Peterson all team, all day

It may look like Adrian Peterson isn't producing like he did last year, but the numbers say otherwise. Either way, he's happy others are contributing and his team is 5-0.

Adrian Peterson hasn't rush for more than 70 yards in the last two games and hasn't rushed for more than 100 yards since the since opener. Alert the media (but they already know). Put the blinders on the fans (but they've already seen the numbers and are asking the questions). Man, Peterson must be frustrated and upset.

Or not.

"All Day," as Peterson is nicknamed, was all smiles this week when ask about the recent numbers, which, he is well aware, have come during an undefeated five-game run to start the season.

Peterson said he's happy that the other players are feeling like they are contributing more.

"A lot of guys probably look at me and were like, ‘Oh, Adrian's disappointed because another game without a hundred yards.' That's not what it's about. Would I like to have 100 yards? Yeah, who wouldn't? What running back wouldn't, but ultimately, it's about our team goals," he said. "That's why I'm in. I'm not worried about getting the rushing title and letting that trump the ultimate goal, as far as getting to the Super Bowl. I'd take 50 yards the rest of the season each game – 30 yards if we continue to win. (Getting to) that big game and coming back with a ring, that's all that matters to me."

Actually, the overall numbers through five games are somewhere in between his rookie season and last year. In 2007, Peterson had 96 rushes for 607 yards (6.3-yard average) in the first five games. Last year, had 104 rushes for 452 yards (4.4 average) after five weeks, and that included his 224-yard game against Chicago. This year, he has 99 carries for 481 yards and a 4.9-yard average. His average is better through five games this year than it was last year on five fewer carries. He also had a three-game stretch last year at this time where he didn't produce a 100-yard game.

Perceptions can be deceiving.

Vikings coach Brad Childress has praised Peterson's work ethic and team-first attitude since the day the team drafted him. Even Peterson's friends vouch for his upbeat attitude.

Sidney Rice, who is good friends with Peterson, said the running back isn't getting frustrated.

"Adrian, he's the ultimate team player. He's going to do whatever it takes to win and that's just what he's been doing," Rice said. "No complaining, nothing like that. He's going to continue to work hard and he's going to get his."

In fact, Peterson has been getting his. He is still second in the league with 481 yards rushing, just seven yards behind NFL leader Cedric Benson, who last week became the first player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Baltimore Ravens in 40 games. Peterson faces those same Ravens on Sunday.

"Watching Benson and some of the things he did, he was very patient with his runs and his reads. He did a good job of being patient and just making that one cut and getting up field. There are little things that I can watch and learn from," Peterson said.

Still, Peterson will be facing the league's sixth-ranked run defense and the fifth overall defense in the league. And the Ravens are well aware of his abilities.

"(Peterson's physicality) really sticks out to me," Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. "Every snap that he gets the football, he's going as hard as he did on his best one or his worst one. You've got to keep him in the box. If you give him the edge, he's going to make you pay for it. He's got, for a bigger running back, he's got a great knack to be able to start downhill, move his feet and bounce out without losing any speed."

If the Ravens succeed in holding Peterson at bay, they will have to contend with Brett Favre and a receiving corps with six players that have double-digit receptions. That's just fine with Peterson, who said he likes seeing the other players in the offense getting involved and contributing.

"I'm coming out, 150 yards here, 200 yards here (the last two years), and not saying that these guys were taking it holding their heads down, but, you know, the reality is I've been playing the game for a long time and I get a feel for guys that feel like they're really not a part – they're contributing in a way but they're really not," Peterson said. "Now just to sit back down in the locker room and look around after a game and see how these guys are moving around fast and smiling, this is a whole different feel. It makes me feel good."

NOTES

  • For the Vikings, WR Darius Reynaud (hamstring) is doubtful. WR Percy Harvin and T Phil Loadholt (ankle) are probable. DE Ray Edwards (hamstring), G Steve Hutchinson (back), FB Naufahu Tahi (ankle) and CB Cedric Griffin (hand) are probable.

  • For the Ravens, T Jared Gaither (neck) is doubtful. DT Haloti Ngata (back), LB Jarret Johnson (shoulder), TE Edgar Jones (hamstring), WR Mark Clayton (shoulder) and WR David Tyree (hamstring) are probable.

  • Some other players have attempted to keep the media from looking ahead, but DE Jared Allen knows what the next three games hold. "The next three weeks are not going to be easy. We play Baltimore at home, we are at Pittsburgh and then we are back in Green Bay. The next three weeks are going to be strong test of where we are at," he said.

  • The Vikings have the third-ranked kickoff-return unit, with an average starting position at the 31.8-yard line after kickoffs. Only Chicago and San Diego are better.

  • The Philadelphia Eagles released linebacker J. Leman from their practice squad this week. Leman spent the offseason with the Vikings but was released in the preseason.

  • The San Francisco 49ers released tackle Drew Radovich from their practice. Radovich spent last season on the Vikings practice squad, but he, too, was released during the roster cuts this preseason.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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