Editorial: Vikings, please let Adrian Peterson cut and run

Published 9:39 am Monday, September 16, 2013

The Minnesota Vikings are not running Adrian Peterson the way they should be.

It seems last year, when he garnered 2,097 rushing yards and 2,314 all-purpose yards in the regular season, Peterson was the king of cutbacks. He would see the hole collapsing and cut to the left or right to get around his offensive line, leaving the opponents fooled.

He’d knock a guy or two down amid the confusion, perhaps step around a few others and quickly enough for a first down was gained.

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Someone — perhaps a coach or even Peterson himself — convinced Peterson to keep running up the gut even when there is nothing there. Yes, the running back has incredible strength, but he will not blast open a hole filled with multiple professional defenders. He’s best when there is confusion on the field, and he can knock one guy down at a time or go around them.

Let’s repeat the important point here for emphasis: He’s best when there is confusion on the field.

Except for the first play from scrimmage in the first game, Peterson hasn’t had the strong start in 2013 he had hoped for. Opponents wisely are keying on him. But it’s also because he hasn’t done the cutting and turning that has confounded tacklers in the past. He’s sticking to his lanes.

Get free, Adrian, no matter where you need to run.