. Williams had a sack against St. Louis and has two this season to tie for second on the Vikings. He also had three tackles, two quarterback hurries, a tackle for a loss and a pass breakup.

  • S Tyrell Johnson did a nice job Sunday as the Rams went at him often. Johnson made a nice play to break up a potential touchdown pass in the third quarter and also had an interception in the end zone to end a St. Louis drive in the fourth quarter. He finished with five tackles and two passes broken up.


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