Film study sends Peterson back to old credo

Adrian Peterson's least productive game of the season came against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 5, but he's referencing an old credo for him to be successful this Sunday in Lambeau Field. Plus, see what Peterson had to say about running over Steelers CB Williams Gay and other notes from Thursday at Winter Park.

Adrian Peterson continues to preach patience in running the football. He mentions that week after week, but it might be even more important this Sunday when he faces a Green Bay defense that had success stopping him the last time they met, a little more than three weeks ago.

After Peterson rushed for 180 yards, 92 yards and 85 yards in the first three games of the season, the Packers limited Peterson to 55 yards on 25 carries, a 2.2-yard average.

"The main thing is being more patient, putting guys on guys, pressing the hole," he said after watching tape of his Oct. 5 performance against the Packers. "It was just really little things that I looked at that I could have opened up holes a lot better for me, created some more lanes. This week I've just been focusing on those things, that I look back at that game and see where I could have been better at. I'm going to give it a second shot."

Peterson talks about being patient after watching many games. But he admitted that it's easier said than done for a running back who has become known for his all-out effort and bruising style.

"It's hard. It seems to rear its head. I always comes back, especially how I play, full speed and that's why my coach (position coach Eric Bieniemy) stays on me – be patient, be patient – always constantly reminding me," Peterson said. "It's something that you could really not notice that you're doing, or you might be being patient but on certain plays you might need to be a little more patient. It's something that I'm keeping on the top of my head that I'll make sure I focus on this game."

The Packers are no different from any of NFL team, focusing first on stopping the run on defense.

"You always go into a game trying to handle it all, but there's a starting point for everything, and if you go to any defensive meeting on Wednesday morning, I would say 99.9 percent of them are going to talk about stopping the run first, regardless of who they're playing," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "You want to make the opposing offense be one-dimensional, and a lot of that holds true for us this week."

The Packers have the third-ranked defense in the league, but against the run they are only 12th in the league, despite their impressive showing against Peterson in the Metrodome.

But with their concentration on the running game last time, they allowed Brett Favre to throw for 271 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His 135.3 passer rating in that game was his best of the season at that point.

"I think we did a pretty good job of shutting down one of the premier running backs in the NFL in Adrian Peterson. What we didn't do a great job of was pressuring, disrupting Brett, getting him off his rhythm," Packers linebacker Aaron Kampman said. "It's not a secret. You want to always control the run game, then you want to make them one-dimensional. We didn't get that side of it done last time we played them."

Despite seeing things he can do differently against the Packers' 3-4 defense, Peterson credited the Packers for their work against him.

"Those guys did a good job slowing down the run game, but still with that we were able to move the ball effectively and contribute as far as the run game, me and Chester (Taylor)," he said. "Those guys are good up front. Let's give those guys credit. The front three was playing outstanding and those backers are playing good too. We know what we have ahead of us this week and we're preparing."

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell also said the Packers did a good job containing Peterson.

"They just did a nice job of making plays on us, making tackles. There was a few times we thought we had a couple plays, but I thought they tackled well," Bevell said. "They kind of hammered the outside, pushed us inside, kept Adrian from breaking it to the outside. They did a nice job in that game."

REACTION TO THE CRUNCH

Peterson running over Steelers cornerback William Gay in the fourth quarter last Sunday was shown on all the big highlight shows. Even Peterson smiled when asked about it Thursday.

"Just determination and I was just trying to make a big play. It was a critical third down," he said. "I laugh about it when I see it, but at the end of it, they came out with a win and that's really what matters."

The play came with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Vikings facing third-and-4 at their own 45-yard line and trailing 20-17. Peterson caught a short pass from Favre, turned and saw Gay right in his way. The running back lowered his shoulder and ran right over Gay, who was left flailing in an attempt to trip up Peterson, who ended up gaining 29 yards on the play and putting the Vikings in a position to win or tie the game on the 26-yard line.

"I really didn't have much time to prepare (for the contact). I caught the ball, turned around and he was there and I just lowered my shoulder, kept my feet moving and gave him the business," Peterson said, adding that he received a lot of messages from friends and teammates, but many of them not printable.

One play later, a screen pass for Chester Taylor bounced off his hands into the grasp of LB Keyaron Fox, who returned the interception 82 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.

NOTES

  • CB Antoine Winfield missed practice again Thursday with his foot injury and WR Percy Harvin missed because of illness. WR Bernard Berrian (hamstring) and LB E.J. Henderson (knee) were both limited after missing Wednesday. QB Brett Favre (hip), LB Jasper Brinkley (hamstring), LB Ben Leber (calf), CB Karl Paymah (quad), WR Darius Reynaud (hamstring) and FB Fahu Tahi (knee) were also limited. DT Jimmy Kennedy returned to practice (not injury related) after missing Wednesday for non-injury related reasons.

  • For the Packers, TE Jermichael Finley (knee) and OL Jason Spitz (back) did not practice on Thursday. T Chad Clifton (ankle), QB Aaron Rodgers (foot), CB Charles Woodson (hip) and DE Jarius Wynn (hamstring) were limited. LB Clay Matthews (jaw), C Scott Wells (not injury related) and G Josh Sitton (hand) participated fully.

  • Special teams coach Brian Murphy referenced the racing movie "Days of Thunder" when talking about Percy Harvin returning kickoffs, saying he just runs through the smoke. When Darrell Bevell heard that, he joked that the movie referenced sometimes in the offensive meeting room is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

  • Peterson on his expectations for the atmosphere in Lambeau Field with Favre's return: "It's going to be bananas. Just experiencing it here at home and now going back where he played 16 seasons, I don't know. I can't sit here and explain what it's going to be like. I've just got to experience it first."

  • Former Vikings safety Darren Sharper was named the NFC Defensive Player of Month. Sharper had two interception returns for touchdowns in October for the New Orleans Saints, giving him 11 for his career, second only to Hall of Fame safety Rod Woodson, who had 12.


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