At halftime of Sunday’s Lions-Vikings game, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson had 12 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown, and the Vikings had a 20-0 lead. Surely, the Vikings would run Peterson over and over again while they protected their lead in the second half, right?
Wrong. Peterson had five carries in the second half, and the Lions won 26-23 in overtime.
The Vikings’ first three drives of the second half were three-and-outs on which they called two Peterson runs and seven Donovan McNabb passes. The Vikings’ fourth drive started with Peterson running 14 yards, but that run was called back on a holding penalty, and that drive ended with the Vikings’ ridiculous decision to hand off to Toby Gerhart, not Peterson, on a fourth-and-1 run that the Lions stopped.
After the game, Peterson declined to criticize the decision to put the ball in Gerhart’s hands on the crucial play.
“Yeah, I wanted the ball, but you know what? I have a lot of faith in Toby,” Peterson said. “He’s a great back. I was confident that he would get it. Their defense made a play, and we have to live with it.”
But the question is, why don’t the Vikings’ coaches have more faith in Peterson? He’s having another strong year, averaging 5.1 yards a carry, but the Vikings aren’t using him enough, especially after they’ve built up double-digit first-half leads in all three games.
Which is why they’ve lost double-digit first-half leads in all three games.