Vikings’ Peterson starting to find 5th gear

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — Even while defying the odds to return from reconstructive knee surgery in time for the season opener, Adrian Peterson was still trying to recapture that last bit of juice and burst that he had before he went down in December.

The Minnesota Vikings star running back spent the first three weeks plowing ahead, taking all the carries given to him to try to shake the rust off, loosen that left knee up and get back to dropping jaws and leaving linebackers in his wake.

From his very first carry on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, Peterson has never looked more like his old electrifying self. He made a razor-sharp cut followed by a burst of speed through the hole for a 12-yard gain, setting the tone for a 102-yard effort in Minnesota’s 20-13 victory.

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“He looked more like the Adrian of old than at any point in this young season,” coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “He had some runs that showed the strength, the power, the elusiveness that we’ve seen in the past. It was just great to see. There was no hitch anywhere. He looked good.”

It was Peterson’s first 100-yard day since last October, a critical performance for an offense that struggled to move the ball all day long, yet still managed to improve to a surprising 3-1. Four of his 21 carries went for at least 10 yards against a Lions defense that prides itself on being tough against the run.