The Vikings built a 20-point lead against the Lions on Sunday. So with Adrian Peterson in position to churn up the clock and with a defense supposedly forces teams to move down the field in slow, time-consuming chunks, not even Brad Childress could screw that one up, right?
Somehow, the Vikings blew that 20-point halftime lead, seven days after blowing a 17-point halftime lead and 14 days after blowing a 10-point halftime lead.
The Vikings relied on Peterson only five times in the second half, and on a key fourth down play Adrian was a multi-millon-dollar decoy.
And Adrian isn’t happy about that. According to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Peterson’s father, Nelson, said that Adrian was frustrated by the manner in which he was used. Or wasn’t used.
“He thought that with a 20-0 lead, he was ready to lead them to a victory,” Nelson Peterson said. “He’s being a good sport about it, but he’s upset.”
Peterson has only 66 second-half yards this season. In the first half of three games, he has gained 230.
The Vikings seem committed to fixing a situation that possibly has gotten into the heads of the players, and the coaches.
“We don’t want, in a close ball game, for him to only carry the ball five times,” coach Leslie Frazier said, per Fowler. “I have to remind myself of this, even if Adrian gets stopped for negative gain or two yards because they’ve got so many people at the line of scrimmage, he’s such a great player that even against eight-man fronts he can still make something happen. You can’t ever forget that.”
If the Vikings don’t figure out how to hold the leads that they’ve been building, they can forget about their chances in 2011.