Thursday, March 5, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "adrian peterson"

adrian peterson

Today, I fully expect our Vikings to give those of us in our VT Live Chat some hope by thoroughly thumping the Cleveland Browns.

If they do it they will be doing it without the following inactives:  QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, TE Rhett Ellison, S Mistral Raymond, LBGerald Hodges, G Jeff Baca, DT Chase Baker, and DE George Johnson.

The list provides some interesting things to note.

First, Zach Line will get an even bigger opportunity to shine with Jerome Felton serving the final week of his suspension, and Ellison now dealing with an injury.  It wouldn’t be a total shocker to see Line waived when Felton returns, but he might continue to prove himself at the NFL level with a big day lead blocking for Adrian Peterson today.

Also, rookie linebacker Michael Mauti will make his first NFL appearance today after an injury-riddled college career, which is a fun and triumphant storyline to follow as this season wears on.  If he can stay healthy for a full year, then he might end up being a starter for the Vikings in the not-so-distant future, despite his status as a seventh round selection.

Enjoy the game, everybody, I’m looking forward to seeing some clear improvement this week.

Either the Browns or the Vikings will come away with their first win of 2013 on Sunday.  With the announcement that the Browns will start third string quarterback Brian Hoyer and the recent trade of Trent Richardson to Indianapolis, all expectations are the Vikings should not only win, but blow out the woeful Cleveland team at home.

Those that know their Vikings history will be quick to point out that a backup quarterback cannot be underestimated, and speed demon Josh Gordon will return from suspension just in time to play against us, but much of the conversation on Sunday will certainly revolve around the running games of each team.

The Browns shocked everyone by dealing Richardson for the Colts’ first round pick in 2014 and have signed veteran Willis McGahee to take his place.  McGahee was on the street after a knee injury prematurely ended his 2012 season in Denver and led to his eventual release.  The Browns just added McGahee on Thursday, so he will have little time to integrate himself, and the Browns may have to rely on reserves Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey to shoulder a majority of the work against Minnesota.

Behind a talented offensive line that has been underachieving this season the Browns rushing attack certainly gives Vikings fans a reason to expect dominance from the front seven on Sunday.  If this were a game of Madden, which it obviously isn’t, the talent ratings involved in this matchup would be overwhelmingly in the Vikings favor.

On the flip side, Adrian Peterson and the Vikings rushing attack have been underwhelming relative to expectations, and they face a run defense that has proven to be quite solid.  So far this season Peterson has a respectable 193 yards on 44 carries for a 4.4 yard average per carry, but he has averaged a frustratingly low 2.7 yards after his opening carry went for a 78 yard touchdown.  Peterson knows these types of days are not meeting expectations, including his own, and vows to change things this week against the Browns.

“I was worried about the things that I left out there on the field and how much better I could’ve performed,” Peterson told Access Vikings regarding last Sunday’s game.

“[Sunday’s game] is just another reminder,” he said. “You can kind of get out of whack at times, and you’ve got to be able to evaluate yourself and see how you can improve and get back on track. So it’ll be a pretty easy adjustment for me.”

Peterson seems to think getting more physical with defenders, despite the “crown rule” looming this season, is the best way to spark something within this rushing offense.

“Really trying to strike those guys instead of running away from color as much as I did,” he said. “I will be changing that this week.”

If he follows up his words with action, which he usually does, then #28 could be lighting it up this Sunday at the Metrodome.

The other day I hit a squirrel.  I didn’t mean to and I did everything I could to safely miss the thing.  I went right and so did the squirrel.  I went left and the squirrel reversed course and stayed right in front of me.  This went on for a number of slight swerves when suddenly a definitive “THUD” made the outcome of this little episode quite clear.

On Sunday afternoon, the Detroit Lions played the part of my car, doing seemingly everything they could to keep that squirrel (the Minnesota Vikings) alive.

In the end:  THUD.

Things started out fairly promising.  A botched field goal attempt led to the Vikings first offensive snap, which Adrian Peterson took to the house from 78 yards out, but it was all downhill from there.  Here are my graded observations from the action:

GRADE A

Watching Adrian Peterson take that ball 78 yards for a touchdown really gave me hope about this game.  Hope is officially dead for a week one win, but runs like that still give me hope for the rest of the season.  In the hours following this loss I had to keep reminding myself just how ugly that loss to Indianapolis was last year and that the 2012 Vikings were able to turn things around, so the 2013 version might be able to do the same.

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Prediction #5: Cordarrelle Patterson wins rookie of the year.

Vikings rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has a lot to prove in the NFL, but all of the skills and talent needed to do so. With his unbelievable speed and quickness, good hands, and return capabilities, He should be able to become a big time receiver in this league. The only huge knock on him is his lack of experience in Division I football, having only played one year at Tennessee. The Vikings traded back into the first round for a reason; They knew talent when they saw it. Patterson has had an okay preseason thus far, although I am a little upset about Jerome Simpson playing ahead of him. I definitely think that will change throughout the course of the season, if not week one. Patterson almost took the opening kickoff of the preseason for a touchdown as well.

No matter where his spot ends up being when we open up against Detroit, I expect Patterson to emerge quickly. His route running still needs some work, and I really feel Ponder and Patterson needed to develop more in-game chemistry over the course of the preseason, but there’s no doubt in my mind that chemistry will develop quickly. I think Patterson will finish in the area of 60 catches, 760 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 2 kick return touchdowns. He is going to be a very fun player to watch this year, and I have a feeling we’ll see some spectacular plays.

Some of the noteable guys from last years squad that didn’t make my cut are: Brandon Burton, Larry Dean, Tyrone Mckenzie, Matt Asiata, Joe Berger, and Stephen Burton.

MBT and M Sherels won a spot on my list after a solid game Thursday night against the Titans.

Greg Childs is on the PUP list until week 6, after that he will either go on IR for the rest of the season or he could take a roster spot from Joe Webb or MBT.

Special Teams (3)

Jeff Locke, Blair Walsh, Cullen Loeffler

QB (3)

Christain Ponder, Matt Cassel, McCleod Bethel-Thompson

FB and RB (4)

Jerome Felton, Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Joe Banyard (keeping the seat warm for Felton the first 3 weeks will be Zach Line. The Vikings have 3 weeks to choose between Line or Banyard)

WR (5)

Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, Corrdarrelle Patterson, and Joe Webb

OL  and TE (11)

Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Rhett Ellison, Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, Phil Loadholt, Jeff Baca, Demarcus Love, and Seth Olsen (keeping the seat warm for D Love while he is suspended will be Kevin Murphy or Brandon Keith, too close for me to call) Jeff Baca or Seth Osen will play backup center. Bad snaps by Joe Berger in preseason cost him his job.

DE and DL (9)

Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Sharrif Floyd, Brian Robinson, Everson Griffen, Letroy Guion, Fred Evan, Christain Ballard, and D’Aundre Reed. (Keeping in the seat warm until Ballard returns is Everett Dawkins or Chase Baker, too close for me to call)

Linbackers (7)

Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Desmond Bishop, Marvin Mitchell, Audie Cole, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti.

DB’s (11)

Chris Cook, Josh Robinson, Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford, Andrew Sendejo, AJ Jefferson, Bobby Felder, Marcus Sherels, Robert Blanton and Mistral Raymond.

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