Peterson not frustrated with performance

Adrian Peterson has only three 100-yard rushing games this season and is coming of the second-lowest single-game rushing total of his career. Peterson, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie explained the issues facing the run game.

Last year, when Adrian Peterson led the NFL with 1,760 rushing yards, he did that by rushing for 100 yards or more on 10 occasions. He won't reach that level this year.

Through 12 games, Peterson has only three 100-yard games, yet the Pro Bowl running back insists he is not getting frustrated.

"It's not frustrating at all. Of course as a running back and how competitive I am, I would like to have 300 yards a game," Peterson said. "Never sit back and get frustrated, especially when you are winning and you are leaving the field with a W. I think that right there would be selfish."

Against the Cardinals on Sunday, Peterson had the second-lowest rushing output of his career, gaining only 19 yards on 13 carries, an average of only 1.5 yards per rush. It was the only time all year that Peterson was held under two yards a carry.

While defenses continue to make the Vikings' running game the focus of their attack, Peterson said the overall effort wasn't apparent on Sunday.

"Clearly last week it just wasn't all there. You can't do that when you are trying to make the run to get into the playoffs. Here in December, these last games are so crucial. You have to make sure that you stay focused. Playing a team that is 9-3, Cincinnati, it will be a good way to bounce back and beat those guys," he said.

"Personally I feel in the (Cardinals) game, everyone wasn't there. It was a lackadaisical attitude. With that, you can have that affect that trickles down to the entire team. I feel like that is all it was. That can make the run game look bad and make the pass game look bad and special teams. It was all around. If we correct those things and come in with the right mind set it will all be alright."

That sentiment has come from several different Vikings players and coaches. Brad Childress said his team was "out-tempo'd," and the effort Sunday.

But, as far as the running game goes, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said some of the issues on the offensive line have come from miscommunication. That could be especially important against the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.

"The important thing with the offensive line is always the communication. They (the Bengals) give a lot of different looks," Bevell said. "They make a lot of things look the same and bring different looks off of it. So they do a great job with their package, particularly their pressure package. So it is key for our offensive line to play as one."

The Vikings also weren't helped with the injuries they sustained along the offensive line. Starting left guard Anthony Herrera wasn't active because of post-concussion issues and both starting tackles – Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt – left the game for a spell because of ankle and shoulder injuries, respectively.

But even with the issues on the offensive line, Bevell said Peterson sometimes needs to just take the few yards available to him instead of trying to break a long run every time.

"I'm not saying that because he is trying to break every run that he's not doing the job that he is supposed to do, but I do believe there are some that he needs to cram in there and get the positive gain and not try to slip it outside, because sometimes you slip outside and you are running east-to-west and that's when you get hit for a minus-yards play," Bevell said.

Bevell also credited the occasional missed assignment on the offensive line, perimeter blocking and Peterson's impatience. In total, there have been a variety of things that have led to some less-than-superstar performances from Peterson this season.

But his 1.5-yard average against the Cardinals isn't a first for him. He seems to have one of those performances every year. In his rookie season, he was held to a career-low 0.2-yard average (14 carries for 3 yards) against the San Francisco 49ers. Last year against the New Orleans Saints, he rushed 21 times for 32 yards (another 1.5-yard average).

McKinnie doesn't expect that this week, despite a physical Bengals defense. He said defenses are stacking the line of scrimmage and the offensive line needs to communicate better.

"But that's something we're working on," McKinnie said. "(The plays are) a little more simpler this week, so (we) should be good this week."

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